Showing posts with label Jerry Robinson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jerry Robinson. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Exhibiting the gold in the Golden Age at the Jewish Museum of MD

101_5094 posterThis past weekend I was able to attend the members' preview for the exhibit "ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950." The exhibit has arrived at the Jewish Museum of Maryland in downtown Baltimore and it's well-worth visiting.Curated by the late Jerry Robinson, this exhibit was put together in 2004 by the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, which published a catalogue of the same name.

 Robinson had multiple careers in cartooning including writing a history of comics, being an editorial cartoonist, and starting a syndicate, but he began as a young man in comic books. As a seventeen-year old he began working on Batman as a letterer and inker in 1939. Eventually he became a penciller for the character, and as an employee of what became DC Comics, he met a lot of artists. And thankfully he saved examples of their work, at a time when that behavior wasn't very common.

101_5085 Simon and Kirby
Simon & Kirby cover to Adventure Comics #78
The exhibit is full of original golden age artwork. It contains art by Mort Meskin, Lou Fine, Robinson, Will Eisner, Marc Swayze, Simon & Kirby, Charles Biro, Fred Ray, CC Beck, Fred Ray, Will Eisner, HG Peter, Sheldon Modoff, Bob Fujitani, Lee Elias, Irwin Hasen, Arthur Peddy and Bernard Sachs, Dick Sprang and Charles Paris, Joe Kubert, Reed Crandall, Al Alvison, Carmine Infantino and Frank Frazetta. Many of these are prime pieces.

And many of the writers and artists were Jewish. As comics historian Arnold Blumberg noted in his remarks at the preview, "'s a joy to see the exhibit come to a facility like this and to take a look at it from our unique perspective of what our culture, what our heritage, has given not just to itself, but to the world. The world owns Superman and Batman and all these characters now. Many of them may not have a clue where they came from, who were the kind of people who sat down and created them, but they are now owned by the entire world. They're heroes for everybody and they came from us."

101_5092 Siegel and Shuster autograph
Siegel & Shuster drawing dedicated to Robinson
The exhibit gives a basic history of comic books and characters and biographies of the creators, interspersed with now-priceless art and comic books. Particular attention is paid to World War II of course. Pages of an original Batman script by Bill Finger can be seen - Robinson's estate donated other examples of these to Columbia University this month. Historic highlights include Robinson's artwork for early Batman covers, his original Joker playing card sketch, and a Siegel & Shuster drawing of Superman dedicated to Robinson. A few cases examine the merchandising of Captain Marvel (aka Shazam) and Superman.

This version of the exhibit does have a tricky dichotomy to it. The uncolored, unfinished single pages of comic book artwork will appeal to a mature (elderly, if they bought the titles originally) viewer, while the idea of a superhero largely is aimed at male teens and younger children. This version of the exhibit caters to the very youngest viewers, with a set of tables, chairs and supplies for making cartoons, a replica of Superman's telephone booth with costumes set alongside it, a Batmobile kiddy ride, a newsstand with comics to read on it, and a piece of "Kryptonite"with a recording that warns one not to get to close.

101_5058 newsstand

 I was fortunate to be able to visit the exhibit with local cartoonists. Barbara Dale (of Baltimore), known for her humorous cartoons, fixated on the original Spirit page by Will Eisner and the Frank Frazetta that was next to it, and thought those two pieces made the entire exhibit worthwhile.

101_5070 Eisner
The Eisner Spirit page that impressed Barbara Dale...

101_5071 Frazetta
...and the Frazetta cover that Dale also admired.
101_5090 Lou Fine
Note Wrightson's debt to Lou Fine.
Rafer Roberts (of Fredericksburg) pointed out several things to me - Moldoff's use of gouache to give white highlights on the legs of a monster on Moon Girl #4's cover for EC Comics, Bernie Wrightson's debt to Lou Fine (look at the skeletonized figure on the Hit Comics cover, and Bob Fujitane's use of the traditional iconography of Japanese monsters.

101_5066 Bob Fujitane
Bob Fujitane uses Japanese iconography.

I had seen a previous version of this exhibit in New York at the Jewish Museum there, but it was reworked as an addition to the massive "Masters of American Comics" show. Any fan of comic book history should take the opportunity to see this version of the show at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. The catalogue can be bought in the gift shop, along with Superman toothbrushes, Batman lunchboxes and hand-painted superhero yarmelkes. The Museum has produced two curriculum guides for schools and plans lectures throughout the exhibit which runs from January 27 - August 28, 2013, and costs $8 or less. More of my pictures can be seen here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

OT: Dave Astor on four cartoonists he's known

Long-time Editor and Publisher super cartoonist columnist Dave Astor (who was let go in their last layoffs) has a post on four cartoonists he knew that were all born in the same year. There's a glancing mention of DC, but you should read this because Dave wrote about syndicated comics for 20 years and knows a lot. He's also apparently got a book out - I'm getting more details on it from him. (followup: David reports he's looking for a publisher)

The Complexity of a Fantastic Four


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Rosenberg on Robinson auction

Scott A. Rosenberg, former DC-area reporter on comics, has a New York story - on Jerry Robinson's art auction

Comic art auction could break records
AMNY Urbanite blog November 9 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

PR: Jerry Robinson & Abrams ComicArts Come to Baltimore!

Jerry Robinson is a true gentleman, and, while best known to the BCC crowd for his early comic book work, he also had careers as a comic strip creator, a comics historian, and the founder of a syndicate that brought foreign editorial cartoons to US audiences. I'll be buying his book from him.

Jerry Robinson & Abrams ComicArts Come to Baltimore!
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - August 26, 2010 -
Jerry Robinson, the legendary artist who created the Joker and many other beloved comic book villains and heroes will sign copies of Jerry Robinson: The Ambassador of Comics on Saturday, August 28th and Sunday, August 29th at 11am at the Abrams ComicArts booth (1503).  Jerry will also be in attendance at the 2010 Harvey Awards Banquet and Ceremony.
Launched in 2009 as an imprint of the preeminent art book publisher ABRAMS, Abrams ComicArts publishes a wide array of books on comic arts and artists as well as original graphic novels.  Recent titles include The Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis by Matt Groening, the Eisner Award-winning The Art of Harvey Kurtzman by Dennis Kitchen, Shazam! by Chip Kidd, and Harvey Award Nominees: Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow by Brian Fies, The TOON Treasury of Classic Children's Comics by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly, Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness by Reinhard Kleist, The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga by Helen McCarthy, Secret Identity: The Fetish art of Superman's Co-Creator Joe Shuster by Craig Yoe, Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater by Eric P. Nash and Underground Classics by James Danky and Denis Kitchen.
Todd McFarlane Signing Schedule Expands to Benefit the Hero Initiative
Based on the response from his horde of fans and Todd's interest in supporting the Hero Initiative, Todd has expanded his schedule to have signing sessions on Saturday, August 28th from 10:30am-11:30am AND 1:30pm-3:30pm.  These signings will be done at booth 2403. In addition, we will have a Todd McFarlane spotlight panel session (room 308) from 12pm-1pm.

The Hero Initiative signing will happen from 10:30-11:30am in booth 2403. The signing will be limited to two items per person, with a required donation of $5.00 toward the Hero Initiative Fund.  The second signing time, sponsored by Image, will again be limited to 2 items at no additional cost to the fans.


Second Annual Baltimore Comic-Con Auction
On Sunday afternoon at 3:00, please join us in panel room 301-303 to see our annual art auction.  The Auction will feature work by this year's guests of the Baltimore Comic-Con.  Not everyone can get in line early enough to get a sketch from an artist at a convention, and this is your chance to walk away with a memory from the show.  The material will be on display throughout the weekend in the convention hall.

THIS JUST IN : Our auction will be hosted by the cool guys from the Comic Book Diner podcast, artists Rich Faber, John Gallagher, and Jamar Nicholas, along with their pal and Perhapanauts co-creator Todd Dezago.  They promise to make it a fun, lively event.  Come on out and join the fun.
Floor Plan Now On-Line
After fielding numerous requests from both guests and attendees alike, the Baltimore Comic-Con is pleased to announce the addition of our floor plan to our on-line content.  To view the floor plan, please visit
Cancellations :
Unfortunately, Geoff Johns has canceled his appearance at the show this weekend due to circumstances beyond his control.  "Marc Nathan puts on an amazing show in Baltimore, one I've been to many times and was really looking forward to attending again this year.  I had planned on being there Sunday, and I am sorry that I will not be able to make it out there.  I'll see everyone for Baltimore 2011 and the first round of drinks will be on me!"
Additionally, Kenneth Rocafort and Michael Broussard will not be able to join us this year either.  They both send their regrets and apologies for not being able to make it.
Added Guests
We are pleased to announce the addition of the following guests to the 2010 Baltimore Comic-Con:  Nelson Blake II (Magdalena), Rebecca Buchman (Brightest Day), Alex Eckman-Lawn (Awakening), Kate Glasheen (Hybrid Bastards!), Dave Johnson (Deadpool), Jason Latour (I Am An Avenger), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Dan Panosian (X-Factor Forever), Andrew Robinson (Halo), Dave Rodriguez (Starkweather: Immortal), Val Staples (Criminal), Richard Starkings (Elephentmen), Dirk Strangely (Jim Henson's Legends of the Dark Crystal), AndrĂ© Szymanowicz (Elephentmen), Nick Tapalansky (Awakening), and Mike Witmer (44 Union Avenue).
Previously announced guests include: Dave Aikins (SpongeBob Squarepants), Mike and Laura Allred (Madman), Sergio Aragones (Groo), J.D. Arnold (BB Wolf and the 3 LPs), Ivan Brandon (Nemesis:  The Imposters), Danna Bremer (Zuda Comics Crew), Tom Brevoort (Executive Editor, Marvel Comics), Buzz (JSA), Jim Calafiore (Secret Six), Eric Canete (New Avengers:  Luke Cage), Tommy Castillo (Moon Lake), Bernard Chang (Prince of Persia), Howard Chaykin (Black Kiss), Sean Chen (Nova), Cliff Chiang (Greendale), Mark Chiarello (Editor, DC Comics), Frank Cho (Ultimate Comics New Ultimates), Mike Choi (X-Force), Kevin Colden (I Rule The Night), Steve Conley (Star Trek Omnibus: The Original Series), Amanda Conner (Power Girl), Shane Davis (Superman:  Earth One), Todd Dezago (The Perhapanauts), Ian Edginton (Victorian Undead), Steve Ellis (High Moon), Fillbach Brothers sponsored by Laughing Ogre Comics (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Ramona Fradon (Namora), Francesco Francavilla (The Green Hornet:  Year One), John Gallagher (Buzzboy), David Gallaher (High Moon), SL Gallant (G.I. Joe), Dan Govar (Azure), Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (Wednesday Comics), Ron Garney (Wolverine:  Weapon X), Sterling Gates (Supergirl), Bryan J.L. Glass (Mice Templar), Mike Gold (Editor, ComicMix Graphic Novels from IDW), Michael Golden (Marvel 1602:  Spider-Man), Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules!), Randy Green (New X-Men), Brad Guigar (Evil Inc.), Gabriel Hardman (Atlas), Tony Harris (Justice League: Generation Lost), Dean Haspiel (ACT-I-VATE), Marc Hempel (Absolute Sandman), Jonathan Hickman (Fantastic Four), Greg Horn (Green Lantern), Jason Horn (Ninjasaur), Adam Hughes (Wonder Woman), Jamal Igle (Supergirl), Klaus Janson (Daredevil), Georges Jeanty (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Van Jensen (Pinocchio:  Vampire Slayer), J.G. Jones (DC Universe Legacies), Joe Jusko (Red Sonja), Denis Kitchen (Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen), Barry Kitson (Iron Man 2 Prequel), Rich Koslowski (BB Wolf and the 3 LPs), Jason Kruse (World of Quest), Greg LaRocque (The Exiled), Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon), Norman Lee (New Mutants), Jay Leisten (Uncanny X-Men), Steve Lieber (Underground), Joe Linsner (Dawn:  Not To Touch The Earth), Luna Brothers (The Sword), David Mack (Kabuki), Mike Maihack (Comic Book Tattoo), Clay Mann (X-Men Legacy), Laura Martin (Girl Comics), Ron Marz (Witchblade), Todd McFarlane - Saturday only (Spawn), Mark McKenna (Banana Tail), Mike McKone (Avengers Academy), Bob McLeod (New Mutants Forever), JD Mettler (Justice League: Generation Lost), Pop Mhan (Ender's Game: Mazer In Prison), Terry Moore (Echo, SiP), Mark Morales (Siege), Chris Moreno (Toy Story), Chip Mosher (Left on Mission, Marketing Director, Boom! Studios), Sean Murphy (Joe the Barbarian), Jamar Nicholas (Radiskull & Devil Doll: Radiskull Hate Love), Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Phil Noto (Avengers:  The Origin), Sonia Oback (X-Force), Denny O'Neil (Batman), Ryan Ottley (Invincible), Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex), Jeff Parker (Thunderbolts), Andrew Pepoy (Jack of Fables), Lauren Perry (Blank-ees), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Brandon Peterson (Ultimate Extinction), Matthew Petz (War of the Woods), Chris Pitzer (Publisher, Adhouse Books), Paul Pope (Wednesday Comics), Eric Powell (The Goon), Brian Pulido (Lady Death), Jack Purcell (Gotham City Sirens), Mike Raicht (The Stuff of Legend), Tom Raney (Black Widow:  Deadly Origin), Rico Renzi (The Perhapanauts), Chris Roberson (I, Zombi), James Robinson (Justice League of America), Budd Root (Cavewoman), Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge), Craig Rousseau (Marvel Her-Oes), Stephane Roux (Zatanna), Jim Rugg (Afrodisiac), Filip Sablik (The Asset, Top Cow Pubisher), Tim Sale courtesy of Hero Initiative (Captain America White), Ian Sattler (Editor, DC Comics), Alex Saviuk (Stan Lee and the Super Seven), Stuart Sayger (Bram Stoker's Death Ship), Bob Schreck (Jurassic Park), Jim Shooter (Magnus, Robot Fighter), Louise Simonson (X-Factor Forever), Walter Simonson (Thor), Andy Smith (WildC.A.T.S.), John K. Snyder III (The A-Team:  Shotgun Wedding), Allison Sohn (Star Wars sketchcard artist), Jim Starlin (Dreadstar), Chris Staros (Publisher, Top Shelf), Brian Stelfreeze (The Authority:  The Lost Year), Paul D. Storrie (Twilight Crusade:  Gabriel), Karl Story (Zatanna), Billy Tan (Shadowland), Richard Thompson (Cul-de-Sac), Ben Templesmith sponsored by Laughing Ogre Comics (Choker), Mark Texeira (X-Men:  Origins), Bobby and Peter Timony (The Night Owls), Bob Tinnell (Lone Justice), Herb Trimpe (Incredible Hulk), Dean Trippe (Superior Showcase), Timothy Truman (Conan the Cimmerian), Billy Tucci (Shi), Ted Tucker (Buzzboy), Dexter Vines (Ultimate Avengers), Neil Vokes (Superman Adventures), Doug Wagner (World of Warcraft:  Horde), Matt Wagner (The Green Hornet:  Year One), Mark Waid (Irredeemable, Chief Creative Officer, Boom! Studios), Mark Wheatley (Lone Justice), Ron Wilson (Marvel Two-In-One), Marv Wolfman (New Teen Titans), John Workman (Heavy Metal), Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing), Kelly Yates (Doctor Who: 2010 Annual), Thom Zahler (Love and Capes), and Chrissie Zullo (Cinderella:  From Fabletown With Love).
Publishers exhibiting in 2010 include Archaia Comics, Adhouse Books, Boom! Studios, IDWImage Comics, Top Cow Productions, and Top Shelf Comix.
As always, the latest developments on the Baltimore Comic-Con can always be found at our website (, Twitter (, Facebook (, MySpace (, and ComicSpace ( pages.

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held August 28-29, 2010. Convention hours are Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM. The ceremony and banquet for the Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, August 28th.
Contact Information
Please use the following e-mail addresses to contact the Baltimore Comic-Con: - for any general press inquiries or to be added to our PR distribution - for requesting exhibitor, publisher, and Artist Alley applications - for inquiries about submitted registrations - for communications regarding the Harvey Awards ceremony and banquet - for general Baltimore Comic-Con inquiries
About The Baltimore Comic-Con
The Baltimore Comic-Con is celebrating its 11th year of bringing the comic book industry to the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. With a guest list unequaled in the industry, the Baltimore Comic-Con will be held August 28-29, 2010.  For more information, please visit

About The Harvey Awards
The Harvey Awards are one of the comic book industry's oldest and most respected awards.  With a history of over 20 years, the last 5 in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con, the Harveys recognize outstanding achievements in over 20 categories.  They are the only industry awards nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals.  For more information, please visit

Monday, November 19, 2007

Zapp! Comic Books and the Arts exhibit, Jerry Robinson and Lee Marrs photos

Jerry Robinson and me; photo by Bruce Guthrie

Bruce Guthrie was up at the VisArts at Rockville building this weekend and took some shots of the Zapp! Comic Books and the Arts exhibit that was closing on November 18th, as well as pictures of Jerry Robinson and Lee Marrs in the convention space. Ms. Marrs gave a talk on webcomics and Bruce got pictures of that as well. I did too, and I'll try to post mine soon.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Nov 16-17: Jerry Robinson, Lee Marrs in Rockville

Late-breaking news - Jerry Robinson's in town. Saturday Lee Marrs speaks at 4 pm. No time to link but here's Marrs' website - I'm going to try to make it up there for Marrs talk.

This is their event description:

Come see our new building, and this Comic Book exhibition and convention, and our inaugural exhibit, Zapp! Comic Books and the Arts. Fun for the whole family begins with a free talk Friday night from 7 to 8 by authority Jerry Robinson, who wikipedia notes began work on Batman and Joker beginning in 1939! Activities continue through the weekend with guest artists, special costume events, prizes, commemorative t-shirts, dealers and collectors. Saturday, 10 to 5, and Sunday 11 to 4. For more information, call 301-315-8200.
Nov. 16-18 - VisArts at Rockville, 155 Gibbs St., Rockville, Md. 20850

Friday, July 06, 2007

AAEC in Washington - Dave Astor's got the story

The editorial cartoonists are in DC for their con, and Editor and Publisher's Dave Astor's got the stories.

Editorial Cartoonists Discuss: Can Their Profession Survive?
By Dave Astor
Published: July 05, 2007 7:00 PM ET

Longtime Cartoonist Jerry Robinson Co-Authors New Musical
By Dave Astor
Published: July 05, 2007 3:20 PM ET

Helen Thomas Praises Cartoonists for Not Fearing 'The Truth'
By Dave Astor
Published: July 05, 2007 10:40 PM ET

Dana Priest Thanks AAECers for Walter Reed Scandal Cartoons
By Dave Astor
Published: July 05, 2007 3:35 PM ET

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jerry Robinson's Astra on stage in DC

Karen Berman, Director, Super Heroine Manga Musical Astra from the Washington Women in Theatre has written in to say:

"Jerry Robinson (responsible for the iconic Joker in the Batman series) has joined forces with Washington Women in Theatre to produce an original musical about a superheroine named Astra. She’s a fearless, no-fuss woman who visits Earth for the first time, attempting to save her all-female planet from extinction. Her mission? To capture sperm. While discovering men for the first time on Earth, Astra also observes a confused world in the midst of a Cold War."

"This tongue-and-cheek parody about America from an outsider’s perspective was created back in the ‘80s, and has since become a popular Japanese manga by artists Shojin Tanaka and Ken-ichi Oishi. It all started one summer when Washington Women in Theatre co-founder Sidra Rausch approached Robinson in Cape Cod, where the two were both vacationing. A longtime fan, Rausch fearlessly approached him and asked, “how do you feel about feminism?” He was immediately on board. The two brainstormed Astra on the sand that summer, and worked for many years on the concept. The Super Heroine Manga Musical now includes original artwork, thirty never-before-heard songs and Robinson’s legendary spirit."

"The show’s national debut will take place at the Warehouse Theatre between July 7-14. Astra is part of the Washington Women in Theatre’s fifth annual festival of new plays. This year’s theme is "Laptops Ladies Playfest.” WWIT encourages original works written, directed and/or highlighting women such as Astra."

If I recall correctly, at least 1 issue of the comic was published in English as well. Jerry Robinson's still active in promoting comics - I think he's updating his history of the comics book, and he recently helped fill-in with a version of his superheroes exhibit when Art Spiegelman pulled out of Masters of American Comics at the Jewish Museum in NYC and left a hole. Plus he's a darn nice guy who's always been friendly whenever I've run into him.