The last couple weeks have been fun, but you know me– I love a good theme week. I’ve enjoyed looking at some great creators these past few days, though, so let’s continue doing that, with a theme I warned you about– Bob Week! Up first? The most famous Bob in comics. Even the average man on a street probably knows who this fellow is.
140. Bob Kane
Bob Kane (birth name: Robert Kahn) was credited, for years, as the creator of Batman. Now, we’re all comic geeks here (mostly, at least), so we know that isn’t entirely true. This column isn’t a place for negative comments, though, and we’re going to talk about the positive things. So: hey! Bob Kane was the co-creator of Batman. Awesome.
Bob had been pals with Will Eisner and worked in his studio for a time, drawing funny animal comics and some humor strips for a few different mags. Then this Superman guy took off, and everybody was looking for the next big hero. As the story goes, Bob was given a weekend to come up with something. He combined his love of Zorro, da Vinci, and numerous bat-related movies and came up with… the Bat-Man! He took it to his pal Bill Finger, and they refined it into the character that appeared in Detective Comics #27.
The rest was what you’d call history.
Bob’s art style wasn’t anything overly special, but he had a flair for the dramatic, and portrayed Batman as a terrific dark avenger of the night. Well, until Robin showed up, anyway. But my God, those original books were exceptionally gorgeous.
As the public face of Batman for decades, Bob Kane was a helluva guy. And he had the second-best signature in comics.
Sadly, he passed away in 1998. His name will carry on forever, though– or as long as Batman exists.