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Bob Kane Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (29)  | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (4)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameRobert Kahn
Height 5' 10½" (1.79 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Bob Kane was an American comic book writer and artist of Jewish descent, most famous for co-creating Batman and several members of Batman's supporting cast. Kane was inducted into the comic book industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1994 and into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1996.

Kane was born under the name "Robert Kahn" in New York City. His father was the engraver Herman Kahn, and his mother was the housewife Augusta. Both of his parents were originally from Eastern Europe.

Kane attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where he was friends with future comic book writer Will Eisner. Following his graduation, he legally changed his name to "Robert Kane" and enrolled at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art to study art. The school was a private college, located at Cooper Square on the border of the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

Kane originally wanted to become an animator, and in 1934 he was hired as a trainee animator by the animation studio Fleischer Studios (1921-1942), headed by the brothers Max Fleischer (1883-1972) and Dave Fleischer (1894-1979). He worked for up to two years in the production of animated short films, but had left the studio by 1936.

Kane entered the comics field in 1936, as a freelance penciler and inker. His early work was published in the magazine "Wow, What A Magazine!," which was edited by cartoonist Jerry Iger (1903-1990). Kane's most notable contribution was the comic serial "Hiram Hick", which he both drew and inked.

In 1936, Jerry Iger and .Will Eisner partnered to create their own company, "Eisner & Iger" (1936-1939). It was a comic book packager, producing complete comic stories that could be sold to publishers that did not have their own creative staff. In 1937, Kane was hired by this upstart company.

Kane's early work included the anthropomorphic animal series "Peter Pupp" (published by the magazine "Wags" in the United Kingdom and by Fiction House's "Jumbo Comics" in the United States), the comedy series "Ginger Snap" (published in "More Fun Comics"), the comedy series "Oscar the Gumshoe" (published in "Detective Comics"), the comedy series "Professor Doolittle" (published in "Adventure Comics"), and the adventure series "Rusty and his Pals" (published in "Adventure Comics). Among them, Peter Pupp stood out for its "overtones of mystery and menace".

By 1939, Superman had become a major hit for an early incarnation of DC Comics and there was a new market for comic book superheroes. Interested in creating his own superhero Kane started working on a new character, "Bat-Man". Kane said his influences for the character included actor Douglas Fairbanks' film portrayal of the swashbuckler Zorro; Leonardo da Vinci's diagram of the ornithopter, a flying machine with huge bat-like wings; and the 1930 film"The Bat Whispers", based on Mary Rinehart's mystery novel "The Circular Staircase" (1908).

Kane had already used Bill Finger as a ghost writer for his early comic strips. He asked Finger to provide additional ideas for Batman, and to write the initial Batman stories. Following a number of Finger's suggested redesigns, "Batman" debuted in "Detective Comics" #27 (May, 1939). It became a major hit for an early incarnation of DC Comics.

Early Batman stories were written and penciled by Bob Kane's own art studio (located in The New York Times building) and then sold for publication. Kane received the sole credit for whatever he and his staff created. Finger remained the main writer of the series, while Jerry Robinson (1922-2011) and George Roussos (1915-2000) were hired as Kane's art assistants. The four of them are jointly credited for introducing most of Batman's early supporting characters and memorable villains.

By the early 1940s, DC Comics demanded more Batman stories than the Bob Kane studio could produce. In response, DC hired its own writers and artists to work on additional stories, though Bob Kane continued to receive the sole credit for the stories. The most notable of these "ghost artists" was Dick Sprang (1915-2000) who remained attached to the Batman series for at least a decade, and co-created a popular new villain, the Riddler. Among the ghost writers of Batman, the most notable was Gardner Fox (1911-1986), who introduced some of Batman's notable equipment.

From 1943 to 1946, Bob Kane focused entirely on the Batman newspaper comic strip, and no longer produced new Batman stories for comic books. In his absence, Jerry Robinson became the main penciler for the Batman stories. Additional ghost artists of the period included Jack Burnley (1911-2006) and Win Mortimer (1919-1998). Several Batman-related covers were designed by Fred Ray (1920-2001), who was also the primary Superman cover-artist of the 1940s,

In 1946, the Batman newspaper comic strip ended, and Bob Kane started producing comic book stories for Batman again. He eventually hired his own ghost writers and ghost artists, The most notable among them were Lew Sayre Schwartz (1926-2011), the main artist of the Batman series between 1946 and 1953, and Sheldon Moldoff (1920-1967), the main artist of the series between 1953 and 1967. Schwartz is mainly remembered for co-creating a popular villain, called Deadshot. Moldoff is remembered for co-creating the villains Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze, the second version of the villainous Clayface, Batman's allies Bat-Mite, Bat-Girl/Betty Kane, and Batwoman/Kathy Kane, and Batman's pet dog Ace the Bat-Hound.

In the 1960s, Kane found work in television animation., He created the television series "Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse" (1960-1962), featuring two anthropomorphic animal superheroes. Courageous Cat was a parody of Batman, while sidekick Minute Mouse was a parody of Robin. Kane subsequently created the television series "Cool McCool" (1966-1967), depicting the adventures of an inept secret agent.

In 1966 or 1967, Kane chose to retire from his work in comic books and animation. He was 52-years-old and had been working on the field for three decades. He started producing "fine art" works for exhibitions in galleries. His work as a painter was prolific, though comic book historians have noted that he again hired ghost artists to help him produce the paintings.

In 1989, Kane was hired as a consultant for the live-action "Batman" (1989) film directed by Tim Burton. He served in the same consulting role for its three sequels, released between 1992 and 1997. In 1998, Kane was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he eventually died. He was 83-years-old and had lived in retirement for two decades.

Kane was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. Several of the characters Kane created remain popular, and he continues to receive posthumous credit in works based on his creations.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dimos I

Spouse (2)

Elizabeth Sanders (1987 - 3 November 1998) ( his death)
Beverly Kane (22 June 1949 - 1957) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (5)

Often based comic characters on well known figures
Frequently deals with dark themes in his comics
Often drew his heroes in black and grey and his villains in bright colours
Known for keeping characters alive regardless of how many times they appear to have died
Square signature in the corner of a page

Trivia (29)

Kane also created the television cartoon characters Courageous Cat, Minute Mouse and Cool McCool.
Created the comic superhero Batman in May 1939, along with the writer Bill Finger who went uncredited in his role of co-creator until the year 2016.
He created Batman from a combination of Zorro (a wealthy playboy/masked hero), the Shadow (a dark superhero), and Dracula (a bat-like creature).
The name Bruce Wayne is derived from Scottish history's Robert the Bruce and Revolutionary War General "Mad" Anthony Wayne.
Stated in Cinescape magazine that of all the actors who played Batman, he felt that Val Kilmer did this the best.
His famous comic book character Batman made his debut in Detective Comics #27 in May 1939. This is now a collector's classic and a near mint comic book can fetch up to $1,000,000 (in 2011).
Personally recommended Jack Nicholson for the role of the Joker in the original Batman (1989) film.
In 1939, he was a freelance artist with a small studio of artists to assist/ghost pencil his work. Among these young comic creators was the writer of the group, Bill Finger. They were hired by Kane, not National and all work to come out of the studio was credited to Bob Kane. When National Comics (eventually DC Comics) editor Vin Sullivan asked him to create the next "Superman", he created "The Batman", who he drew in a red outfit, a mask in the style of Zorro, and a glider based on a sketch by Leonardo Da Vinci and the film The Bat Whispers (1930). He asked Finger for advice. It was Finger who suggested giving Batman a scalloped cape and an eared cowl, and he changed the costume from red to gray. He also introduced the detective aspect to Batman's character. He wrote the first Batman comic and many more. However, he died poor and uncredited. Years later, Kane expressed regret over this, yet he never allowed Finger to be credited as a co-creator.
Gave Adam West, who portrayed Batman on the 1960s television series, a drawing of Batman with the inscription "To my buddy Adam, who breathed life into my pen and ink creation.".
When signing a print of Batman and Robin in flight for an old friend, signed it "Bats Wishes Always".
The character Alfred Pennyworth was patterned after the servant Bernardo in the Zorro series. Sir Anthony Hopkins appeared in The Mask Of Zorro (1998), at one point pretending to be the servant Bernardo. Hopkins was later offered the role of Alfred Pennyworth in Batman Begins (2005), which he turned down.
Was set to have a cameo in Tim Burton's first Batman (1989) film, but had to back out due to poor health. He sketched the picture of the man-bat shown to Alexander Knox (Robert Wuhl) that appears in the film.
In his later years, Kane was married to actress Elizabeth Sanders, who had minor roles in three Batman films: Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997).
Was inspired by Conrad Veidt in "The Man Who Laughs" (1928) to create Batman's nemesis, The Joker.
Worked as an animator before entering the comic book industry.
Was inspired to create Batman by the mystery film The Bat Whispers (1930).
Attended high school and was good friends with "The Spirit" creator Will Eisner.
Co-created with Bill Finger the Batman villains cat burglar Selina Kyle/Catwoman, umbrella loving Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot/The Penguin, former District Attorney Harvey Dent/Two-Face, the master of fear Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow, shapeshifter Basil Karlo/Clayface, psychiatrist Dr. Hugo Strange and gangster Salvatore Vincent "The Boss" Maroni.
Co-created with Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson Batman's sidekick Dick Grayson/Robin, gangster Anthony "Tony" Zucco and Batman's most famous villain in his rogues gallery The Joker.
Co-created with Bill Finger the Batman allies of Police Commissioner James Gordon and photographer Vicki Vale as well as the concept of the Batmobile and Gotham City.
Co-created David Wood (uncredited) and Sheldon Moldoff (uncredited) the villain Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze.
Co-created (with Bill Finger and Gardner Fox), Bruce Wayne's mother Martha Wayne and co-created (with Bill Finger, Jerry Robinson and Gardner Fox), Bruce Wayne's father Dr. Thomas Wayne.
Co-created with Sheldon Moldoff, the character of Bette Kane (the original Batgirl).
Kane retired from DC Comics in 1966, choosing to focus on fine art.
His work is available to see in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City and St. John's University in Jamaica, New York.
He was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 21, 2015 (three days before what would have been his 100th birthday).
He was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1996.
Following his death, he was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in Los Angeles, California.
Co-created with Don Cameron Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth, who in his first appearance was a fat bumbling oaf called Alfred Beagle. He later changed appearance to more closely resemble his live-action film counterpart in the Batman serial. His new appearance was drawn by Jerry Robinson and soon a new last name (Pennyworth) and re-write to his back-story and personality was written by Bill Finger .

Personal Quotes (4)

[on director Tim Burton]: Tim has a great vision. Unfortunately, he gets so involved with the characterization of the villains, and the scenic backgrounds, that at times he forgets about the storyline.
[on uncredited Batman co-creator Bill Finger] Now that my longtime friend and collaborator is gone, I must admit that Bill never received the fame and recognition he deserved. He was an unsung hero. I often tell my wife, if I could go back fifteen years, before he died, I would like to say "I'll put your name on it now. You deserve it.".
Bill Finger was a contributing force on Batman right from the beginning. He wrote most of the great stories and was influential in setting the style and genre other writers could emulate. I made Batman a superhero-vigilante when I first created him. Bill turned him into a scientific detective.
There were other Batman writers throughout the years but they could never capture the style and flavor of Bill's scripts. Bill Finger was the best writer in the business and it seemed that he was destined to write Batman.

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