Jerry Robinson, comics rights activist and creator of Batman villain The Joker, passed away in his sleep on Wednesday night at the age of 89 years old.
I hate writing articles like this, not only because it means that a creator whose work mattered to me as a reader and not only because he was a man for whom I have the utmost respect, but also because it’s impossible for me to do this man justice with anything I say about him. I cannot stress enough the importance of the creation of a character like The Joker and what kind of influence that has had on the comic book industry.
But it’s not just that. Robinson didn’t just create one of the most important characters of all time. It’s not just that he was one of the architects of the Golden Age of comics thus creating the comic book industry as we know it. I love Batman and that is undoubtedly a result of Jerry Robinson’s involvement with the character. But it’s not that simple. Jerry Robinson was an advocate for the rights of creators within the industry to protect them from corporate interest and doing whatever it is that he could to make sure that writers and artists were compensated for the contributions.
But it’s not even that simple, either. In recent years, Jerry Robinson became one of the last living creators of the Golden Age. In the convention circuit, the man spoke about the industry, the early days of Batman, and many more topics that provided readers, fans, journalists, and creators of enthralling behind the scenes stories of the comic book industry. So, in a very real way, conventions will always feel like they are missing something from now on. But it’s simply unfair to try and quantify his influence and presence in the industry into a story about his passing. The man did so much with his gifts and made sure that others did as well, but all of my words still seem very much on the surface. The point is that a great man has passed away, and it’s incredibly sad for a variety of reasons. He deserves a far better tribute than what I can offer.
Jerry Robinson is without a doubt an inspiration to readers, creators, and activists alike, and he will most definitely be missed by all that know him or have felt the influence of his work.
[Source: Comics Beat]