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    Bob Kane - Creator Of Batman
    Sunday, April 09, 2006

    Bob Kane (October 24, 1915–November 3, 1998) was the creator of Batman, although many feel that Bill Finger should be unofficially acknowledged as the co-creator of the character.

    He was born Robert Kahn but legally changed his name to the familiar "Kane" at age 18. An eager young artist, Kane came to the burgeoning comics world in 1936 with his own book that led to various assignments in the following years. Following the success of Superman in Action Comics, editors at National Publications (now DC Comics) requested more superheroes comics. In response, Kane created a character called "bird-man" among many, before settling on "The Bat-Man" which was partly influenced by his love of Douglas Fairbanks' Zorro and Mary Rinehart's mysterious villain The Bat.

    Kane's collaborator/studio writer, Bill Finger offered such suggestions as giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, giving him a cape instead of wings, gloves, and removing the bright red sections of the original costume, suggesting a gray/black color scheme that would echo that worn by THE PHANTOM, right down to leaving the eyeholes in the cowl blank to connote mystery. Finger wrote the first Batman story, while Kane provided art. Because Kane had already submitted the proposal for a Batman character to his editors at DC Comics, Kane was the only person given official credit at the time for the creation of Batman, in a tradition that was absent in the comic books but was routine in the more lucrative field of the daily newspaper strips; the most notable being AL CAPP, LIL' ABNER'S creator who also never gave his writer(s) a byline.

    The character was a breakout hit, but National sought to improve sales even further. Editors suggested that the character receive a youthful sidekick whom the readers could use as an audience surrogate. Kane,partly inspired by the Junior character from DICK TRACY, initially suggested an impish character named Mercury, while Finger suggested a more down-to-earth character. The name "Robin" was suggested by Jerry Robinson (Kane's inker) after the then popular Errol Flynn movie The Adventures of Robin Hood. (Robinson also created the basic concept of the Joker, which was eventually re-modeled by Kane and Finger into the "Clown Prince of Crime" that we know of today.)

    Kane, the more business-savvy of the Kane-Finger creative team, negotiated a contract with National, signing away any ownership that he might have in the character in exchange for, among other compensations, a mandatory byline on all Batman comics stating "Batman created by Bob Kane", regardless of whether he was involved in the specific issue. Bill Finger's contract, by comparison, left him with a monetary pittance and no credit even on the stories that he wrote without Kane, as was the standard policy during that era.

    Kane's major contributions to Batman were in the 1940s. When DC wanted still more product than Kane's studio could deliver, DC hired several "ghost pencilers" to produce "cloned" in-house stories. Eventually, towards the close of the 40s, Kane hired his own personal "ghosts" although he would still act, essentially, as an "art director".

    As Kane's comic work tapered off later in his career, Kane parlayed his official status as sole creator of Batman into a low level of celebrity. He enjoyed a post-comic book career as a painter, showing his work in art galleries. Even some of these paintings were produced by other, uncredited artists, now ghost-painting under Kane's name. He wrote an album The Adventures of Batman & Rubin (Jewish Boy Wonder) for the team of Allen & Rossi to capitalize on the popularity of the television show. In 1989 he published his autobiography, Batman and Me in 1989, and a second volume Batman and Me, The Saga Continues in 1996. He made numerous appearances to promote the first book.

    Kane is interred in Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

    Source : Wikipedia
    posted by J @ 1:31 PM  
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