Bob Kane

Early Life

Robert Kahn was born in New York City, New York. His parents, Augusta and Herman Kahn, an engraver, were of Eastern European Jewish descent. A high school friend of fellow cartoonist and future Spirit creator Will Eisner, Robert Kahn graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and then legally changed his name to Bob Kane. He studied art at Cooper Union before joining the Max Fleischer Studio as a trainee animator in 1934.


He entered the comics field two years later, in 1936, freelancing original material to editor Jerry Iger's comic book Wow, What A Magazine!, including his first pencil and ink work on the serial Hiram Hick. The following year, Kane began to work at Iger's subsequent studio, Eisner & Iger, which was one of the first comic book "packagers" that produced comics on demand for publishers entering the new medium during its late 1930s and 1940s Golden Age. Among his work there was the funny animal feature Peter Pupp. Kane also produced work through Eisner & Iger for two of the companies that would later merge to form DC Comics, including the humor features Ginger Snap in More Fun Comics, Oscar the Gumshoe for Detective Comics, and Professor Doolittle for Adventure Comics. For that last title he went on to do his first adventure strip, Rusty and his Pals.



In early 1939, DC's success with the seminal superhero Superman in Action Comics prompted editors to scramble for more such heroes. In response, Bob Kane conceived "the Bat-Man." Kane said his influences for the character included actor Douglas Fairbanks' movie 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. The character debuted in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) and proved a breakout hit.


Batman was a combination of [Douglas] Fairbanks and Sherlock Holmes. Holmes had his Watson. The thing that bothered Mr. Kane was that Batman didn't have anyone to talk to, and it got a little tiresome always having him thinking, "I found that as I went along Batman needed a Watson to talk to. That's how Robin came to be." Kane, who had previously created a side-kick for Peter Pupp, proposed adding a boy named Mercury who would have worn a "super-costume". A colleague suggested a normal human, along with the name "Robin",  after  Robin Hood books he had read during boyhood.



©2017 Texas Christian Homeschool Prom, Inc.