In comic books, origin stories often involve chance meetings, freak accidents or personal tragedies. Not many of them start on a tennis court in the Poconos. But that is where the career of Jerry Robinson, 88, the man who created the villainous Joker, began.
His fateful 1939 encounter with Bob Kane, the creator of Batman, is recounted in “Jerry Robinson: Ambassador of Comics,” a richly illustrated book by N. C. Christopher Couch, released last month by Abrams ComicArts. The book chronicles Mr. Robinson’s career as comic-book artist and writer, comics historian and editorial cartoonist. The sweet spot for comics fans will be the glimpse into the formative days of Batman — one of many stories the spry and grandfatherly Mr. Robinson shared during a recent interview in his Upper West Side apartment.
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The joker card pictured above is Mr. Robinson’s original concept sketch of the Joker, from 1940, which he rediscovered not long ago in the back of a drawer.
Who is your favorite super villain?