Nerdites I must bring you sad news today. Yesterday we learned that Jerry Robinson had passed away in his sleep at the age of 89. For those of you who are not aware, Jerry was the young artist that first drew the Joker. As awesome as that is, it was not nearly his greatest contribution to comics. Born in January 1, 1922 he once told LA Times’ Hero Complex that he got his big break when he was at a resort at age 17 and Bob Kane saw his art work on a hat that he was wearing. A short time later he was in New York, enrolled at Columbia, and drawing for Batman.

Jerry was responsible for helping to draw Robin, Two-Face, and many of Batman’s infamous characters. It seems like such an interesting reversal of roles to imagine starting your career drawing for Batman, when now that could easily be considered some artists greatest goal. Robinson then spent the next three decades being a highly regarded political cartoonist, though he was not done with comics.

Probably his greatest contribution to comics was his tireless efforts to obtain rights for comic creators. Having worked in a time when it was standard for creators to work as contractors, never getting rights to their own creations, Robinson was not content to let creators work be taken from them. He was staunch supporter of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in their struggle to get rights and compensation for Superman, and helped them for many years.

His loss is not only an opportunity to mourn a wonderful artist and creator, but to celebrate someone who stood up for what he believed in and never sat back down. Jerry is an inspiration to every kid out there that longs to become a professional dreamer and the world is a little sadder without him in it. To Jerry’s family we would like to wish them our sincerest condolences. RIP Jerry Robinson December 7, 2011.