Jerry Robinson (1922-2011)

It was Sunday of San Diego Comic Con 2009. All of us were tuckered out, as tends to be the case of the last day of Comic Con. We had gotten little sleep because we had to pack and check out of the hotel. I remember thinking to myself that this year’s SDCC had been successful and fun, the typical immediate nostalgia that occurs at the end of an event. My friends and I decided we’d stroll around the convention floor one last time.

We were in the Artist’s Alley when Dianne tugged at me and said, “Hey, look, it’s Jerry Robinson.” I looked and there he was. I remember he sat there with the most pleasant expression, without airs, and a sweet demeanor. I couldn’t believe it, partially because he is so iconic and important to the comic book genre, and also because I had somehow not seen his name in the program! There he was, sitting humbly.

I jumped in line and soon it was my turn. At first I didn’t quite know what to say to him, I was starstruck. Dianne, as always, had to hold my hand through the situation. She asked if she could take a picture of us. He smiled and said, “Yes!”

sdcc2009 / jerry robinson

I thanked him and then asked for his autograph. While I stood there he chatted with me. He asked me if I was enjoying the convention and where I came from. He made more of an effort to get to know me than most people who give out autographs. It was a surreal moment for me because I was chatting with this sweet man who helped create a character that used to give me terrible nightmares! Yes, I used to have nightmares about the Joker.

Once he gave me the autograph, I thanked him and told him how much I admired his work. He took my hand and said, “Thank you!” I walked away gushing like a young school girl, happy that meeting Jerry Robinson was my grand finale for Comic Con that year.

When I found out he passed away, I was saddened. Not only did we lose a man who contributed greatly to the comic book genre and artists’ rights, but we also lost a genuinely sweet and humble man. I immediately thought back to that Sunday of Comic Con when I had met him and how gracious he was with me and all of his other fans. He has an astounding legacy and there is no question that his contributions will be remembered for years to come.

More than his influence, more than his additions to Batman and comic book mythology, and more than his legendary status in comic book history, I will always remember Jerry Robinson as being one of the nicest people I have ever met.

Jerry Robinson (January 1, 1922  – December 7, 2011)

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