Ever wonder who created your favorite comic book character, Batman? The answer is Bob Kane. He was born in New York City in 1915 and his actual name was Robert Kahn. According to Kane, he was born with a pencil in his hand and loved to doodle. Since the age of 10, Kane knew he wanted to be a cartoonist. When his father would bring home the Sunday newspaper, Kane would sketch the comics just as well as the cartoonists who created them.
Even though at the time, most people didn’t know what a cartoonist was, Kane’s family encouraged him to draw. When he was 15 years old, Kane won 2nd place in a drawing contest. After graduating high school, Kane worked at Max Fleischer Studios which was known for Popeye and Betty Boop. After 6 months, he won a scholarship to study art.
He attended several art schools to perfect his talent. Kane landed his first job as a staff artist at Fiction House where he published his first comic work, Wow, What a Magazine #3, in 1936. Kane then went to work for DC Comics.
At that time, comic books were a fairly new industry. Comics became popular after the release of Superman in 1938. After seeing the success of Superman, Kane hoped to capitalize on that and created his own comic book character, Batman. In May 1939, Batman debuted in Detective Comics #27 and was a hit with comic book fans. Bob sold his story to DC Comics but kept a copyright interest in the Batman character because of advice from an attorney.
Bob Kane also created the cartoon, Courageous Cat & Minute Mouse in 1960 which was a parody of Batman & Robin. If you watch this cartoon, you’ll notice so many similarities such as the Catmobile, Catcave and even the Catsignal! Kane also served as a consultant on the Warner Bros. film, Batman with Michael Keaton however according to an interview with Adam West (video below), Kane was not a consultant on the 1966 Batman TV series but told West that he loved the show.
In 1998, Bob Kane passed away at the age of 83. Kane was always credited as the creator of Batman however in 2014 as DC Comics celebrated the 75th anniversary of the caped crusader, some controversy arose regarding Bill Finger. He was the writer of the Batman comic in 1939 and many other Batman comics but went uncredited in his role of co-creator. After so many years, Finger is finally getting the credit of co-creator of Batman.
In 2015, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored the late Bob Kane posthumously with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Ana Martinez, Walk of Fame producer, stated “Kane’s creation of American cultural icon Batman is every child’s dream superhero. We are excited to honor the man who gave life to this great character. Fans from all over the world have been waiting for this monumental day and we hope Kane’s shiny star forever inspires generations of creative minds.”