Working name of US Comic-book writer, artist and animator Robert Kahn (1915-1998), who is best known for co-creating Batman with writer Bill Finger. Kane's career began as a trainee animator at the Max Fleischer Studio; he joined the Eisner-Eiger comic-book workshop in 1937, drawing gag cartoons and a comedy adventure strip called Peter Pupp. His first work published by National (which later became DC Comics) included the two-page filler "Oscar the Gumshoe" for Detective Comics #18 (August 1938) and the Milton Caniff-influenced serial "Rusty and His Pals", written by Finger, for Adventure Comics #26-#52 (May 1938-July 1940). The remainder of his professional life, however, was associated with Batman, whose conception and development were heavily influenced by Finger: as Kane stated in Batman & Me: An Autobiography (1989; exp vt Batman & Me: The Saga Continues 1996) with Tom Andrae, "I made Batman a superhero-vigilante when I first created him. Bill turned him into a scientific detective." The Superhero character made his debut in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) and was an immediate and enduring success. Batman's young sidekick Robin was Finger's idea; his arch-Villain Nemesis the Joker was another collaboration; further regular villains including Catwoman, the Scarecrow and Two-Face were Kane's own creations; both he and Finger claimed credit for inventing the Penguin.
Kane eventually retired from DC Comics in 1966, but acted as a consultant for the film Batman (1989) directed by Tim Burton, and its three sequels (see Batman Films). He was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1996. [DRL/RT]
born New York: 24 October 1915
died Los Angeles, California: 3 November 1998
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