Batman (comic strip)

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Batman
Author(s)Bob Kane (1943–1946)
Walter B. Gibson (1953), William Messner-Loebs (1989–1991)
Illustrator(s)Carmine Infantino and John Nyberg (1989–1991)
Current status/scheduleDaily and Sunday; concluded
Launch dateOctober 25, 1943
End dateAugust 3, 1991
Alternate name(s)Batman and Robin (1943–1946, 1953)
Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (1966–1972)
Syndicate(s)McClure Newspaper Syndicate (1943–1946)
Ledger Syndicate (1966–1972)
Creators Syndicate (1989–1991)
Genre(s)superhero; adventure

The Batman comic strip began on October 25, 1943, a few years after the creation of the comic book Batman.[1] At first titled Batman and Robin, a later incarnation was shortened to Batman. The comic strip had three major and two minor runs in American newspapers.

Batman and Robin (1943–1946)[edit]

The first series was written by Bob Kane and others. It was published as both a daily strip and a Sunday strip. This series has been reprinted by DC Comics and Kitchen Sink Press in one paperback volume of Sunday strips and three paperback volumes of daily strips. It was distributed by the McClure Syndicate. The strip ended on November 2, 1946.[1]

From Joe Desris's introduction to the first book of daily reprints: "...this newspaper strip, Batman and Robin,...has important historical significance: It is the last large body of work that Batman creator Bob Kane penciled completely solo...and it contains stories by all of the significant writers from the first five, formative years of the feature’s history: Don Cameron, Bill Finger, Jack Schiff and Alvin Schwartz.”[2]

Batman and Robin (1953)[edit]

The second series was written by Walter B. Gibson and was published on Sunday only, in September 1953.[1] This short-lived attempt to revive the Batman comic strip ran only in Arrow, the Family Comic Weekly, which was edited by Gibson. A few of these very rare strips are reprinted in the book Batman: The Sunday Classics 1943–46.

Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (1966–1973)[edit]

Although it was credited to "Bob Kane", this series was actually ghostwritten, as noted below. The strip ran on Sunday from May 29, 1966 to July 13, 1969 and daily from May 30, 1966 to 1973.[1] At first, this series was a campy revival drawing on the popularity of the Batman TV show, as exemplified by the guest appearance of celebrities like Jack Benny and public figures like Conrad Hilton. Later, it told more serious Batman stories and featured guest appearances by Batgirl, Superman and Aquaman. A 1970 sequence featuring the Green Arrow and the Man-Bat was reprinted in Amazing World of DC Comics #4-5 (1975). It was syndicated by the Ledger Syndicate.

Episode guide[edit]

Episode # Fan title Writer Artist(s) Start date End date Inc. dailies? Inc. Sundays?
01D Catwoman Whitney Ellsworth Shelly Moldoff 1966-05-30 1966-07-09 yes no
01S A Penguin with Shark Teeth Whitney Ellsworth Shelly Moldoff 1966-05-29 1966-07-10 no yes
02D Joker on Parole Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1966-07-11 1966-09-24 yes no
02S The Nasty Napoleon Whitney Ellsworth S. Moldoff/J. Giella/C. Infantino 1966-07-17 1966-10-16 no yes
03D Jolly Roger Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1966-09-26 1966-12-10 yes no
03S Batchap and Bobbin Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1966-10-23 1966-12-11 no yes
04 Poison Ivy Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1966-12-12 1967-03-18 yes yes
05 Batman Meets Benny Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1967-03-19 1967-04-30 yes yes
06 Batgirl Begins Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1967-05-01 1967-07-09 yes yes
07 Amnesia Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1967-07-10 1967-11-12 yes yes
08 Zodiac Whitney Ellsworth Joe Giella 1967-11-13 1968-04-07 yes yes
09 Superman's Missing Powers Whitney Ellsworth Al Plastino 1968-04-08 1968-08-12 yes yes
10 Aqua-Batman Whitney Ellsworth Al Plastino 1968-08-14 1968-12-16 yes yes
11 Plastic Surgery Whitney Ellsworth Al Plastino 1968-12-17 1969-03-30 yes yes

The Sunday strips ended July 13, 1969. The daily strips continued and were drawn by Plastino through Jan. 1, 1972, with Nick Cardy assisting on the art toward the end. They were written by Ellsworth until July 1970 and then by E. Nelson Bridwell. E. M. Stout took over the strip on January 3, 1972.[1] Batman and Robin continued to appear in the strip, but were now teamed up with a new hero called Galexo until it ended in 1973.[3]

This series was reprinted by The Library of American Comics in a three-volume collection which began in 2014 and was titled Batman - Silver Age Newspaper Comics.[4]

The World's Greatest Superheroes (1978–1985)[edit]

From April 3, 1978 to February 10, 1985, Batman appeared in a strip variously titled The World's Greatest Superheroes, The World's Greatest Superheroes Present Superman, and The Superman Sunday Special.[5] It was syndicated by the Chicago Tribune/New York News Syndicate. For information on writers and artists, see Batman: the Sunday Classics 1943–46.

Batman (1989–1991)[edit]

The most recent revival of the strip, titled simply Batman, ran Sunday and daily from November 6, 1989, to August 3, 1991. The first story was written by Max Allan Collins and drawn by Marshall Rogers. All of the other stories were written by William Messner-Loebs and drawn by Carmine Infantino and John Nyberg.[6] It was syndicated by Creators Syndicate. All of these strips were reprinted in Comics Revue.

Episode guide[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Holtz, Allan (2012). American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. pp. 65–66. ISBN 9780472117567.
  2. ^ Batman: the Dailies 1943--1944, Kitchen Sink Press, DC Comics, 1990, ISBN 0878161198
  3. ^ Greenfeld, Dan. "Galexo: The Strange Lost Chapter of Batman Lore," 13th Dimension (Nov 6, 2016).
  4. ^ http://13thdimension.com/exclusive-batman-art-the-public-hasnt-seen-in-nearly-50-years/ Retrieved 2019-03-30
  5. ^ Holtz, Allan (2012). American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. p. 418. ISBN 9780472117567.
  6. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Running Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7624-3663-7. Shortly after the 1989 feature [film], Batman even returned to the funny pages for a bit, in a comic strip by...legendary artist Marshall Rogers. Lacking enough support from various papers to make it financially feasible, the new comic strip folded after two years, despite Carmine Infantino trying his hand at its art chores.

External links[edit]