DescriptionFred Ray and Jerry Robinson - Batman #11 Cover Original Art (DC, 1942). With a surreal, hard-hitting battle between the Clown Prince of Crime and the Dynamic Duo, this unbeatable cover is the earliest Batman, Robin, and Joker cover ever offered for public sale! Two young super-stars of DC Comics' Golden Age teamed to illustrate a spectacular slug-fest spotlighting the Joker in his first cover appearance on the Batman title. Only twenty-two years old when this cover was drawn, Fred Ray was an ace staff artist at DC. He was a naturally gifted artist who counted Howard Pyle, N. C. Wyeth, Hal Foster, and Noel Sickles among his major artistic influences. Fred Ray most likely penciled this scene and then the finished art was "tightened up" and inked by Bob Kane's talented "ghost artist" and assistant, Jerry Robinson. Robinson was a real-life boy wonder, even younger than Fred Ray. At the time he worked on this cover, Jerry was only twenty years old. Jerry Robinson began his comics career at age seventeen, and he recounted how it began: "I'd met Bob Kane the summer after I graduated from high school. In those days white painter's jackets were very popular with the college kids, and students would paint all sorts of razzmatazz on their jackets. I decorated my own as I had been the cartoonist on my high school paper. I was wearing this jacket while waiting to play tennis at a resort when a fellow came up and asked me who had drawn the cartoons. He turned out to be Bob Kane and he offered me a job as his assistant if I was willing to come to New York City. It seemed to be a great way to pay my college expenses, so I moved to New York and transferred to Columbia. I began lettering the strip and inking the backgrounds. After a while, I started to ink the figures as well, and pretty soon Bob would just pencil the strip and I would do the complete inking." In Alter Ego #39, comics historian Jim Amash summed up Jerry Robinson's enormous importance to the Batman feature, "Jerry Robinson stands among the top rank of Golden Age comic books innovators. His contributions to the Batman legend are monumental; he added a slick illustrative style to Bob Kane's cartoonishness, was key in the development of Robin, Alfred the butler, and perhaps most importantly, originated the most fantastic of the Batman villains: the Joker." This cover was drawn on illustration board and the image area of the art measures 12.5" x 17.25". Aside from glue staining to the original title logo stat, the art is in Excellent condition.
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