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Sample Autograph Signature: Bob Kane

American comic book artist and writer credited as the creator of Batman. Bob Kane (1915 1998) was born in New York City as Robert Kahn and legally changed his name at age 18. At age 10, he knew he wanted to be a famous cartoonist, and the every Sunday copied the newspaper comic pages. After graduating from high school, he worked for six months at Max Fleischer Studios that did the Popeye and Betty Boop cartoons. He then won a scholarship to study art and attended the Commercial Art Studio for several months then went on to the Cooper Union and finally the Art Students League. He got his first cartoonist job as a staff artist in 1936 at Fiction House, the Eisner-Iger shop. His first published comic work was in the September 1936 issue of Wow, What a Magazine. While at Fiction House, he created Hiram Hick and drew features and fillers such as Peter Pupp, Pluto, Jest Laffs', and several others. In 1938 he also started working at National/DC Comics where he did fillers for features like Professor Doolittle, Ginger Snap and Oscar the Gumshoe. At DC Comics he also drew Rusty and his Pals and Clip Carson, adventure features written by Bill Finger. It was this collaboration with Finger which eventually led to his creation of the comic superhero Batman in May 1939 and his departure from Fiction House. Kane has said inspiration for The Bat-Man stemmed from actor Douglas Fairbanks' movie portrayal of Zorro, and author Mary Rinehart's mysterious villain The Bat. Batman's real name, Bruce Wayne, was said to be derived from the Scottish hero Robert the Bruce and General "Mad" Anthony Wayne of Revolutionary War fame. Batman first appeared in the May 1939 issue of Detective Comics (#27). Wisely, when he sold the first Batman story to DC, he had been advised by an attorney to insist on owning an interest in the copyright. Kane assembled a team that went on to create all the colorful and bizarre criminals faced by Batman: The Joker, Catwoman, Two Face, The Penguin and The Riddler. Although his name appeared on the strip until 1964, Kane only illustrated the comic until the mid 1940s after which the work was done mostly by other artists. Kane created a cartoon character in the 1950s which resulted in the TV show Courageous Cat. Later, he was asked to help with the development of the upcoming Batman TV show that debuted in 1965. Kane also created another cartoon called "Cool McCool" in 1969. Kane's comic work tapered off in the 1960s and by the late sixties he began a new career as a painter, exhibiting paintings in galleries on both coasts. He published an autobiography, Batman and Me, in 1989, and a sequel, Batman and Me, The Saga Continues, in 1996.

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Author: Bob Kane

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