Jerry Robinson, the man who is credited for the creation of The Clown Prince of Crime, passed away in his sleep at the age of 89 this Thursday, December 8. Blogsite NYC Graphic Novelists was the first to break the story, and soon many other comic book websites, including Newsarama and Comic Book Resources, followed with reports soon after.
Thanks to his contributions in Batman, thousands of readers and fans have gotten the best possible bad guy to reflect why the Caped Crusader does what he does - to protect people from an insane and sociopathic individual who literally became what he is because of a bad day. The Joker, even after undergoing through so many transformations and interpretations through the years, has remained the most menacing and memorable villain in the history of comics and beyond. Even his portrayals in mediums such as cartoons and movies remain faithful to Robinson's creation, with Mark Hamill lending his voice to the character since Batman: The Animated Series (and recently retiring a few months ago), and stars like Jack Nicholson and the late Heath Ledger delivering sheer excellence with their interpretations of the clown in the 1989 Batman film and 2008's The Dark Knight respectively.
Truly, we owe a debt of gratitude and respect to Jerry Robinson, and his legacy will always live on in the hearts of readers and fans alike. For more on the story and his legacy, visit Newsarama, CBR, NYC Graphic Novelists, DC The Source, and the official Jerry Robinson Art website. As a final look at the living legend, here he is when he appeared at the 2009 New York Comic-Con, talking about how he created The Joker.
R.I.P, Jerry Robinson, and thank you for the smiles and creations you have blessed us with.