“His Last Ghost”
Yes, I was the ghostly Christmas-Yet-To-Come with a Jewish man.
Bob Kane? Batman/ Ham and eggs?
But not so much so after Batman became a big hit. Bob no longer had to work hard. Paid ghosts at lesser rate, and pocketed the rest, and lived on it very well.
Ghosts were a way of life for Kane. D.C. knew, or maybe didn’t, or maybe just didn’t give a damn. As long as the work was delivered on time. Didn’t matter, Kane had a contract, and as long as he was fulfilling it, they couldn’t gripe.
Anyway, this was long past that time.
As per, I flew with Julius Schwartz to Los Angeles for two days of hob-nobbing with the local royalty. And on this trip, Bob Kane was on the menu.
We arrived on Fountain Avenue in a rental car rented by Julie, but navigated by me, Kato.
The place, we discovered after that intercom thing and the buzzing, was spacious, with very high ceilings. Bob Kane, REAL Bob Kane paintings all over the vaulted walls. Julie and Bob talked and joked for quite a while, and finally, Bob turned his attention to me.
Okay, have Siegel and Shuster, or Jack Kirby turn their full attention to you for the first time. Would you tremble?
I did, late.
A middle-aged guy a’tremble. How pathetic is that?
Anyway, after the whole “fame” thing wore off, and it was pretty soon, Bob and I got along fine.
I showed him my work, and he invited me to be his ghost.
Well, quite an honor. Jerry Robinson I am not, or ever was.
What could you say to such an offer other than “no?”
So, until the end of his life, I ghosted every piece of art Bob Kane produced.
Now, unlike his other ghosts, Bob actually supplied the pencil art for the paintings for First Archives.
Unlike most human beings, I got to see the raw art of Bob Kane, with all of it’s potential, smeared with naiveté, and sadly, too many years of sloth and wealth.