Batman (comic strip)
The Batman comic strip began a few years after the creation of the comic book Batman. 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
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 Sunday and three daily volumes. It was distributed by the McClure Syndicate.
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.”
Batman and Robin, 1953
The second series was written by Walter B. Gibson and was published on Sunday only. 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, 1966–1974
Although it was credited to "Bob Kane", this series was actually ghostwritten, as noted below. The strip ran on Sunday from 1966 to 1969 and daily from 1966 to 1974. At first, this series was a camp 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 Green Arrow and Man-Bat was reprinted in Amazing World of DC Comics #4-5 (1975). It was syndicated by Ledger Syndicate.
|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||1968-03-??||yes||yes|
|09||Superman's Missing Powers||Whitney Ellsworth||Al Plastino||1968-03-??||1968-08-15||yes||yes|
|10||Aqua-Batman||Whitney Ellsworth||Al Plastino||1968-08-16||1968-12-05||yes||yes|
|11||Plastic Surgery||Whitney Ellsworth||Al Plastino||1968-12-06||1969-05-??||yes||yes|
The Sunday strip 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. A new artist and writer took over the strip on January 3, 1972. Batman disappeared from the strip, although Bruce Wayne continued as a character. The strip featured a hero called Galexo until it ended in 1974.
The World's Greatest Superheroes, 1978–1985
From 1978 to the late 1980s, Batman appeared in a strip variously titled The World's Greatest Superheroes, The World's Greatest Superheroes Present Superman, and The Superman Sunday Special. It was syndicated by the Chicago Tribune/New York News Syndicate. For information on writers and artists, see Batman: the Sunday Classics 1943–46.
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. It was syndicated by Creators Syndicate. All of these strips were reprinted in Comics Revue.
- Batman: the Dailies 1943--1944, Kitchen Sink Press, DC Comics, 1990, ISBN 0878161198
- 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 0-7624-3663-8. "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."
- A Change of Costume (2/11/46 - 3/23/46) part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4 part 5 part 6 part 7
- part 8 part 9 part 10 part 11 part 12 part 13
- part 14 part 15 part 16 part 17 part 18
- 1966 Batman and Robin Comic Strips based on the television show (Penguin storyline from 1966 Sunday strip debut)
- January 7, 1967 strip with Conrad Hilton
- Jack Benny Meets Batman
- Spotlight: Batman Comic Strip (1970 sequence reprinted in Amazing World of DC Comics #4)
- Galexo Found!
- Obscurity of the Day: Batman (samples of the 1989-1991 strip)