Collection inventory

Special Collections home page

Jerry Robinson Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: 2001-01-01

Biographical History

Jerry Robinson (1922- ) is an American comic book artist and cartoonist.

Robinson was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1922 and studied journalism at Columbia University. Robinson is known for his work on Batman, which is where his career began in 1939 after meeting Bob Kane, creator of the then-new superhero. He has been credited with creating The Joker (whether alone or with Bill Finger and Bob Kane has been disputed) and assisting in the development Batman's sidekick, Robin the Boy Wonder.

During the 1940s and 1950s, Robinson also worked on comic books for Feature Comics, Harvey Comics and Marvel. He worked on The Green Hornet and tried his hand at an original superhero, Atoman for Spark Comics. Robinson also ghosted on Kerry Drake and the Lone Ranger. In 1953 Robinson launched his first newspaper strip, a science fiction piece entitled Jett Scott, which was syndicated by the New York Herald Tribune and lasted until 1955. He followed this with Still Life and a Sunday page for the New York Daily News entitled True Classroom Flubs and Fluffs (1964-1984). From 1977 to 1995, Robinson also produced Life with Robinson for the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate.

Robinson has also written and illustrated books including The Comics: An Illustrated History of Comic Strip Art (1974). He has curated exhibitions in several countries and has been commissioned by the United Nations to produce exhibitions including a 2007-2008 exhibition for the 60th anniversary of the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Robinson has been active in many professional organizations. He served as president of the National Cartoonists Society and the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. Robinson was involved in the overseas tours NCS organized to entertain military personnel. Robinson received the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award from NCS in 2002 and received awards for Best Comic Magazine Artist (1956), Best Special Feature (1966) and Best Syndicated Panel (1964). He founded and was president of the Cartoonists and Writer's Syndicate and was a board member for the International Museum of Cartoon Art. He has also received honors from the International Salon of Humor, International Pavilion of Humor in Montreal and at Comic-Con International in San Diego. He has also been involved with the Society of Illustrators and the Overseas Press Club and taught cartooning at the School of Visual Arts during the 1950s.

As of 2010, Jerry Robinson operated CartoonArts International and the Cartoonists & Writers Syndicate which included 550 artists from over 75 countries.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jerry Robinson Papers are arranged in five series and contain correspondence from readers, artwork, printed material and research material.

Cartoons (1953-1970) contains original artwork, sketches, clippings and proofs of Robinson's newspaper comic strips and panel cartoons Still Life (Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate), Jett Scott (New York Herald-Tribune) and Flubs and Fluffs (New York Daily News). There are also preliminary pencil sketches for Jett Scott and Flubs and Fluffs. Robinson's 161 completed artworks were drawn in ink. The series includes proofs produced in both color and black and white.

Reader Suggestions (opened) and Reader Suggestions (unopened) comprise the bulk of this collection. These series contain submissions by readers of Flubs and Fluffs from 1965 to 1986. Children submitted many of these and some include drawings. One series contains letters that have been opened and the other series contains unopened letters. Some of the incoming mail appears to have was submitted in response to a newspaper advertisement offering ten dollars for the winning suggestion.

The Work Files series consists of research material used by Robinson for the revised edition of his book, The Comics: an Illustrated History of Comic Strip Art (originally published in 1974) as well as for the production of a cartoon calendar. The material includes photocopies and mockups with notes and commentary. Of particular interest are promotional information packets for comic strips popular in the 1990s and 2000s including: Baldo, Cathy, Jump Start, Family Tree, Garfield and Over the Hedge.

Miscellaneous (1953-1972) contains one item of biographical material, assorted printed material and correspondence that is unrelated to the Flubs and Fluffs submissions.

Arrangement of the Collection

Submissions that were unopened prior to donation have remained unopened. It has been sorted by postmark and foldered by month and/or year.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Unopened mail may be opened at the request of researchers. Please contact reading room staff for assistance.

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has collections of over one hundred cartoonists. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Robinson, Jerry.

Corporate Bodies

New York Herald Tribune (Firm)

Associated Titles

Daily news (New York, N.Y. : 1920)
Jett Scott (comic strip)
Still life (cartoon)
True Classroom Flubs and Fluffs (cartoon)


American wit and humor, Pictorial.
Caricatures and cartoons -- United States.
Cartoonists -- United States.
Comic books, strips, etc.
Language and languages -- Caricatures and cartoons.

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Children's drawings.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Comic strips.
Fan mail.
Promotional materials.
Proofs (printed matter)
Research notes.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Jerry Robinson Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Jerry Robinson, 1967-1974, 2009-2010.

Table of Contents


Reader suggestions (opened)

Reader suggestions (unopened)

Work files