Saturday, August 3, 2013

Rob's Room: Jim Steranko's Amazing Bob Kane Encounter

Wow... This story Jim Steranko tweeted last month about his meeting Bob Kane is a bit messed up & gossipy (things the Dork doesn't usually like on his wall), but it made my jaw drop so I have to share. (Insert imagined image of me cuffing The Dork across the face in a Rat Pack street-gesture as seen in a cheap flick!  "Love ya, Dork, baby!")

These are tweets, so read from the bottom of each to the top (or else read the transcript in entirety at the end of the post)...
Transcript found at Big Shiny Robot (which also has a nice Jerry Siegel story - but I came across the Bob Kane story first, so it get primary billing.):
I’d hadn’t encountered Kane in my travels, but at one rockin’ SDCC, an associate asked me if I wanted to meet him, and walked me into a hallway. There he was, in a small group of people, wearing patent-leather shoes–and an ASCOT, like he was Vitamin f******g Flintheart in a Dick Tracy cartoon.   
For years, I’d heard how he’d taken credit for Bill Finger’s contributions (in addition to half his pay) and other despicable tales from his associates. But nothing aces an in-person encounter. We were introduced and Kane began talking about my Batman chapter in the HISTORY OF COMICS, which treated him–and everyone else–very respectfully. He felt I credited Robinson & Finger (both of whom I knew intimately) too much. Kane (aka Kahn) was beyond pretentious, an intolerable ass as pompous as they come. I bit my tongue while he regaled us with his many achievements.   
The group was waiting for an elevator, which they stepped into when the door opened. Our conversation ended, but not before he said: “See you later, Jim, baby,” and cuffed me across the face–like some rat-pack street gesture he’d seen in some cheap flick. The doors closed…   
I was stunned by the sheer audacity of a stranger–like him–to lay a hand on me, and boiling with anger.  That night, I couldn’t sleep and the next morning began combing the halls for his Bat Majesty. Around noon, I found him in another group, which I walked into. “Good to see you, Bob, baby!” I said, then bitch-slapped him across the face. But this time, there was no elevator door closing between us. I stood there for about 15 seconds, waiting. He did nothing. I turned and left. But I regret it now. I regret that he didn’t do anything about it, even though he was at least a head taller than me. I wouldn’t have minded bleeding at all for one more opportunity to give Kane the kind of Bat Lesson that Finger, Robinson, Sprang and others only dreamed of.

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