Frank Robbins

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Frank Robbins (born September 9, 1917 in Boston , Massachusetts , † November 28, 1994 in San Miguel de Allende , Guanajuato , Mexico ) was an American painter and comic book author and illustrator.


Robbins first attracted attention in 1926 when he - at the age of nine - won a drawing competition that was endowed with an art scholarship. As a teenager he began attending the National Academy of Design in New York, which he financed through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation , which he received in 1932. In the 1930s he worked - forced by the Great Depression to drop out of his studies - as a draftsman for various advertising agencies . In the early 1930s, he also worked as an interior designer, including murals for the NBC building in Radio City . In 1935, he designed advertisements for RKO Pictures before starting drawing comic strips for American newspapers in the 1940s, an activity that he continued into the late 1970s.

Robbins' marriage in 1945 had two children. In the 1950s he began creating large-scale paintings that were sold in galleries and even exhibited in museums.

Robbins had been working as a comic author and illustrator since the 1960s, but in the late 1970s - especially after he moved to Mexico in 1977 - he stopped working in the comic industry in order to devote himself entirely to painting.

Robbins as a painter

The outstanding characteristic of the painter Robbins is the dry brushstroke on which his work is based. His pictures are mostly in dark - predominantly black - tones and are characterized by curved shapes.

Robbins' work as a painter can now be found primarily in the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City .

Robbins as a comic artist

Robbins most important work was the comic strip "Johnny Hazard" published in American newspapers, which he created in 1944 and which he wrote and drew until he was hired in 1977.

As a comic book writer, Robbins worked for DC Comics in the 1960s and 1970s on well-known series such as Batman , Detective Comics , The Flash , House of Mystery , House of Secrets , Unknown Soldier .

In the mid-1970s, he moved to Marvel Comics , where he oversaw such series as Captain America , Fear and Ghost Rider . The most famous cartoon character created by Robbins was probably the Batman adversary Man-Bat , whom Robbins introduced to the Batman series together with the illustrator Neal Adams in the 1970 comic book Detective Comics # 400 and who became so popular that he even went to the Heroes of their own comic series - which was also written by Robbins - advanced.

He also wrote for other publishers on projects such as Human Fly , Invaders , The Shadow , Weird War Tales and Power Man . He also oversaw the comic book adaptation of the TV series The Man from Atlantis .

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