According to the Bat-Blog History Files today is a great day! Today, January 22nd, the Legendary Comic Book Artist Marshall Rogers was born in Flushing, New York ( a Borough of Queens ). In High School he was inspired by a Mechanical Drawing class and decided he wanted to be an Architect. But later, after attending Kent State University, he discovered that Calculus was just wayyy too hard, ha! Plus, he wanted to be more creative. So he decided to try working as an Illustrator.
He submitted work to Marvel Comics but that didn’t lead anywhere. He worked odd jobs to support himself while acquiring small assignments from small Magazines. Then, a big break! He started his comic book career working for Atlas, a short-lived comics publisher. They claimed his work was “too detailed”, took too long to draw. It was around this time that he got another big break. He started doing small jobs for DC Comics. His first, was “retouching” reprints of 1940’s Batman stories. But this wasn’t enough so he tried getting more work at both Marvel & DC Comics. Marvel gave him his 1st big assignment working in their Magazine division. He began drawing “The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu” where he worked with Chris Claremont doing “Iron Fist” stories.
Now, here’s the part where he really becomes a part of Bat-History! Around 1977 he began working with the Writer Steve Englehart on a, now classic, Batman storyline that ran in Detective Comics #471 thru 476. This was the famous “Joker’s Laughing Fish” story. This event also heavily influenced the 1989 Tim Burton BATMAN Movie. It’s also important to note that later Rogers began work on the BATMAN Newspaper Comic Strip that ran from November 6, 1989 to August 3, 1991. To check that out, just click HERE!
Sadly, Rogers passed away on March 24th, 2007. He was found by his Son & the Family reports that he had a heart attack. Also, the Coroner reported that he, “might have been dead for a few days”. Among Batman Fans, Friends & Family he is greatly missed. His work in the 1970’s and 80’s is right up there with the works of Dennis O’Neil/Neal Adams and Jim Aparo. Classic stuff!! I have a few Friends who state that they had met him at various Comic Book Conventions & they all said, “He was a really nice guy, very talkative & quite friendly”.
Much of Rogers’ work is now considered vastly important and some of his work was collected in two early Graphic Novels titled, “Batman: Strange Apparitions” & “Batman: Dark Detective”. Then, later, and actually very recent, a more definitive Graphic Novel was created called “The Legends of the Dark Knight by Marshall Rogers”. This book reprints: Detective Comics # 468, 471-479, 481, Legends of the Dark Knight # 132-136, Batman: Dark Detective # 1-6 and more! Check out this LINK for more details on that.
I apologize for getting kind of carried away with this post, it’s almost a “book”, ha! But this Comic Book Artist was always a Favorite Childhood Hero of mine. His artwork is really great! Down below I created a “Marshall Rogers Tribute” Wallpaper. I hope you use it as an inspiring background on your desktop.