Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Bill Finger (1914-1974) was one of those uncredited Golden Age comics writers. He worked anonymously on Batman with Bob Kane. He created the Batman we know today -- the costume, the Sherlock Homes-style detective, the Doc Savage-like scientist.

It was 1938 in the then-new post-Superman age. Action Comics #1 had created a sudden boom in superhero comics. Content was needed. New superheroes were welcome.

Bob Kane had sketched an idea for "The Batman" (in a red suit!) and called his friend Bill to brainstorm about it.

"I got Webster's Dictionary off the shelf and was hoping they had a drawing of a bat, and sure enough it did. I said, 'notice the ears, why don't we duplicate the ears?' I suggested he draw what looked like a cowl... I had suggested he bring the nosepiece down and make him mysterious and not show any eyes at all... I didn't like the wings, so I suggested he make a cape and scallop the edges so it would flow out behind him when he ran and would look like bat wings. He didn't have any gloves on. We gave him gloves because naturally he'd leave fingerprints." -- quote from Legions of Gotham

So, even though pretty much every Batman story had a "by Bob Kane" credit, that was not true.

Marc Tyler Nobleman corrects this. The prolific author has a new book out, with illustrations by Ty Templeton, titled BILL THE BOY WONDER: THE SECRET CO-CREATOR OF BATMAN. Like Marc's previous BOYS OF STEEL, BILL THE BOY WONDER sets out to give credit where credit's due. Bill Finger, decades after his death, is on the map.

Here's a fun video to promote the YA book, which will be out in July 2012:

1 comment:

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Thanks for the plug, Mike!