Monday, January 18, 2010

Bill Finger's yahrzeit

Thirty-six years ago today, Bill Finger, the uncredited co-creator of Batman, died at age 59.

Though Batman is by reliable accounts the most lucrative superhero in history, not to mention one of the most iconic fictional characters of the 20th century, it seemed that almost no one in pop culture noticed the passing of his prime architect.

DC Comics did run two tributes, one in an oversized reprint and the other in something akin to a fan magazine, Amazing World of DC Comics #1:

But it is safe to infer that neither of these was widely seen.

And neither answers questions that still rage at comic conventions, online, and in the minds of Batmaniacs everywhere.

Where did Bill die? How did he die? Where is he buried?

Those questions and more (Bill's real name? Bill's family? Bill's handwriting?) will soon be answered.

On 12/10/09, I received an e-mail from a Canadian student. Here is part of it (posted with permission):
Bill Finger's story is one of the great untouched tragedies with strong narrative potential.

It's remarkable that Jerry Robinson, Sheldon Moldoff, Charles Sinclair and others who worked with Bill are still living well into their 80s. It's like all the stars are aligning to tell Bill Finger's story.
Like Batman, Bill Finger was a creature of the night, so that is a fitting (not to mention touching) way to look at it. Most stars are visible only at night.

Until soon, the same could be said about Bill Finger.


Michael Town said...

Bill Finger deserved far better. I'm glad there are people like you attempting to give him his due. Thanks for your work, I'm really looking forward to your Bill Finger Project.

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Thanks Michael! You and me both! Kind of you to write.