Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finger Tip #6: Bill Finger rarely said cheese, part 2 of 2

Part 1.

The scarcity of photos of Bill Finger, uncredited co-creator and original writer of Batman,
is even more bewildering when I compare him to certain other historical figures.

For example, I wrote a book on the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s (only two decades before Finger was born). This was an event that

a) took place in the wild, wild, wild west
b) involved people you wouldn’t assume had a camera on them
c) was a rush—i.e. a largely unidentified crowd, which makes it harder to locate descendents

Yet sure enough, when I first saw the layout of the book, I was astounded that it included images of not one but several of the seemingly obscure people I’d mentioned by name. As I wrote the book, it hadn’t occurred to me that the photo editor would bother to look for such photos, let alone find any, especially given the time constraint.

Googling those miner names now, I see that some are more “famous” than they seemed to me when I was writing the book because I’d not heard of them previously.

But still, if you’d asked me after I wrote Klondike but before I began Finger which person would be easier to find a photo of, the most famous Klondike Gold Rush prospector or the co-creator of Batman, I’d bet on Batman.

And I’d lose.

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