Saturday, June 26, 2010

Finger Tip #8: More than a hand

I’ve found enough Fingers to make a hand—halfway through a second, actually.

When I began researching Bill Finger, uncredited co-creator of Batman, I thought it would be relatively easy to find people from his family. I’d never heard of anyone else with the last name “Finger” and therefore assumed it must be uncommon.

However, I now know that it’s not sound logic to base judgment on what I have personally heard of. I quickly learned there are a lot of other Fingers out there.

In 2006 and 2007, I talked to a mob of them—and a few were indeed related, mostly cousins. (Some of the key Fingers—most significantly Fred, his only child—died before I started my research.)

Tellingly, some of the relatives did not know that a cousin had a significant role in the creation of Batman; some had never even heard of a cousin Bill.

Granted, this branch of the Finger family was big (some of the cousins are a generation or more apart in age). But that still surprised me. One cousin said her father had told her that one of her cousins had done the Green Hornet. (She later figured out that her father meant Green Lantern, indeed another co-creation of Bill’s.)

To date, I’ve found seven Finger relatives still named Finger (and others who were born Finger but now have married names, plus family on his first wife’s side). I’ve also encountered several more Fingers who are not related but who were nonetheless helpful in some way, or simply kind to hear me out long enough to say “Wrong Finger branch.”

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