Monday, September 6, 2010

The superlative man

Bill Finger has writing credits in comic books, TV, film, and even the military. When researching him, almost everyone I spoke with spoke of him in the superlative.

Below is a selection from comics people (some from unpublished interviews I conducted); while a few aren't technically superlatives, they have the same effect.

Lew Sayre Schwartz, artist:

  • “They were always the most imaginative, they were always the best stories.”
  • “I got out of the comic business for a living in the mid-50s but I remember those scripts like it was yesterday.”
Jerry Robinson, artist:
  • “the greatest comics writer of his time, and maybe since”
  • “the best writer in comic books”
Irwin Hasen, artist:
  • “Of all of the writers, he was probably the most creative.”
  • “the greatest guy in the business at the time”
  • “He was the best of all of them.”
Ed Brubaker, writer:
  • “He was the most inventive guy on the book.”
Mark Evanier, writer:
  • “[Editor/writer] E. Nelson Bridwell picked stories to include in reprints. Writers’ names weren’t on them but most of what he picked were Bill Finger stories.”
Julie Schwartz, editor:
  • “best scripter in the business and the true cocreator [sic] of Batman”
  • “the genius of comics” (one of many who used the word “genius”)
Dick Sprang, artist:
  • “best writer in comics”
  • “the master storyteller of the comics. ... By his skill at the typewriter he held the brush in my hand.”
Alfred Bester, writer:
  • “the star comics writer of the time”
Les Daniels, author of DC Comics: A Celebration of the World’s Favorite Comic Book Heroes:
  • “perhaps the best comic book writer of his era”
Bob Kane, artist:
  • “first and best writer [of Batman]”
  • “the Cecil B. De Mille of the comics”
  • “the sweetest, most personable guy [I] ever met”
See also: Bill Finger receives official credit for Batman—almost.