Sunday, July 1, 2012

The three winners of my Bill Finger book are…

After six years of work, Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman officially releases today.

And in honor, here are six words you’ve been waiting for: Bill the Boy Wonder contest results! None of this "random drawing" stuff. This is a contest whose win you had to earn!

The task: describe Bill Finger’s legacy in exactly six words. We had a competitive 37 entries (read them here) plus a few stray ones on Facebook and choosing my favorite three was truly tough. But choose I must and so...

The winners (in order of submission):

Winner #1: Not credited, but also not forgotten.
Submitted by: Michael Bradley
Why it’s a winner: It strikes me as more positive than negative. Only DC Comics does not officially credit Bill. Fans everywhere do.

Winner #2: Without Bill, Batman's parents would live.
Submitted by: Gil
Why it’s a winner: It cleverly cuts right to Batman’s essence—and in doing so explains the ingenuity of Bill’s character construction. Bill was the first writer to give a superhero a psychological reason for fighting crime. This made Batman seem more relatable, and I believe is a big part of why he remains popular today.

Winner #3: Bob Kane's secret identity: Bill Finger.
Submitted by: chicoperdido815
Why it’s a winner: Several entries play with the relationship between Bill and Bob and I feel this one does it best because it seems more about implying Bill’s contribution than vilifying Bob’s transgression. Though I don’t believe Bill’s legacy is tied to Bob, this particular approach nonetheless rings right to me.

The runners-up (again in order of submission):

Runner-up #1: Great unsung tinker? Surely Bill Finger!
Submitted by: Kristian9K
Why I like it: Coincidence! Though the submitter could not have known this, Bill was nicknamed “Tink” in high school. Bill’s yearbook photo is reprinted in my author’s note, and will be posted here along with the copy showing the nickname.

Runner-up #2:
Dear Bill Finger,
Submitted by: name not published
Why I like it: It’s so kind-hearted.

Runner-up #3: Marc Rightly Finger'd Kane Robin' Bill.
Submitted by: name not published
Why I like it: Though several entries include puns—as Bill sometimes did, and as my book does to pay tribute to that—I feel this one is the most inventive because of the way it uses “Robin.”

To the three winners: congrats. I will be in touch for mailing addresses, after which I will send your signed copies promptly.

Thank you to all who participated. Even if you didn’t win, so many of you indeed captured a wonderful way of looking at Bill Finger’s legacy. I am touched at how poignantly a man none of us knew personally can be honored, and in only six words.


Anonymous said...

I'm writing all the way from Valencia, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

I just bought your book, which I'm extremely eager to read and will do so immediately after I've put my little daughter Sara to bed and told her her bedtime story.

You can understand perfectly what your book means to me, since I'm a 39 year old Bat-Fan who learned the truth about my favourite character's origin when I was 17 and have been outraged (to put it mildly) with the misfortunes of Bill Finger ever since. I even wrote a very powerful piece about the subject some eight years ago where I pulled no punches against Kane.

You, Marc, are one of the good guys. And that's quite the compliment, since as Jesse Custer's dad used to say, "there's way too many of the bad".


Marc Tyler Nobleman said...


Thank you. I am more than touched to read this. I really appreciate you taking the time to share it. What did you do with the piece you wrote eight years ago?

Please come back and let me know what you think of the book.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Marc... there's so much I want to say about your book. Let's see if I can turn all my thoughts into coherent writing. And, please, excuse me if sometimes my English is rusty.

First of all, I enjoyed your book immensely and was deeply touched with your notes in the postscript. But more on that later.

The decision to choose a children's storybook format to tell Bill's tale is a bold one. Casual older readers may pass on your book due to silly predujices.

I think it's a great idea to get Bill's truth out into the public starting with our youngest ones. For me, teaching moral values to kids never gets old.

The format also doesn't show all the enormous amount of research that you've put into the book, which readers of your blog have followed first hand. A more immodest fella would have probably written a few hundred pages long study.

Ty Templeton was the best possible artist for this tale. Pure genius. A big round of applause to you for picking him, to your editors for green-lighting him, and to Ty for doing a wonderful job.

About my piece on Finger... it went nowhere. I wrote it when Batman Begins started filming. I didn't want millions of people arund the globe to see again in huge cinema screens that false statement that is "Batman created by Bob Kane". My idea was to pitch it to a Spanish comics magazine and see if I could rally Spanish Bat-Fans and make enough noise online to make fans all over the world notice, join us and together try to get Warner Bros. to give Bill a co-creator credit in the film. I even thought about getting in touch with the guy who runs Batman On Film about it. But life, in the form of some health complications for my wife and all hell breaking loose at my job at the same time, got in the way. When finally things settled happily, the movie had already premiered and my plans didn't make much sense anymore...

But back to yor book... as I wrote at the beginning, the best part of all was reading in your notes at the end how your work has served to bring Bill's living and breathing legacy, his granddaughter and great grandson, some share of justice.

Did you know that you're from now on part of Batman's history for acomplishing such a feat? You’re name is forever linked to Finger's.

You've done something very special, man.

Yesterday I told you you were one of the good guys. Today, I call you a HERO.

Nobleman… indeed.


Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Wow, Rafael, I am not only supremely humbled but also seriously impressed. You're so kind - not to mention eloquent (rusty? Nonsense!) and astute. It's so rewarding for me that you get why I wrote this in picture book form when it could have been a longer work. Thank you so much for your time. Maybe this book will reignite your noble intention to spread the word about Bill Finger throughout Spain!

Anonymous said...

No, Marc, thank YOU.

For now, I'm spreading the news about your book among my friends, one of them the owner of a comics shop called "Gotham" (really!!) that has ordered more copies on my recomendation.

Oh, and I'm going to get me a copy of "Boys of Steel" as soon as I can. And of course, I'll regularly check out your blog to see what you're up to.

You see, as I already told you, I've got a little daughter. And she loves a good story.

And so does her dad.

I sincerily wish "Bill The Boy Wonder" and yourself the brightest of futures.