Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bill Finger’s sole official credit in his lifetime...on Superman?

Only once in his lifetime, Bill Finger received a “written by” credit on a first-run Batman story, and it wasn’t a comic book.

And though he wrote Superman stories, too (he created Lana Lang!), same deal—one credit, in TV:

“Lava Men” is an episode of The New Adventures of Superman, a Filmation series of animated shorts that debuted in 1966.

Though there is currently almost no trace online that Bill wrote for this series, in 2006, I did follow a path to determine that this was the case. But I didn’t look for the visual proof until now.

Thank you to Bill Davis of Toronto for prompting me to revisit this.

Adios, Señor Superhombre.


Excerpts from emails with Bill’s second wife Lyn Simmons, and one other, in figuring this out:

From: Marc Tyler Nobleman
To: Lyn Simmons
Sent: Saturday, October 14, 2006 9:02 AM
Subject: Hi Lyn - Superman movie

You said they called Bill to ask him to come to California to write a script for the Superman movie. I've talked with a few people who were involved with the film and they don't remember that. Are you sure?

There was another writer named Alfred Bester who was friends with Bill who was definitely asked—there are written accounts online. Did you know Alfred? Is it possible you're confusing the two? Can you remember any more details?

From: Lyn Simmons
Sent: Saturday, October 14, 2006 4:25 PM

good to hear from you marc. bester's name rings a bell but don't think i ever met him. i'm pretty sure that bill received invitation to ca to write superman films. it's so long ago and i could be mistaken but I don't think so. in any event he never went. he had anxiety about flying and about leaving nyc.

bill may never have told his fellow writers about ca because he didn't want to explain why he wasn't going.

From: Pierre Spengler
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2006 1:05 PM

We purchased the rights in november 1974 and therefore started hunting for writer in the beginning of 1975. Very soon thereafter we engaged Mario Puzo. Therefore we never approached Bill Finger.

From: Lyn Simmons
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 10:18 AM

i believe he was asked to come out to ca in the late 60s. i'm pretty sure it was superman. maybe they wanted him out there for ideas or stories a year or so before he died which i think was in '74. but perhaps it was for cartoons.

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