Saturday, February 8, 2014

No Google doodle for Bill Finger’s 100th birthday

At precisely midnight overlooking today, February 8, I tweeted this:


But as the world can see, the passionate movement to get Bill Finger the Google doodle for this milestone did not succeed.

Greatly appreciated support from The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, Washington Post, Spectator Tribune, Tablet, The Beat, Comic Book Resources, IGN, Bleeding Cool, Comics Alliance, Den of Geek,, many more sites, Kevin Smith (and his popular podcast Fat Man on Batman), Brad Meltzer, and other notables was not enough to convince Google how culturally significant this day—this man—is.

Most bafflingly, the tremendous outpouring of support from the public was not enough. I cannot thank you all enough. A sampling of early-morning tweets:

  • Is there really no Google Doodle at all on Bill Finger’s birthday? Very disappointing.
  • So sad that google didn’t come through.
  • Insult to injury, @GoogleDoodles. All those proposals for Bill Finger’s 100th and you go with no doodle at all today.
  • Your efforts for the likes of Finger, Siegel and Shuster remain incredible and admirable. Sorry Google didn’t come through.
  • Well Happy 100th Birthday to Bill Finger. Pretty disappointed @google didn’t do a doodle to celebrate and honor the true Batman creator.
  • So, Google hasn’t heeded the petition to have a Google Doodle to celebrate Bill Finger’s 100th birthday.
  • happy birthday to Bill Finger, although google didn’t produce, you however did sir!
  • Booooooogle

When I saw the (cool) Olympics opening day doodle yesterday, February 7, I worried.

So I did a quick study.

  • The only years Google ran an Olympic doodle daily were 2000 and 2012 (both times for the summer games).
  • In 2002, they ran a winter doodle on only some of the days.
  • In 2010, they ran a winter doodle only on opening day.
  • I reasoned that although this doodle actually went online on the evening of February 6, it was probably not technically running two days in a row. I believe it posted when it did because it was already the next day in Russia, where the Olympics are taking place.

It is bummer enough that there is no Bill doodle but somehow even worse that it’s not because there is an Olympic doodle. Seeing the regular Google logo sit motionlessly on the screen stings like a snub.

To be clear, I don’t feel Google owed me anything. But I do feel that we all owe Bill Finger something—and I thought Google was a bunch of geeks (term used lovingly)? Shouldn’t they have wanted to do this even without the massive petition?

Excerpt of my 1/31/14 email to the Google Doodle team leader Ryan Germick:

With only a week and a day till the proposed date for a doodle in honor of the 100th birthday of Batman co-creator Bill Finger, I realize that if it isn’t already in the works, it may be too late. But I’m an optimist.

Thus a brief update on the wildly enthusiastic and pervasive coverage this campaign has generated in the media (not to mention the thousands of tweets/posts/comments/etc.). As of the last time I wrote, the coverage was primarily in the pop culture press, but in the weeks since, it has crossed over into the mainstream. [I listed the press.]
Even some of the coverage is getting coverage. And I’m even seeing quite a few referrals on my blog from foreign-language sites that have run a story.

Huge, sincere thanks for your consideration. Fingers still crossed...

The e-mail I sent today:

Thank you for considering a doodle for Bill Finger, uncredited co-creator of Batman, on his 100th birthday (today). Many people are already contacting me disappointed that the campaign did not work.

Know you’re busy, and know it’s the weekend, but willing to squeeze in a two-minute interview for my blog to give the fans (including me) a pinch of rationale? If so, here are the questions:
  • I tried to keep up with the many hundreds of tweets, posts, comments, etc., but do you have a sense of roughly how many emails you got requesting a doodle for Bill Finger?
  • I didn’t find trace of any other doodle campaign that seemed to grow as large. In terms of size, how did this grassroots effort compare to others you’ve seen?
  • Why did you decide not to do a doodle for Bill today?
  • What about next year?

And a tweet to him (in response to a Batman-related tweet of his from just a week ago):

[IMPORTANT NOTE: For Bill’s sake, please do not also tweet him!]

Ultimately, Athena Finger, Bill’s lone grandchild, said something that made me feel a little better: “It would have been super cool if it happened but I really love the attention it brought to Bill and our cause; I have met some of the most amazing people in the last month and hearing their stories trumps anything Google did or didn’t do.”


John Trumbull said...

That stinks, Marc. I was really hoping it would happen, too, but kudos to you for taking it so well. Keep fighting the good fight!

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Thanks so much, John. Appreciate your support.

Unknown said...

You fought the good fight, man. I think Mr. Finger would have been pleased that people were sticking up for him and recognizing what a great talent he was.

marty said...

(note i relocated the comment in the proper post like you said)
Marc ,I understand you and everyone wanted to have a batman/bill finger Google doodle so i made one for you and everyone who respects batman and bill finger hope you like it: