Monday, March 10, 2014

Bill Finger’s obituary: better 40 years late than never

Bill Finger died on January 18, 1974, in New York City.

The main mind behind Batman received no obituary in the New York Times.

Or anywhere else.

Except in The Amazing World of DC Comics #1:

I’m not dismissing this; I am glad someone did something. But Bill deserved so much more attention.

And who says an obituary must be published immediately after a passing?

Therefore, some time ago, I proposed to, I think, the New York Times and to the Huffington Post that I write Bill’s obituary to be run now.

An excerpt:

I am not suggesting a standard obit but rather a feature presented as an obit with an intro explaining that an actual obit should’ve run 40 years ago and this is a humble attempt to rectify that oversight. It is unthinkable now that someone of his cultural significance could die with no fanfare.

Because it’s Batman, and because Batman fans are passionately frustrated by Finger’s neglect, and because Batman is a New York story, I am confident that this particular approach would get a lot of attention—considerably more than a straightforward article. How often do you see a “posthumous obituary” (you know what I mean)?

I’ve long dreamed of seeing an obit for Finger in the NYT, the paper of the city in which he radically changed pop culture...

I did not hear back.


Dave1950 said...

Have read most of your essays on Bill Finger with great interest. I was a Batmanian 45 years ago when Biljo tried in vain to give Bill his due. He did succeed in one respect... the fans knew and Bob Kane and the powers at DC Comics knew that we knew. Perhaps that's all we can ever achieve. But I sincerely applaud you for the incredible work that you've done to further his cause.

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Thanks so much, Dave1950! I like knowing People Who Were There...

Captain Blog said...

Biljo White was a great torch carrier for Batman back when he was scheduled to be canceled! (right before the 'new look') He had a near complete Batman collection stored in his 'White House of Comics' out back of his house.
His fanzine, Batmania predates the Batman 1966 TV show and he was also a great artist who illustrated the 'zine profusely.
Others continued the publication after the rigors exhausted White and DC stopped letting him use the term he coined as the title.
'Beyond the Clock' (essentially Batmania vol 2) featuring artwork by then-fan, Butch Guice ran for twenty some odd issues after Batmania's demise.
If you need digital copies of Batmania, please let me know.
I would love to know who Dave1950 is.