Sunday, August 9, 2015

What Bill Finger left behind

In a way, it makes sense that the primary creative force behind Batman would be something of a mystery, but Bill Finger took that too far—or rather, circumstances (some but not all beyond his control) took that too far.

When Bill died in 1974, his son Fred took care of what little he had to his name. The fate of most of his personal belongings is lost to time. I’m told Fred offered to donate Bill’s now-legendary gimmick books to DC Comics, but DC declined. (Unbearable.) Presumably, Fred then tossed them. (Again unbearable. But understandable.)

What of Bill’s did survive?

A paperweight.

A sculpture of his first wife, Portia. Here is Bill’s longtime friend Charles Sinclair gifting it to Bill’s granddaughter Athena (2014).

A desk (partially obscured; a smaller sliver of it can also be seen in previous photo).

A signature (1945).

Another signature (1963).

A letter (1965).

Another letter (1965).

A third letter (1966).

Photos (more than most people knew about, but still too few).

Most hauntingly, a page in seminal Batman artist Jerry Robinson’s guest book, circa 1942. It is the longest known example of Bill’s handwriting that survives, and it is reproduced on the last page of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman.

Oh, and, of course, Batman himself.

1 comment:

ThatWilyOtter said...

Great find, Marc. It's great to learn more about the life of Bill Finger in your continuing quest!