Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The first Bill Finger panel since the credit announcement

It wasn’t billed as a Bill Finger panel, but isn’t any Batman panel simultaneously a Bill Finger panel?

On 10/3/15, at Wizard World Fort Lauderdale, I took the stage with author/maestro of ceremonies Travis Langley, writer Russell Lissau, advocate Jamie Walton, and the Finger family themselves, Bill
’s granddaughter Athena and great-grandson Benjamin.

photo courtesy of J.J. Sedelmaier

For the last time slot of the day, and on a Saturday evening no less, we had a decent turnout in terms of both numbers and engagement. After the fact I found out that one of them was animator J.J. Sedelmaier (Saturday Night Live’s “Saturday TV Funhouse”), who asked me what the people I interviewed said about Bob Kane. Wish I had known at the time who was asking.

I’d done panels with Travis and Athena in San Diego in 2014, but this was the first time we were together since the historic announcement of 9/18.

Some of the people in the audience did not know that DC Entertainment announced that Bill will begin receiving credit on Batman stories. Some did not know who Bill is. (Therein lies the problem that the credit announcement will begin to solve.)

This guy, however, was not one of them; Patty Hawkins showed us in the flesh
(for the second time) what Batman would’ve looked like if there were no Bill:

photo courtesy of Travis Langley

Jamie injected a sense of real-world heroism in describing her work with the Wayne Foundation (the name inspired by what you think), which works to protect children from predatory situations. After seeing the crowd response, I now feel most any comic panel could benefit by including a person like Jamie; take advantage of all of these captive audiences to spread the word about worthy causes.

While planning for Florida, I also tried to get us scheduled for New York Comic Con the following weekend so we could discuss the big news in the city where Bill built the Bat-world, but the credit announcement was only weeks earlier…in other words, too late; NYCC finalized its schedule months ago. 

However, Fort Lauderdale gave us an enthusiastic reception. And it was a peerless thrill slash honor to be with the Fingers the first time they publicly spoke about this life-changing milestone. Nine years ago, when I started researching Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, it was, of course, just me and a dream. Now the dream is a secret the whole world knows, or soon will.


"T.V. Barnum" said...

Has there been any confirmation that Bill is in fact getting some sort of print credit, as has been reported by such sources as "Bleeding Cool".

I for one would love to know what loopholes DC found in their agreements with Bob Kane to allow all this, even if it doesn't include print, and ESPECIALLY if it does!

Did Kane have any agreements/contacts with DC after the 1965 revision? The famous one where he no longer had to supply material to DC and just get checks? :)

"T.V. Barnum" said...

So, when do we see a revived edition of "Bill, The Boy Wonder" with this happy epilogue added? :)

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Brad Meltzer is another source stating that the credit will include print.

I know of no public source that details the specifics of Kane's arrangement with DC. But if he did sell all claim to the character in the '60s, as has been reported, perhaps he relinquished some of the original terms to do so.

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

If a revised edition of BILL THE BOY WONDER is in the cards, you'll hear about it here!