Thursday, April 7, 2016

"A Finger in Every Plot" in "Alter Ego"

If not for Jerry Bails, there might not be Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman.

Jerry was the Batman fan who, in 1965, figured that despite what the credit line read, it could not be just Bob Kane writing and drawing every Batman story every month for a quarter-century. Jerry did some digging and discovered that many of the classic Batman stories—including the first, and the origin—came from the mind and typewriter of another man, Bill Finger.

The enterprising Jerry tracked down Bill and interviewed him. He took what he learned and produced a two-page exposé called "If the Truth Be Known or 'A Finger in Every Plot!'" In comics history, this was the Sheet Heard 'Round the World (or, at least, in certain circles around the country). This changed everything. It was revisionist history, but in the right direction.

I've written about Jerry in both my book and here.

But oddly, his influence had not been the focus of an article in the definitive comics history magazine, Alter Ego…until now. Issue #139 (5/16) covers it and reproduces the mimeograph that began to set the record straight.

And Bill was credited in DC publications prior to 2005.

Thank you to Roy Thomas and Bill Schelly for giving real estate to Jerry (and Bill, of course). And thanks again for giving some to me as well.

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