Thursday, September 7, 2017

A third Bill Finger letter uncovered

In my Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman research, I found only two (but still two!) letters written by Bill Finger.

I know there are more out there.

And now I know where one is: amidst a trove of info on the 1966 Batman show in the William Dozier archives at the University of Wyoming.

Though undated, it was written in early 1966 to producer Howie Horwitz. It is part of a series of letters regarding Bob's (non-)role on the show and in particular the inclusion of the Clock King as a villain. Apparently at one point Bob was to be involved with this particular script. However, according to Bill's letter, when it came time to execute, Bob was out of pocket, so Bill and writing partner Charles Sinclair (who, according to Charles, was the one who scored them the gig) forged ahead as a dynamic duo.

Considering Bob never wrote a single Batman script—for TV or comics—it is unclear why he was even part of a discussion about writing this particular script. Perhaps Bill still felt obligated to maintain the charade that Bob had written Batman scripts.

Interesting to note that in three of the four times Bill mentions Bob, he refers to him as "Bog." At first it may seem a typo, but you can see how he fixed most of the other goofs in the letter. So either he missed this misspelling (three times)...or he did it on purpose as a dig. The tone of the letter (and the fact that, again, the word appears three times) would seem to support the latter. Also, while "B" and G" are adjacent on the typewriter, it seems less likely a person would make a mistake when typing a word with a repeated letter, like "Bob." With experienced typists, the fingers (in this case, Bill's fingers) stay in position anticipating that imminent second strike...

Thanks to Batman & Bill story producer Alexandra Orton for this excavation!


Delmo said...

Odd since Bob was no longer involved with the Batman comics by '66 and hadn't worked with Bill in some time. Also, why was a release needed?

Bob Rivard said...

Kane was still involved in Batman in '66, privately employing Sheldon Moldoff as his ghost. I'm pretty sure he didn't get bought out his his contract until 1968. Anyway, as for this posting, congrats on finding another Finger letter. What's especially interesting is how defensive it is about being late and casting aspersions on Kane. It reads like a "Phil Binger" story.