Sunday, May 16, 2021

1960s articles implying Bill Finger is Batman co-creator

A man by name of Bill Mullins kindly reached out to me because he has access to a number of digital newspaper archives and often searches for whatever subject is of current interest. 

Luckily, one night, that subject was Bill Finger. And Bill found some curious new old material on Bill.

The following six articles are all from the second half of the '60s, most focusing on the now-infamous Batman TV show that debuted early in 1966. One is a review of said show, and a highly entertaining one at that. It has no byline, but seasoned Batmanians including film producer Michael Uslan suspect it was written by superfan Tom Fagan (the big clue being that it was published in a newspaper of Tom's town, Rutland, Vermont). 

Another article details some of Bill's writing work for the Army Pictorial Center. The article does not mention that Bill apparently hated the experience.

Most curiously, however, is how many of these articles refer to both Bill and Bob as the creators of Batman. In some cases, Bill's name is even first. 

Perhaps this suggests that fandom maestro Jerry Bails's pivotal 1965 piece "If the Truth Be Known or 'A Finger in Every Plot!'" spread wider (and faster) than I originally thought.


Newsday 11/4/65 
The "I'm no fool..." line is lifted from a 8/21/65 New Yorker piece.

Newsday 12/20/65 
"[Kane]...looks a little like a comic book crook." 
"Finger...for 24 years has received no credit..."

Rutland (VT) Daily Herald 1/19/66
Bill is referred to as one of the original creators.

Hollywood (CA) Citizen-News 8/27/66, p. 8
Bill's name is first.

Glens Falls (NY) Times 8/31/66 
Bill's name is first.

Augusta (GA) Chronicle 7/18/68, p. 14

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