BILL: THE BOY WONDER: THE SECRET CO-CREATOR OF BATMAN

 

Holy Revelation, Batman!
It’s a scene that conjures familiarity in our collective
memories. A gray scale city nightscape that hints at danger. Suddenly, a beam of
light is thrust skyward, cut with the unmistakable symbol of a bat. Fear not.
Nearby, a winged figure will appear, a hero to fight injustice.  Whether your recall of Batman originated from
a comic book or a screen, every American can identify this iconic symbol.
 It turns out, however,
that everything most of us thought we knew about the creation of Batman is
false. Or, at least, a half truth. There was a secret co-creator of Batman.
In BILL: THE BOY WONDER (Charlesbridge 2012) author Marc
Tyler Nobleman shares the story most of us never knew about the true provenance
of Batman. The greatest creative influence behind our winged hero
appears to have been humble shoe salesman Milton (Bill) Finger, who longed to
be an artist and writer.
A chance meeting with cartoonist Bob Kane tipped Bill’s future.
Bob had an idea for a character, but it wasn’t working. Bill had the creativity
to fully conceptualize the character- from concept to story lines to physical
characteristics, emotional back story, and added characters. Yet, Bob Kane
refused to share credit for Batman, though in later years, humility got the
best of him. While Kane became rich and famous, Bill Finger remained
essentially an anonymous underpaid ghost writer, until revelations about his
involvement began to trickle onto the public scene during the 1960’s and 70’s.
The book follows Finger from a young man, deeply
invested in his Batman character, to beyond his death in 1974. Rich in detail
and enlightening in fact, the text is sprinkled with clever wordplay with the use of bill,
finger
, and bat– the author’s homage to Bill Finger’s own punnish style.Illustrator Ty Templeton’s illustrations provide the ideal emotive backdrop and visual representations through a delightful blend of comic book/ graphic novel style art.

Nobleman’s signature seems to be in the depth of his
research as showcased in his author’s notes. His six-page addendum in BILL: THE BOY WONDER does not
disappoint. Here, you’ll find the story behind the story.  A must read.
One of the author’s most profound discoveries actually righted another long-time injustice. Before Nobleman’s intense research, no known living heir survived Bill Finger, and royalty payments were being sent to the wrong person. Marc Tyler Nobleman will
forevermore be credited with the remedy. He uncovered Bill Finger’s only living
heir, a granddaughter. Thorough research is the foundation of this ground breaking book, the
first to pull Bill Finger out of obscurity and return him to his rightful parental
place in Batman’s family tree.
Justice has been served.