“Now that my long-time friend and collaborator is gone, I must admit that Bill never received the fame and recognition he deserved. He was an unsung hero.” – Bob Kane, Batman’s official creator, from his autobiography.
He is referring to Bill Finger, who also wrote the first Batman story that recounted Bruce Wayne’s tragic story that led to him becoming Batman. He collaborated with Bob Kane to create the Batman comic book series, and wrote hundreds of stories, including the origin stories of the original Green Lantern and Wildcat.
“I never thought of giving him a by-line and he never asked for one. I often tell my wife, if I could go back fifteen years, before he died, I would like to say, ‘I’ll put your name on it now. You deserve it.’” – Bob Kane, also from his autobiography.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of Finger’s death, and 75th anniversary of Batman’s debut in Detective Comics, the Comics Arts Council is bringing together filmmakers, comic professionals, fans, and heirs to create a crowdfunded tribute film, THE CAPE CREATOR: A TRIBUTE TO BILL FINGER, THE UNBILLED CO-CREATOR OF BATMAN. While researching a book on Finger’s life, author Marc Tyler Nobleman discovered interesting details about his life and two living descendants.
“It’s time to make this right,” Dr. Travis Langley, author of the book BATMAN AND PSYCHOLOGY: A DARK AND STORMY KNIGHT, says in the Kickstarter campaign video. “If you love Batman, if you love comic books, if you love the movies and stories, or if you just love the truth, help us tell the world. Help us celebrate the life and accomplishments of Bill Finger.”
The project plans to include several interviews including Michael Uslan, who produced the Dark Knight trilogy and the Lego Movie (which also happens to have Batman), Jens Robinson, whose father, Jerry Robinson, was one of Kane’s ghost artists and helped create the Joker, several prominent comic book artists, and some surprises.
The project hopes to raise more than 12 thousand dollars for the documentary by March 5th. As of February 12th, it has raised nearly 48 hundred dollars. If you’d like to contribute, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/comicartscouncil/the-cape-creator-a-tribute-to-bat-maker-bill-finge. There’s also a trailer for the project: