Saturday, March 15, 2008

The homes of Bill Finger, part 1

In this series of undetermined length, I will post photos I took of buildings in which Bill Finger, uncredited co-creator and original writer of Batman, lived and worked.

I took these photos because I am a manservant to accuracy. If my Bill Finger picture book manuscript sells, I will pass on these photos to the illustrator for reference. It's possible, of course, that the book would not need to show the exterior of any of his residences, but it sure felt cool to find and photograph them anyway.
Now-iconic stories and concepts were cooked up in these otherwise unassuming structures.

Bill Finger first appears in the New York City phone book in 1940. [4/8/13 addendum: Here is where he was immediately before that.] His address then was 2754 Grand Concourse in the Bronx. This suggests he (at age 25) was still living with his parents when he co-created Batman the year before. Photos of each of those addresses to come.

The NYC phone book of the summer or fall of 1941 shows he moved to 50 East 196th Street, which is also the Bronx. That building as it looked on 6/19/06:

This address is printed on Bill's Wildcat script shown in comics history magazine Alter Ego #20. That issue is dated 1/03 and the script is dated 9/42. Bill would move again the following year to an address whose location is the whitest hot of hipness, and that I will save for another post.

3/21/08 addendum: Bill was living here when he wrote the stories introducing three of Batman's most enduring foes: the Scarecrow (World's Finest Comics #3, Fall 1941), the Penguin (Detective Comics #58, 12/41), and Two-Face (Detective Comics #66, 8/42).

Part 2.

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