Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bill Finger the "Playboy" wonder!

In "The Super Psyche," the April 2012 Playboy article by Gavin Edwards about Grant Morrison, the legendary comics writer weighs in on certain characters he has written.

Though Morrison's interpretations of superheroes are almost always absurdly inventive and often polarizing, it was something else in this piece that earns the title of Most Provocative. 

On the Joker:

"Created by: Bill Finger, art by Bob Kane, concept possibly provided by Jerry Robinson."

On Batman:

"Created by: Bill Finger, art by Bob Kane (disputed)."

Make no mistake. Those are rallying cries. Not only are they boldly giving Bill lead credit, they are, for all intents, giving him sole credit.

It's not clear if Edwards or Morrison provided those credits, though I'm assuming Morrison. In either case, it was some of the best reading I've done in a while. And yes, I'm talking only about those two credit lines.

4 comments:

odkin said...

"Created by: Bill Finger, art by Bob Kane (disputed)."

Now that's just being provocatove for attention.

There's no dispute that Kane drew Detective #27, and at least the first year of the strip. There were inkers and assistants, but probably not for 'Tec #27.

I'm all for giving Finger co-creator credit. But Kane's idols were the comic STRIPs. No one bitched that Walt Disney didn't REALLY draw Mickey Mouse, or that Alex Raymond didn't write Flash Gordon, or that Al Capp had both writer and artist ghosts. This practice goes on today. Neither Jim "Garfield" Davis nor Garry "Doonsbury" Trudeau have personally drawn a line for reproduction in decades.

Kane was an a-hole (as is Trudeau) but he sold the strip to DC and he apparently had an eye for talent he could (ab)use. That makes him a co-creator, and attempts to reduce him to "disputed penciller" are just oh-too-clever.

jheaton said...

That Garry Trudeau doesn't actually draw Doonesbury is a cherished belief in certain (politically conservative) circles, but like many things believed in such circles, it's false. Trudeau pencils the strips, and they're inked and lettered by Don Carlton, as has been the case since 1971.

Steven Thompson said...

Even if you credit that Kane drew the first Batman story, a large number of the figures have been documented as swipes from Alex Raymond and from Kane himself in earlier ADVENTURE COMCS stories (themselves, possibly swipes).

Nearly all comics artists copied poses (Wally Wood's DAREDEVIL often featured poses from Hogarth's Tarzan) from time to time but that whole first BATMAN story is pretty much traced from other sources.

odkin said...

Just saying that if *I* decide to start a business after talking to a major customer; but all I *really* want to do is hire an accountant, some clerks, and a manager to run it, guess what? It's still MY business.

Even if all I did was tell them my rough concepts then get out of their way. Even if they are smarter and better educated than I am. Even if they have 100 more ideas and can run the shop 100 times better than I could. It's still MY business because I pay them.

If they want more money and credit they can open up their own business. If I treat them like crap, they probably will - my loss. Could I get more and better work out of them if I made them a partner, or put their name up next to mine? Maybe. But I have no obligation to do so.

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