Bob Kane had Bill Finger.
Batman had Robin.
I had Ty Templeton.
We all lucked out.
Technically, the above is not a seamless parallel; Ty was not my anonymous contributor nor my sidekick, but rather my always-reliable partner in creating Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman.
(Batman has actually had multiple "work partners"—Commissioner Gordon, Batgirl, Nightwing, Ace the Bat-Hound, to name a few—and I did, too; all of them are thanked in the book and some will be thanked again here.)
But back to Ty...
I first e-mailed him on 3/11/10 to tell him that I was looking for an illustrator for the project and that he was on my short list. An excerpt from his kind reply: "You couldn't find a more sympathetic soul for the plight of Finger's legacy than myself."
If that (plus talent) wouldn't sell you, nothing would.
(To be clear, the illustrator decision was not mine alone, but it did not take much convincing.)
As of this writing, Ty and I have not met in person or even talked on the phone. The vagaries of illustrated publishing...
Here is a photo I lifted from Ty's blog. I hope to be able to post a similar photo but with me as well, before long.
A public thank you, Ty, for acing this book.