Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bill Finger's yearbook photo... not here.

Where you can see it is in the author's note of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, which is the first time it has appeared in print since the yearbook itself. However, what is not there is the text accompanying it, so
that I am posting here:

This is from the June 1933 yearbook of the storied DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. (As you can see in Bill the Boy Wonder, it was not Bill but rather his parents who wanted him to be a doctor. And "CCNY" is City College New York. I was not able to find out if Bill did go on to attend, but I suspect not. It was the Great Depression so I assume he went right to work.)

Astute readers have already noticed why I missed Bill's yearbook entry the first time I looked: he was not yet Bill.

But before I had learned Bill's given name, I thought I knew why I could not find him in any yearbook of the period. My faithful contact at DWC, the incomparable school historian Gerard Pelisson, had told me that some students did not appear in the yearbook because their families could not afford to have a portrait taken.

In 2010, Gerard wrote me "When your book comes out, you are going to have the photo the whole world wants." Though I do think a good number will be interested, he was being generous. In any case, it is now the earliest known photo of early that he was still Milton.

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