Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What did not make it into “Bill the Boy Wonder”...

…has been here all along.

When people ask me how long it took to write Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman, I say several months’ of research and several months of writing on and off (18 drafts before Random House acquired it, and several more after). What catches people off guard is when I conclude by saying “And I’m still writing it.”

I explain that when I come across interesting information that, obviously, is too late for the book, I post it here. Here’s an example.

That is one of the biggest benefits of blogging and the Internet in general; it allows our stories to continue to unfold with no printers, warehouses, stores, or even paper needed.

Here are key Bill Finger posts that expand on the story I tell in Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman (and I will be adding to this):

Bill’s family:

my first Bill post, outlining my big discoveries, the biggest being Bill’s granddaughter; plus one of my 11 “new” photos of Bill (but the grainiest)

a Finger family tree

Bill’s parents

photo of Bill’s mom and one of my 11 “new” photos of Bill (with first wife Portia)

looking for Bill’s first sister

how I found Bill’s first sister, born in 1918 (and still alive as of this post)

how I found Bill’s second wife

finding some of Bill’s relatives

a Finger in Florida with something to hide

Bill’s friends:

how I found Bill’s longtime friend and writing partner Charles Sinclair

how I found the woman who hosted the Texas seder Bill attended

Bill in the words of those who knew him well 

Bill’s peers describing him in superlatives

Bill
s fans excited for a book about him

Bill’s residences:

photo of Bill’s apartment building at 731 Kelly Street, Bronx, where he lived in 1939, the year he co-created Batman (in fact, it may have been in that building!)

photo of Bill’s apartment building at 50 E. 196th Street, Bronx, where he lived 1941-42, during which time he wrote the first stories with Scarecrow, Penguin, and Two-Face

photo of Bill’s apartment building at 125 W. 16th Street, Manhattan, where he lived in the early 1950s, soon before his divorce from first wife Portia

photos of four more of Bill’s apartment buildings:
- 2754 Grand Concourse, Bronx, where he lived 1940-41, during which time he wrote the first stories with Robin, Joker, Catwoman, Batmobile, and Gotham City
- 45 Grove Street, Manhattan, where he lived for much of the 1940s, during which time he created the Riddler
- 31 W. 9th Street, Manhattan, circa 1965, and probably the apartment in which he was living when he first publicly admitted (to Jerry Bails) his role in the creation of Batman
- 340 E. 51st Street, Manhattan, the building in which Bill died in 1974

places Bill visited beyond New York City

other historical figures who had a connection to Bill’s 1940s Greenwich Village apartment

Bill and Batman:

first print appearance of Batman (and I don’t mean Detective Comics #27); timeline of my journey to research, write, and publish a book on Bill Finger

a dictionary is the reason I believe Batman was created in Bill’s, not Bob’s, apartment

why Bill most likely led the charge in creating Robin

Bill’s penchant for writing scripts featuring oversized props

Bob crediting Bill for some of the big villains, and Bill’s influence on the Joker’s look

which came first in 1965, Bill’s historic interview with Jerry Bails or his appearance on the first-ever creators panel at a comic convention?

the formerly lost interview Bill gave in 1965

the only two letters Bill wrote known to still exist 

Bill on whether or not Batman and Robin were gay

DC Comics (slyly) giving Bill Finger and Bob Kane equal claim to Batman

Bill almost received screen credit in Batman (1989)


Bill and comics:

Bill’s notable contributions to Superman

comparing Bill to Superman co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and likening them all to thieves

from the Mutual Admiration Society: Bill Finger and Alfred Hitchcock

Bill photos:

my first Bill post, outlining my big discoveries, the biggest being Bill’s granddaughter; plus one of my 11 “new” photos of Bill (but the grainiest)

photo of Bill’s mom and one of my 11 “new” photos of Bill (with first wife Portia)

Bill’s yearbook photo

four of the five known photos of Bill published before I began research


the first published photo of Bill’s first wife Portia, plus inheriting Bill’s scarab paperweight

happening upon a photo of Bill’s desk, circa 1940s

a previously unpublished photo of—and an injustice to—Bill in 75 Years of DC Comics

Bill mysteries:

looking for Bill’s first sister

how I found Bill’s first sister, born in 1918 (and still alive as of this post)

Bill’s yearbook photo

Bill was 4-F in World War II—here are the records to prove (though not explain) it


the formerly lost interview Bill gave in 1965

Bill and alcohol

Bill’s death

Bill mementos:

the first published photo of Bill’s first wife Portia, plus inheriting Bill’s scarab paperweight


finding out the true colors (literally) of the document revealing Bill’s involvement in the creation of Batman

Bill’s famous gimmick books were discarded

the only known note in Bill’s handwriting

the only two letters Bill wrote known to still exist
 

the only three comic book scripts Bill wrote known to still exist

the last two known comic book scripts Bill wrote

Bill insults:

Bill did not drive, plus the earliest hijacking in print of Bill’s Batman legacy

the laughable travesty of Real Fact Comics #5 (1946)

Bill’s worst enemy—Bob or himself?

a previously unpublished photo of—and an injustice to—Bill in 75 Years of DC Comics

Bill outside of comics:

Bill’s yearbook photo

Bill’s writing outside of comics

Bill’s radio

Bill’s favorite composer

Bill was 4-F in World War II—here are the records to prove (though not explain) it

Bill did not drive, plus the earliest hijacking in print of Bill’s Batman legacy

how Bill almost won a car (even though he didn’t have a driver’s license)

Bill worked out


Bill’s death

PLUS ONE:

birth anniversary posts:

2009 (the known Bill interviews, including two I helped rediscover)

2010 (Bill was born in Denver)

2012 (Bill identified as Batman co-creator in DC Comics publications)

2013 (tributes from YouTube and Tony Fleecs)

2014 (no Google doodle for Bills 100th birthday)

death anniversary posts:

2009 (no obituary, no funeral)

2010 (tribute from Amazing World of DC Comics #1)

2011 (Bob’s good choice)

2012 (revealing cover to Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman)

2013 (tributes from Entertainment Weekly, Siri, and Mike W. Barr)

2014 (interview with first person to portray Bill Finger)

PLUS TWO: 

all known print tributes to Bill

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