Sunday, October 9, 2016

"Batman & Bill" documentary sneak preview at New York Comic Con 2016

On 9/18/15, mere hours after DC Comics announced that the company would officially add Bill Finger's name to the Batman credit line, I updated Don Argott and Sheena Joyce, the filmmakers with whom I'd started a Bill Finger documentary four years earlier.

On New Year's Eve, Don and Sheena confirmed solid interest for us to pick up where we left off…with Hulu.

From February to July 2016, we did just that.

Just over a year after that historic credit announcement, on 10/6/16, opening day of New York Comic Con, "the largest pop culture event on the East Coast," Hulu gave attendees and press a sneak peek of Batman & Bill followed by a panel with Don, Sheena, Bill's granddaughter Athena Finger, his great-grandson Benjamin, Finger legal counsel Alethia Bess Mariotta, Batman movie producer Michael Uslan, and myself, skillfully moderated by Rich Sands, executive editor of TV Guide.

This Batman project moved at Flash speed, at least by filmmaking standards.

Our NYCC day started with hair and makeup. Here is me either just before or just after…can you tell which?

I feel what's left of my hair is beyond repair so we didn't even try, but I was a good candidate for foundation, as I believe it's called. That is the After photo.

We took a Batvan from the hotel to the show, passing a league of Hulu-hired Batmen who were not solving mysteries but setting one up.

 front row: Benjamin, Alethia, Athena
second row: Sheena, Don

photo courtesy of Shiva Kalipersad

Outside the con, Athena had a quick team-up with a young attendee emblazoned with an apt emblem.

We were led from the car through the bowels of the Javits Center—women in heels on wheels, men on foot.

The green room was Batcave black.

The panel assembled.

The 30-minute sneak preview in progress.

The room held 800—and while one side section wasn't full, it was a great turnout. The panel ended too quickly.

 photo courtesy of Julian Voloj

photo courtesy of Benjamin Cruz

The reaction in the room and later in the press was humbling.

The Wall Street Journal covered it.

Newsarama live-blogged it.

Bleeding Cool offered one of the most moving comments: "I know it was only the first day, but on Thursday I'm pretty sure I witnessed the most heroic thing to happen at NYCC 2016."

Thank you to Hulu for supporting the film and organizing the event, Perry Seaman and his team at Hulu for being so enthusiastic and accommodating, Don and Sheena for making a film that has exceeded high expectations, the Finger family for embracing this legacy with gusto, NYCC for giving us the real estate, Michael Uslan for his ongoing advocacy for Bill Finger, Rich Sands for moderating, and Batfans for showing up…plus for being my collective sidekick on this nine-year push for justice.

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