"Fast paced...fun...impressive and fascinating. A must-have."
After six years of work, 34 rejections, multiple rumors debunked, and several new mysteries uncovered, my nonfiction picture book for older readers, Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, is out.
Unprecedented in both subject and format, it tells the startling story of Bill Finger.
...designed Batman's now-iconic costume.
...wrote the first Batman story.
...wrote many of the best Batman stories of his first 25 years, including his groundbreaking (and heartbreaking) origin.
...was the original writer of Robin, the Joker, and Catwoman.
...named Gotham City, the Batmobile, and Batman's secret identity, Bruce Wayne.
...nicknamed Batman "the Dark Knight."
But Bill who...
...was barely credited as a Batman writer—and never as co-creator—in his lifetime. He is not even in the credits of either film (The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises) named for the nickname he coined.
Because cartoonist Bob Kane, Bill's onetime partner, took all the credit. In 1974, Bill died alone and poor. No obit. No funeral. No gravestone.
You do not have to be a Batman fan or even a superhero fan to find something worthwhile in this book. It contains the first "new" photos of Bill in decades and significant never-published info...including a bombshell with the potential to make pop culture history. Announcing it at Comic-Con International caused the crowd to erupt into applause.
My TED talk about Bill Finger and the tragedy of creators' rights
My interview on NPR's All Things Considered
"Purposefully and meaningfully (and beautifully) written."
"Bold...dynamic...a fitting tribute."
"Eye-opening and quietly tragic."
Thanks for reading to the end!
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Justice has no expiration date.