Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bill Finger - Ghost Writer of Bats and Lanterns!

February is chock full of birthdays of my heroes, so I'm doing a few a little before or after the actual date to get them all in. As has been stated before, this blog is "whatever flows through the shallow waters of my mind/head day to day" since my mind tends to wander from interest to interest. In the last week or so I found a mother load of digital copies of comic books from the golden age of the art form (1938-1956...more on this later) and my passion for this of course rose to the top of my head.

Just in time too, because next Monday, February 8th is the 96th anniversary of the birth in 1914 of Bill Finger!

Who? Co-creator of The Batman, that's all!

And The Joker, Two-Face, Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler...

It's a long, sad, oft-told story of one creator taking the spotlight away from his partner. The person who always receives the credit for creation of The Caped Crusader, Bob Kane was an attention whore, a credit-whore and all around selfish whore. The list the number of contributing artists and writers who made Batman what he is, is as long as your arm, but Bob Kane made sure that no matter who did all the work...he would get the credit.

But this post isn't about Bob, it's about Bill.

And Bill proves the point I try to make all the time. The hacks can steal from you all they want. At the end of the day, they just have the one thing they've stolen from you, but the artist still has the talent to create MORE. And the hack can whip his dead horse till his arm falls off.

Case in point...Bill also created a little character called The Green Lantern!

NOT the space faring ring-slinger most of you know, but rather the original character of whom Hal Jordan/Kyle Rainer/Guy Gardner/John Stewart were a revamping of.

Alan Scott was a radio announcer's the story, from All-American Comics #16, 1940:

Much more magical and fantastical, the Green Lantern stories of the 1940's that Bill Finger wrote went through the gambit of story-telling of the time. From pure adventure like this one, they turned to satire and farce through the early years with Scott's sidekick Doiby Dickles adding to human foibles and drama that kept it interesting,

to romantic-adventure-comedies toward the end of the run with Scott's girlfriend dually acting as The Lantern's arch-nemesis The Harlequin.

Bill did all this while STILL doing all of Bob Kane's dirty work on Batman.

Thanks Bill, for caring more about telling great stories than hogging some fleeting glory! We know who you are and what you did...don't worry!

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