THE CAPE CREATOR Kickstarter campaign to create a tribute to Bill Finger, Batman’s uncredited co-creator, has achieved 85% funding with a full third of campaign time left, 9 out of 27 days. On the verge of achieving minimum funding, project organizers with the Comic Arts Council look ahead to the bigger picture of how best to help the world learn more about the man who named Bruce Wayne, named Gotham City, created Commissioner Gordon, wanted Batman to have a partner, gave Batman a car that would become one of the most famous vehicles in the world, and came up with one fantastic villain after another, while the world knew only Bob Kane, Batman’s officially credited creator.
Before Kane ever signed his first Batman contract, Finger had already transformed the character thoroughly from Kane’s original design. “Without Finger,” says Dr. Travis Langley, author of the book Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight, “Batman could been a blond guy in red tights with big DaVinci wings and no cowl, no gauntlets, whose early rogue’s gallery consisted entirely of Two-Face. That’s it.”
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Bill Finger’s birth, 75th anniversary of Batman’s debut, and 25th anniversary of the Tim Burton film that proved audiences still welcomed Batman. Celebrations of Finger’s birthday this month included “Batman at 75/Bill Finger at 100,” a lively panel with Marv Wolfman, Danny Fingeroth, Nicky Wheeler Nicholson, and Dr. Langley at Wizard World’s New Orleans Comic Con. As the day came to a close, Bill’s granddaughter Athena Finger tweeted that she was “touched by the fans who made this celebration of #BillFinger’s 100th the most special day imaginable!”
Beyond getting the minimum funding that would enable the Comic Arts Council to create a short film with interviews by Batman fans, experts, and pros, further goals would enable them to bring Athena and her son to meet with some of the few people still alive who knew Bill Finger. Forty years have passed since Finger died broke and relatively unknown. “Get Granddaughter to Gotham!” declares one update for THE CAPE CREATOR. Athena has been announced as a special guest at both Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con in April, the month of Batman’s 75th anniversary, and San Diego Comic-Con International in July. “I am humbled by the fans,” she says. While fans share hashtags #GiveFingerAHand and #RaiseTheFinger, Athena favors #billfansarethebest.
The list of project participants, interviewers and interviewees has grown:
· Athena Finger– Bill Finger’s only grandchild.
· Benjamin– Athena’s son, Bill Finger’s only other living descendant.
· Dennis O’Neil– legendary writer and editor who probably worked on more Batman stories than anybody other than Bill himself.
· Michael Uslan– executive producer of the films BATMAN, THE DARK KNIGHT trilogy, and currently THE LEGO MOVIE (which has Lego Batman in it, you know).
· Jens Robinson– son of Bob Kane’s first Batman ghost artist, the Joker’s co-creator Jerry Robinson (who founded the Bill Finger Award to honor comic book creators who deserve greater recognition).
· Several Golden Age and Silver Age artists and other comic book pros who worked with Bill. (There aren’t many left.)
· Jamie Walton– co-founder, with Kevin Smith (Clerks, Batman: Cacophony), of the Wayne Foundation non-profit.
· Brett Culp– producer and director of the film Legends of the Knight, about the inspirational power of Batman stories.
· Arlen Schumer– scholar and author of an Alter Ego article scrutinizing Batman’s behind-the-scenes origin.
· Alan J. Porter– author of Batman: The Unauthorized Collector’s Guide and contributor to Denny O’Neil’s anthology Batman Unauthorized.
· Rabbi Cary Friedman– author of Wisdom from the Batcave: How to Live a Super, Heroic Life.
· Alan Kistler– comics journalist, author of The Unofficial Batman Trivia Challenge.
· Chris Sims– ComicsAlliance.com journalist and Batman expert, known as the “Batmanologist.”
· Will Brooker– author of Batman Unmasked: Analyzing a Cultural Icon and Hunting the Dark Knight: Twenty-First Century Batman.
· Marc Tyler Nobleman– author of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, who led the Finger Google doodle campaign.
· Dr. Travis Langley– author of Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight.
· And others to be announced.
“Thanks to the outpouring of amazingly generous Batman fans,” said Comic Arts Council president Robert O’Nale, “we are not only going to make our film, but deliver a lot of exciting content to our backers. It’s the real Batman fans who are going to guarantee that Bill Finger is remembered as Batman’s co-creator.”
For more information, contact the filmmakers through the Kickstarter campaign or message Dr. Langley (@Superherologist) through Twitter or Facebook.
· Facebook: https://www.
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