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The name Bill Finger is one known to many hardcore comic book fans if not, sadly, to those less entrenched in comic book minutia. The reason for that “sadly” is that, despite what the official credits may state, Finger is — at the very least — the co-creator of Batman, and the man responsible for many of the elements of the Batman mythos familiar to the general public these days.
As cartoonist Ty Templeton put it, “Without Bill writing the scripts and shaping the visuals, we don’t have Robin, Bruce Wayne, the Bat-cave, the Batmobile, the Penguin, Gotham City, the Signal, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred the Butler, Wayne Manor, the Batarang, Catwoman, the basic look and color scheme of the Batman costume, the Joker, The Riddler, The Scarecrow (as well as Green Lantern, Wildcat and a host of other characters)!”
Due to contractual obligations between DC and Bob Kane, Finger has never been officially credited for his sizable contribution to the world of the Dark Knight (He is, however, officially recognized as co-creator of both the original Green Lantern and Wildcat). He died in 1974, and has since been inducted into both the Jack Kirby and Will Eisner Halls of Fame, as well as being named as the inspiration for Comic-Con International’s Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing, which has recognized two writers — one living, one dead — each year since its creation in 2005.
With the 100th anniversary of Finger’s birth coming up on February 8, Templeton is campaigning to let Finger posthumously receive some of the recognition he lacked during his lifetime by asking fans to write to Google suggesting that Finger receive a Google Doodle for the day. “It would make Batman proud,” he explained. If nothing else, it would mark a small amount of justice for a creator who spent far too long having credit stolen from him.
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