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GIVE FINGER A HAND! Help create a TRIBUTE FILM to teach the world the secret identity of BATMAN'S uncredited co-creator, BILL FINGER.

Follow the ongoing effort at ComicArtsCouncil.org. 
JOIN THE LEGACY!

MINIMUM GOAL REACHED! 
STRETCH GOAL #1:
 GOTHAM!  $14,552 to add New York interviews – REACHED! 
STRETCH GOAL #2: GO WEST! $17,761 to add San Diego interviews. 

STRETCH GOAL #3: ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE! 
$21,120 to include relevant events, locations, and interviews with those no longer with us.

More rewards got added at mini-goals along the way. Details.

  • 200 backers – UNLOCKED: music (digital); stickers (with all physical rewards). 
  • $13,100 – UNLOCKED: 3 more books and new reward levels. 
  • $13,500 – UNLOCKED: editor Sullivan reacts to red Bat-Man (digital comic); Scarecrow cards (physical). 
  • $14,000 – UNLOCKED: cosplayer videos (digital); Joker cards (physical).
  • $14,552 – UNLOCKED: Adam West clip (digital); Mad Hatter cards (all physical) and T-shirts (physical, Sidekick level and up).
  • 250 backers – UNLOCKED: Psychodynamic Duo (digital); Riddle cards (physical).
  • $15,250 – UNLOCKED: Stan Lee clip (digital); Cat cards (physical).
  • $16,500 –  UNLOCKED: Batboy dancing (digital); Penguin cards (physical).
  • $17,761 – UNLOCKED: Bill Finger portrait (digital); Lantern cards (all physical) and Blu-ray option. 
  • 300 backers – LOCKED: *** **** *** (digital); ***** ***** (physical).
  • $18,500 – LOCKED: ***** ****** **** (digital); **** **** ***** with ****** (physical).

In 1939, Batman debuted in Detective Comics #27. For 75 years, the world has thrilled to the adventures of this superhero without superpowers, who can be both the fearsome Dark Knight and the daring Caped Crusader. For 75 years, only one creator has received the credit, the by-line, even though there were two. Before he ever signed his first deal to produce Batman stories, official creator Bob Kane already had his secret collaborator, Bill Finger.

Seeing Kane's initial design, Finger suggested going with darker colors instead of red; a scalloped, bat-like cape instead of unwieldy DaVinci wings; a cowl instead of a domino mask; and a bat-head look to that cowl. Bill Finger named Bruce Wayne, made Batman a detective, created Commissioner Gordon, named their city Gotham, gave Batman a cool car, thought the hero needed a partner, conceived one fantastic villain after another, wrote Batman's origin, and authored many, many tales before his sudden death just short of his 60th birthday. Under his own name, he wrote the very first Green Lantern story and co-created the superhero Wildcat, but during his lifetime he never became well known for his most influential work, his critical role in creating one of the most famous, most beloved, and most inspiring heroes known by billions throughout this world.

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of Bill Finger's birth, 75th anniversary of Batman's first appearance, 50th anniversary of the "New Look" that changed not only Batman's appearance but the stories themselves, and 25th anniversary of the film Tim Burton directed, the motion picture that proved audiences still welcomed Batman. 2014 is the year to tell some truth.

For his 100th birthday, we're making a special tribute film to celebrate Bill Finger and to teach the world about him. At the very least, we will produce a short that includes interviews with fans, family, and some of the few surviving pros who knew Bill. A more successful campaign will let us conduct more interviews and produce a more valuable, more powerful tribute.

Until author Marc Tyler Nobleman did research for his book BILL THE BOY WONDER: THE SECRET CO-CREATOR OF BATMAN, only two photos of Bill and no living descendants were known to exist. Marc found more photos and discovered Bill's one grandchild, Athena Finger, who made not a penny off the Batman legacy. Born 2 years after Bill died and age 15 when she lost her father, Bill's son Fred, Athena knew little about Bill but welcomes the opportunity to find out.

HELP US MAKE THIS RIGHT. Help the world discover the Caped Crusader's Cape Creator, Batman's co-creator Bill Finger, and help his only living descendants, Athena and her son Ben, discover the grandfather they never knew.

We're making a short film to celebrate Bill Finger's life and achievements, and to educate people about a relatively unknown man whose work has delighted billions. Depending on this fundraiser's level of success, we hope to create all of these, in which case the "film" listed in our rewards would become "films" for digital download or on DVD. Blu-ray will figure into our stretch goals.

  • 6-7 minute video, the length of a Looney Tunes cartoon. 
  • 20-30 minute film for those interested enough for a half-hour program.
  • 45-50 minute documentary appropriate for an hour-long time slot, classroom session, or convention panel.
  • Plus many bonus features including extended interviews and behind-the-scenes footage.

We are honored by the incredible interviewers, interviewees, and co-conspirators who have already helped or confirmed future participation in this project.

With special thanks to Brett Culp (LEGENDS OF THE KNIGHT), Danny Fingeroth (SUPERMAN ON THE COUCH), Action Flick Chick Katrina Hill (ACTION MOVIE FREAK)Joe Staton (DICK TRACY; co-creator of the Golden Age Batman's daughter, the Huntress), David M. Uslan (GRAPHICLY) and many others who already helped us prepare to tell the world about the man who put the "dark" in Dark Knight. We must also thank Jerry Robinson, who worked on Batman comics mere months after Finger and Kane began. Although Jerry is gone now, he helped us get here in so many ways. Jerry shared stories about Bill with us and we, in turn, mean to share some of those stories with you. It is our honor to attempt to continue his mission, one represented in the Bill Finger Award which Jerry founded, a mission to tell the world about the unsung heroes among comic book writers starting with his friend and colleague Bill.

GIVE FINGER A HAND!

"Like" us on Facebook:

Tweet to us:

And please share this! Every day of the campaign, we will randomly select someone who shares this page or the video (shortcut http://is.gd/BILLVIDEO) with hashtag #GiveFingerAHand#RaiseTheFinger, or #billFINGER (we'll see which people like most) to receive a reward upon the campaign's success. Talk Bill up!

For further information about this project or on how you can help tell the world the truth, also feel free to contact Dr. Langley through Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you!

Where does the money go?

  • ALL FUNDS GO TO COVER THE FILM through production costs, essential travel, distribution fees, and Kickstarter fees and rewards.
  • ALL WORK IS VOLUNTEER and every dollar we collect will go toward making the best film possible.

When will this film be completed? 

  • We plan to complete the tribute film by fall, 2014. If the project receives strong enough support, we will be able to record more material and create an additional program longer than the short we will show at a summer comic con. We are working hard to bring Bill Finger's story to the world without compromising production quality. 

Is this an official documentary film? 

  • This not-for-profit film is independent of any entity that created or produced the well-known character Batman. We will be working to insure that we are following best practices in fair use for nonfiction filmmaking. 

Can we exceed the goal? 

  • YES! Exceeding the goal allows us to make a better program and share it with more people. 

What payment forms are accepted? 

Can I increase my pledge once it’s been made? 

  • YES! Once you make a pledge to our campaign, you may want to change your reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. GO FOR IT! 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The number of people who knew Bill Finger and who are still with us has dwindled. This project's launch week marks the 100th anniversary of Bill Finger's birthday, but a different recent day marked the 40th anniversary of his life's sudden end. 40 years have now passed since anyone last met the great Bill Finger.

The more successful this campaign is, the more work we'll have to do. The more work we have to do, the longer this will take. If we can conduct more interviews, if we can show you locations that were meaningful to Bill Finger, then delivery estimates will change, particularly delivery of the film in its various formats (digital download, DVD, and hopefully Blu-ray too). A 30-minute film will take longer to make than a 7-minute film, a 50-minute film will take longer than a 30-minute film, and so on.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    5 backers

    THANK YOU! Your name included on our website as a contributor. Your support helps us and shows the world that you want to see co-creator credit given where credit is due. Every $5 contributor and over will be listed on our website.

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    89 backers

    THANK YOU! Your name included on our website as a contributor, plus DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of THE CAPE CREATOR completed film.

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  • Pledge $19 or more
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    33 backers

    THE BAT-DEBUT LEVEL! Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (cover date May, 1939). DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of THE CAPE CREATOR completed film and special features (extended interviews and art), plus our special thank you TWEET and POSTCARD. Est. delivery for download 10/14, tweet and postcard 4/14.

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    41 backers

    THE MOVIE ANNIVERSARY LEVEL! 25 years ago, in 1989, the motion picture BATMAN directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton proved that the world could take Batman seriously. DVD of THE CAPE CREATOR film with bonus features.

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  • Pledge $27 or more
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    40 backers

    THE DETECTIVE 27 LEVEL! Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (cover date May, 1939). DVD of THE CAPE CREATOR film with bonus features, plus thank you POSTCARD. ALL contributors at this level and above will be included in thank you TWEETS. Est. delivery for DVD 10/14, tweet and postcard 5/14.

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  • Pledge $33 or more
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    3 backers

    NEW: THE CRIME ALLEY LEVEL! Batman fought crime in Detective Comics for 6 months before issue #33 revealed his origin in 2 powerful pages, really a page and a half. Rewards include all of the above PLUS EXCLUSIVE GOTHAM CITY ART print.

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  • Pledge $38 or more
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    4 backers

    NEW: THE SIDEKICK LEVEL! Bill Finger wanted Batman to have a partner, someone to talk to, and so Detective Comics #38 saw the debut of Batman's first sidekick, Dick Grayson, a.k.a. the original Robin the Boy Wonder. All items listed above plus exclusive pro-Finger T-SHIRT. (This also applies to the Sidekick level listing that someone generously backed before we even revealed its Kickstarter Rewards. Thank you!)

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    1 backer

    NEW: THE SIDEKICK LEVEL! Bill Finger wanted Batman to have a partner, someone to talk to, and so Detective Comics #38 saw the debut of Batman's first sidekick, Dick Grayson, a.k.a. the original Robin the Boy Wonder. Rewards to be revealed after we reach Stretch Goal #1.

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    15 backers

    THE "NEW LOOK" BATMAN LEVEL! In 1964, after several years of fighting space aliens, tolerating the likes of Bat-Mite, and getting mutated into forms like a zebra man and a Bat-Baby, Batman turned more serious and his costume got its "New Look." All of the above PLUS special DVD case and an 8x10 print of our poster art. Est. delivery for DVD 10/14, print 5/14.

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    13 backers

    THE NEW 52 LEVEL! All of the above PLUS artist signature on the 8x10 print of our poster art. Est. delivery for DVD 10/14, print 4/14.

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  • Pledge $75 or more
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    3 backers

    THE BATAVERSARY LEVEL! 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of Batman's debut in Detective Comics #27. A DVD of THE CAPE CREATOR film (including the extended interviews), plus signed 8X10 poster print and individual thank you tweet to reach a following of more than 75,000. No, double that! More than 150,000! Est. delivery for DVD 10/14, tweet and print 5/14.

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    8 backers

    THE BILL FINGER CENTENNIAL BIRTHDAY LEVEL! Batman's uncredited co-creator Bill Finger (1914-1974), who died largely unknown to the world just short of his 60th birthday, would have turned 100 the week we launch this campaign in his honor. All of the above PLUS the book BILL THE BOY WONDER: THE SECRET CO-CREATOR OF BATMAN by Marc Tyler Nobleman, SIGNED by the author. Est. delivery for book and print 5/14, DVD 10/14.

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    5 backers

    THE BRIGHTEST DAY LEVEL! Be a star! In addition to ghost writing for Bob Kane, Bill Finger wrote other stories under his own name, including the first adventure of Martin Nodell's creation, the original Green Lantern! Rewards: Your name appears in the closing credits of the film. Includes DVD of the tribute film with extended interviews.

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    4 backers

    ALL-WINNERS LEVEL! As if his prolific writing for DC Comics weren't enough, Bill Finger also wrote ALL-WINNER COMICS stories for the rival company that would later rename itself Marvel. That's right, Bill Finger worked for editor Stan "the Man" Lee! Your name presented in the closing credits of the film, PLUS all other items above (thank yous, print, book, DVD). Est. delivery DVD 10/14, all other items 5/14.

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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    4 backers

    THE BRAVE, BOLD LEVEL! The comic book titled THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, which became Batman's team-up comic book, ended with issue #200 in 1983. All of the above PLUS the books THE BOY WHO LOVED BATMAN by Bat-Films executive producer Michael Uslan and BATMAN AND PSYCHOLOGY: A DARK AND STORMY KNIGHT by Dr. Travis Langley, SIGNED by the authors.

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  • Pledge $241 or more
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    2 backers

    NEW: THE MYSTERY LEVEL! Bill Finger's last original comic book story appeared in House of Mystery #241. Pen & ink Bat-character ORIGINAL ART - ILLUSTRATION by an artist who drew every major DC superhero during his years with DC Comics. Includes DVD, postcard, and one mystery book (your choice from those we have, actually), plus "thank you" on website, in tweet, and in closing credits. (Original art added above is included for assistant producers only at the "with utility belt" level and above. See our updates for information on specific artists.)

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  • Pledge $251 or more
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    0 backers

    NEW: THE BLOCKBUSTER LEVEL! This has the Mystery Level's Rewards plus THE OFFICIAL BATMAN TRIVIA CHALLENGE signed by author Alan "Sizzler" Kistler.

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  • Pledge $300 or more
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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    NEW: THE WAYNE MANOR LIBRARY LEVEL! All other rewards named above with SIX signed books (BILL THE BOY WONDER, BATMAN AND PSYCHOLOGY, THE BOY WHO LOVED BATMAN, THE UNOFFICIAL BATMAN TRIVIA CHALLENGE, WISDOM FROM THE BATCAVE, and a mystery book yet to be revealed). Where higher levels say, "all 4 signed books," you can now read that as "all 6 signed books."

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  • Pledge $323 or more
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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    THE WORLDS FINEST LEVEL! World's Finest Comics starring Batman and Superman ran for 323 issues from 1941 to 1986. Join Us. BE IN THE FILM! Send us a Batman related digital image to include in the film: a personal photograph, your own artwork, etc. (subject to approval, must be relevant to the tribute). Includes DVD and all other items named above.

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  • Pledge $715 or more
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    5 backers Limited (2 left of 7)

    ASSISTANT PRODUCER! After more than 7 decades, the comic book titled BATMAN ended with 715 issues before its New 52 relaunch. (The last issue was #713, but there had also been issues numbered #0 and #1,000,000, making the total 715.) Welcome to the project. Forever in the credits, on IMDb, and on your resume as assistant producer. Includes all other items listed above.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    ASSISTANT PRODUCER WITH UTILITY BELT! DC Comics' longest running publication, DETECTIVE COMICS, ended with 883 issues before its New 52 relaunch. Welcome to the project. Forever in the credits, on IMDb, and on your resume as assistant producer, AND pen & ink Bat-character illustration by an artist who drew every major DC superhero during his years with DC Comics.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    ASSISTANT PRODUCER WITH CAVE PRIVILEGES: DOUBLE THE CREDITS, DOUBLE THE GIFTS. Batman (1989), the 1st motion picture to show that the world could take Batman seriously, grossed $251 million domestically. Full benefits of the Assistant Producer with Utility Belt level including the original Bat-character pen & ink by artist who drew every major superhero during his time at DC Comics, ART PRODUCTION TEAM CREDIT for the extra help, AND TWO of all other items listed above. (BONUS: A special art print goes to the first person who figured out and told us the significance of this dollar amount. Everyone was eligible.)

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  • Pledge $1,914 or more
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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER! In honor of Bill Finger, born 1914, you will become an associate producer for the short film, our tribute to the man who gave us Bruce Wayne, Commissioner Gordon, Gotham City, too many great villains to count, and a legacy known around the world. You become part of Bill Finger's legacy. Includes associate producer credit, website recognition, thank you tweet, thank you postcard, promotional postcards, 5 prints, 5 DVDS, all 4 signed books, original Bat-character pen & ink, and thank you phone calls from the filmmakers and the Finger family. (FYI: A backer HAS PLEDGED AT THIS LEVEL - slightly higher, in fact - but selected no reward. A HUGE "THANK YOU" to our anonymous shadow producer!)

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  • Pledge $2,733 or more
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    0 backers

    CO-PRODUCER. In honor of the man who wrote Batman's debut in Detective Comics #27 and the tragic origin in Detective Comics #33, you become co-producer in this celebration of Bill Finger's work. You help tell the world the truth about the man who was there at the very beginning and get enjoyed none of the fame or fortune. Become a leader in the crusade for Bill Finger's legacy by helping the world learn who gave us one of our most famous, most beloved superheroes. 75 years after Detective Comics #27, the recognition is overdue. Includes co-producer credit, website recognition, thank you tweet, thank you postcard, stack of promotional postcards, 10 prints, 10 DVDS, all 4 signed books, original Bat-character pen & ink, thank you phone calls from the filmmakers and the Finger family, and a one-of-a-kind, original Bat-drawing by Athena Finger.

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  • Pledge $3,939 or more
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    0 backers

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER! You will become an executive producer for the short film, our tribute to the late, great Bill Finger. Become a leader in the crusade for Bill Finger's legacy by helping the world learn who gave us one of our most famous, most beloved superheroes. 75 years after Batman's 1939 debut, the recognition is overdue. Includes executive producer credit, website recognition, thank you tweet, thank you postcard, stack of promotional postcards, 10 prints, 10 DVDS, all 3 signed books, thank you phone calls from the filmmakers and the Finger family, and a one-of-a-kind, original Bat-drawing by Athena Finger.

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Funding period

- (27 days)