About this project
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.
- Athena Finger (@AthenaFinger) - 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, BATMAN RETURNS, THE DARK KNIGHT trilogy, and THE LEGO MOVIE (which has Lego Batman in it, you know).
- Jens Robinson - son of Bob Kane's first Batman ghost artist, 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 (@JamieWalton) - co-founder, with Kevin Smith (CLERKS, BATMAN: CACOPHONY), of the Wayne Foundation non-profit.
- Rabbi Cary Friedman - author of WISDOM FROM THE BATCAVE: HOW TO LIVE A SUPER, HEROIC LIFE.
- Arlen Schumer - author of ALTER EGO article scrutinizing Batman's behind-the-scenes origin.
- Will Brooker (@WillBrooker) - author of BATMAN UNMASKED and HUNTING THE DARK KNIGHT.
- Alan J. Porter (@AlanJPorter) - author of a chapter on Bill Finger for Denny O'Neil's anthology BATMAN UNAUTHORIZED.
- Alan Kistler (@SizzlerKistler) - comics journalist, author of THE UNOFFICIAL BATMAN TRIVIA CHALLENGE and DOCTOR WHO: A HISTORY.
- Chris Sims (@theisb) - Batmanologist, journalist covering comic books and related topics at ComicsAlliance.
- Marc Tyler Nobleman(@MarcTNobleman) - author of BILL THE BOY WONDER: THE SECRET CO-CREATOR OF BATMAN, who led the Finger Google doodle campaign.
- Dr. Travis Langley (@Superherologist) - author of BATMAN AND PSYCHOLOGY: A DARK AND STORMY KNIGHT.
- Plus several big surprises we can't name yet.
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:
- THE CAPE CREATOR: A TRIBUTE TO BILL FINGER
- The Comic Arts Council
- Athena Finger
- Bill Finger Appreciation Group
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!
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
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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