Tag Archives: batman

Review: Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman

BillTheBoyWonderFrBill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman was released on July 1st, 2012. It was sometime between then and the middle of 2013 that I learned about the book  after I read about it in a comics magazine that I initially thought to be the British Comic Heroes, but after searching through the issues I have, I was unable to locate the article. So regardless of when and where I first became aware of the book, once it was on my radar, I quickly tracked it down on Amazon.

I’m glad I did.

Once I’d read the book I was genuinely impressed by what Mark Tyler Nobleman had done. By gearing the book towards a younger audience, Nobleman ensured that anybody who wanted to learn about the Dark Knights then uncredited co-creator would have a resource, no matter the age of the reader. The great thing about the book is that despite it being geared toward younger readers, this is a book that all ages can enjoy; indeed the afterward, or authors note, detailing a portion of the research done for the book is clearly geared more toward the older reader (but isn’t required reading to get the most out of the book). Although Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman isn’t strictly a graphic novel, it is illustrated wonderfully by Eisner Award winner Ty Templeton, who brings a real sense of history and wonder to the story that Nobleman is telling here.

As a biography of Batman‘s co-creator Bill Finger, this book is lacking a little. But being a complete biography was never the intention behind Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman, no, this book was only ever meant to highlight an unknown legend who did more than we could ever have imagined for Batman and, to some extent, Bob Kane. Because of the all ages target audience there isn’t an in depth look into the writer’s life, instead what Nobleman has done is focus exclusively on the moments surrounding Finger, his contributions to the Dark Knight’s legacy and his incredible lack of credit and recognition for those contributions.

By making this book accessible to all ages, and focusing on several key moments, Nobleman and Templeton delivered a book that, in my mind, was instrumental in getting Bill Finger recognized as Batman‘s co-creator. Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman is more than just a children’s book about a man getting screwed out of his legacy; it’s also the physical encapsulation of one man’s single minded desire to bring awareness to a man who died nearly penniless.

This book is a great starting point for those looking to learn more about Bill Finger, no matter your age, but if you want to read more about the extensive research that went into this book then you should checkout Nobleman‘s blog Noblemania, but more specifically this page where he really lays out a lot of the stories, photographs  and memories of FingerMarc Tyler Nobleman certainly wasn’t the only voice shouting for Bill Finger to get some recognition, but he was one of the loudest, and Bill The Boy Wonder was the result of a huge amount of time and energy that had been dedicated to bringing Bill Finger‘s name out of obscurity.

Writer: Marc Tyler Nobleman Illustrator: Ty Templeton
Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday! What’d every get? What’d you enjoy? What were duds? Sound off in the comments below!

Around the Tubes

Newsarama – The Flash Surprises With Multiple Cameos & Debuts – If you missed all of the Easter Eggs, here you go.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Batman #49

Newsarama – Batman #49

Talking Comics – Batman: Arkham Knight Batgirl & Harley Quinn Special #1

Talking Comics – Jonesy #1

Batman’s Biggest Secret: Bill Finger’s Legacy as Revealed by Marc Tyler Nobleman

BillTheBoyWonderFrA few weeks ago I attended a slideshow tour of New York City’s Superhero Sites with Danny Fingeroth at the New-York Historical Society Museum. Thereafter, I vowed to continue deepening my knowledge of the comic book world, and begin exploring the factual stories underpinning the industry I admire, but obviously know very little about.

Yesterday, I attended a presentation hosted by the 92nd Street YMCA in New York City: Batman’s Biggest Secret: Fighting for Bill Finger with Marc Tyler Nobleman (author of Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman). Who do I spot sitting about four seats away from? It was Danny Fingeroth; a good omen that I am on the right path–sorry, I can be superstitious.

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If a year ago you had asked me who Bill Finger was, I’d look at you with a puzzled face. DC said Bob Kane created Batman (after all it said so right there on practically every front page of any Batman comic), and that was good enough for me. Now, as of late 2015, it was officially announced to worldwide fanfare, that Bill Finger will be given credit for co-creating Batman with Bob Kane; and the next film (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) will include the following credit: Created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.

Marc is directly responsible for making this happen. His continued detective work, and dogged perseverance, unearthed the last living family relation (a granddaughter Bill Finger never knew), who was able to untangle the legal contractual web that prevented DC from finally give him his proper due for co-creating Batman.

Marc began his presentation with the statement that Batman’s biggest secret is not Bruce Wayne as a metaphor for the industry secret (prior to 2015) that Bob Kane alone did not create Batman. He then, in painstaking detail, outlined Bill Finger’s tragic tale with tear-inducing emotion, but also with a sprinkling of light humor to even out the historical narrative.

Bob Kane was an artist, and Bill Finger was a writer. Together the two dreamed a new type of hero in 1939–a costumed Dark Knight who terrorized criminals. However, as Batman grew to become an iconic global super hero, Bob Kane’s fame and wealth grew beyond his wildest dreams, while Bill Finger (whose real name was actually Milton Finger) languished in obscurity and poverty. Marc, together with artist Ty Templeton, wrote a graphic novel, about the true story of how Batman began, and the larger role Bill Finger played in his creation. The book, originally published in 2012, aspired to get Bill the recognition he deserved.

In the audience, sitting right next to me, was an older woman, who during the question/answer session stood up defiantly to defend her friend, Bob Kane. Marc, took it with stride, pointing out that he was not vilifying Bob Kane as a person or private individual, but merely pointing out that as a professional Bob enriched himself on the work of others, and did not assign the proper credit to Bill Finger.

Then later, as I waited in line for Marc’s autograph, I chatted it up with another gentleman in a red polo shirt (his name was Robert van Maanen, and I know this only because Marc had posted an interview with him earlier today on his blog). He told me how Bill Finger, his neighbor, was a very easy going, affable, person who bore no one ill will. He also told me that Bill had a collection of old comics, including original printings of Detective #27, and the first appearance of Captain America with the triangular shield. He even said that National Publications (the precursor company to DC) one time called upon Bill Finger to donate an original copy of Detective #27 for a charity sale, and he did so without thinking about it, despite how he was mistreated by the company.

This was a very emotional night for me, and I had to hold back the tears while listening to Marc’s grim historical account about Bill Finger, his friends, his family, and his ignoble passing away. At least his memory and legacy has been righted by those who pursued the truth behind one of the world’s most beloved character: The Batman.

Happy 102nd Birthday Bill, and may you have many more here on this earth, and wherever your souls rests today.

Also, thank you to Marc and Danny for showing me the way to deeper truths behind the history of comic books; and for you readers who want to know more, visit Marc’s pop culture archaeological blog (where he continues to dig into the history of Bill Finger and his relations), and buy his book, Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman (and while you’re at it check out his other works on Superman too) .

Ty Templeton Talks To Us About What Bill Finger Means To Him, And His Contributions In Having Bill Officially Credited

bill-the-boy-wonderIf you’ve been paying attention to any media featuring the Caped Crusader released since October of 2015, you may have noticed a slight change in the Bat-byline. Instead of just one name, it now reads “Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger,” because last year, DC Comics finally acknowledged Bill Finger as the co-creator of Batman. A driving force behind Finger finally being officially acknowledged after so many years was the book Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman, which was written by Marc Tyler Nobleman and illustrated by Ty Templeton.

Ty Templeton has been nominated for four Eisner Awards for his work on Batman titles for DC (he won three), and he’s also a member of the Canadian Comic Book Hall Of Fame. He also created a couple of very pointed comic strips focusing on Bill Finger, which have reached hundreds of thousands of people to the name of Batman‘s co-creator, Milton “Bill” Finger.

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Ty Templeton about Bill Finger, his contributions to Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman, and the comic strips he’d produced (you’ll find thumbnail links further on).

Graphic Policy: Firstly let me say, genuinely, what a pleasure this is for me. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve used your Bill Finger Bun Toons to explain to people just how much he contributed to Batman. I understand Bill Finger has been a hero of yours for some time – can you tell us about how you first came across him?

Ty Templeton: I was a young teenager in the 70s, during the period that Batman and Detective were often 100 page giants, and they were starting to give the writers and artists proper credit on the reprint stories. So “Bob Kane”, who had signed all the Batman comics I read as a child, turned out to be Bill Finger, and Dick Sprang and Jerry Robinson, and Jack Burnley and a few others all along, and the 100 page giants were starting to reveal that. So in the 70s, I started to realize it was Finger and Sprang who made the Batman stories I loved, not Bob Kane.

When Bill died in 1974, the tribute to him that ran in DC comics hinted generously that he had more than a little bit to do with creating Batman in the first place, certainly everything to do with creating Catwoman and Riddler and Robin and the rest of the gang. Over the next decade or so, there were a few books about the beginning of the biz like “The Steranko History of Comics” that hinted generously as well. It started to be clear Bill’s story was known in the industry, but little known outside of it. When I became a working professional in the 80s, I would have conversations with other working pros who had a similar attitude about Bob Kane and his mistreatment of Bill’s legacy.

Finally, in the 90s, when Kane came out with his auto-biography “Batman and Me” which both praised Finger’s contribution, and included obviously forged illustrations and documents to claim Kane had created the character before he met Bill (there’s a preposterously silly forgery of an “early sketch” of Batman dated from 1936 that Kane manufactured for the book that anyone with functioning eyes can see is a fake), I knew for a fact that Finger had created the character and Kane was lying his ass off. Since then, I’ve held Kane in contempt, and considered Finger the real hero of the story. Kane shouldn’t have lied and forged those things. You cannot trust anything a liar and a forger says.

GP: So it’s safe to say that you were excited to be a part of a book that called attention to Kane’s bullshit?

TT: I’m not sure that I would put it in quite those colourful words, but yes, I was happy to work on a book that called attention to the true story. There’s a number of creators in our biz that are the architects of the modern pop culture world and who aren’t as well known as they should be. Jack Kirby isn’t a household word the way Stan Lee is, and that’s not fair. It’s nice to see Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld are getting a shout out in the new Deadpool movie, but I understand that was at Liefeld’s request personally to the director, and it wasn’t offered by either Marvel or 20th Century Fox. Us lowly comic artists and writers are never going to get the credit they’ve earned unless someone makes a stink.

GP: It must have been exciting when you got to be a part of Bill The Boy Wonder…. How did you get attached to the project?

TT: I got attached to the project fairly simply. The editor called me on the phone and offered me the gig. I’m not sure how my name got chosen by Marc and company, but it did. It’s likely a combination of the fact that I had written and drawn many issues of Batman Adventures (which is a Batman series that was theoretically aimed at a younger reader, but never written that way, so we had an older audience than our publishers expected) and was fairly public about my contempt for Bob Kane. I’ve probably bad mouthed Kane in an interview or two, and those two factors lined me up as a good fit for the project. You’d have to ask Marc Tyler Nobleman how they chose me.

Marc Tyler Nobleman: I made a list of artists I would like to work with and reached out to my top choices personally to feel them out. As I recall, this was even before the book was under contract. Ty responded enthusiastically and demonstrated true knowledge of Bill Finger’s plight. His pre-existing passion for the subject struck me as a huge asset to the project. I passed on my list to my editor. Like many authors, I did not have final say on the illustrator, but I’m thankful Charlesbridge also liked Ty and Ty said yes.

batman-without-bill-letteredGP: Did you ever think, when you illustrated Bill The Boy Wonder… that you would see Bill get a mention in the Batman byline?

TT: There was hope, but no expectation. The hard-and-fast-rule to credit Bob Kane with everything was part of a legal document, it wasn’t a courtesy move from DC but an obligation. There was no expectation we would change the credits that appeared in print and in official adaptations…we were trying to change the minds of people in the real world. The first inkling that it was working was wikipedia listed Bob and Bill as co-creators a couple of years ago. Wikipedia isn’t constrained by legal fictions and could put the correct story on their site as Warner Brothers/DC Comics didn’t control its content. I should mention that most of the folks who work at DC were champions of Bill and WANTED to give him credit, but were constrained by that contract. When Wiki started to credit Bill Finger as co-creator of not only Batman, but Robin, Alfred, Catwoman, Joker, etc. (each has their own entry on Wiki), it really helped cement the idea in the minds of the public. Soon other websites and news orgs were casually calling Bill the co-creator because they were using Wiki as a source.

GP: How instrumental do you think that book was in finally Bill Finger officially recognized?

TT: I couldn’t possibly tell you because I’m too close to the book. I do know that the book topped a number of “Best of…” lists the year it came out. USA TODAY ranked us one of the 10 best graphic novels of that year, and things like that snowballed the attention the book was getting. Even if you didn’t read it, the title alone (Bill the Boy Wonder: The SECRET CO-CREATOR OF BATMAN) gave away the main story point. Each mention of the book in a major publication created the narrative of Bill’s contribution to Batman’s creation. I like to think we helped. I may be delusional, but I think we helped. Certainly Marc Tyler Nobleman’s discovery of Athena Finger helped, too! He arranged to make sure she got Bill’s royalty checks as the early stories got reprinted (and they’re reprinted a LOT!). I’m fairly sure that Athena’s mere existence helped humanize Bill’s story and that helped people take action.

GP: Do you think that you’re close to achieving what you and Marc set out to do with Bill’s name in the byline, or is there still more to do?

TT: Yes, we’ve seen Bill’s name get put in that “created by” credit, and I never expected that. So yay. It’s unrealistic to expect Athena Finger starts inheriting millions of lost compensation because Bill never tried to assert he was owed anything while he was alive. He may well have been owed something, but it’s impossible now to right that sin. So I’d say there’s not much more work to be done.

GP: Your Bill Finger Bun Toons have gone pretty viral, especially the What If Bob Finger Had Created Batman Without Bill Finger strip. It must have been rewarding seeing the sheer number of people view and share those?

finger-justiceTT: Yeah, it was rewarding. It showed up everywhere. It was a special giveaway poster at a Denver Comicon a year or so ago (everyone attending the convention got a free “Batman without Finger” poster as part of their con-package. That was many many thousands of copies of the poster, given to comic fans, who likely tweeted it, and talked about it. It was reprinted in a couple of magazines in Europe. It showed up on websites like Bleeding Cool and I09, and well traveled comic press sites. Like the book itself, every time you hear the TRUE story, it erodes the legal fiction in the minds of people who see it.

GP: I imagine it must have been a pretty great feeling to finally get a chance to draw the One Fine Day I Summon The Ghost Of Milton “Bill” Finger Bun Toon, eh? I know Bob Kane’s appearance is in his original Bat-Man costume, but I was laughing pretty hard at that last panel.

TT: Yeah, it was. Never expected that outcome. The best part of that “ghost of Bill” story was that I included Marc in the strip, where he gets to meet Bill’s ghost, and Bill thanks him personally. Marc told me that he choked up when he read it, and felt it was as close to meeting our hero as he was going to get. Athena liked it too. Giving a smile to Marc and Athena was a big reward for me.

GP: Lastly, if it came down to a choice; pirates, ninjas, cowboys or aliens?

TT: Probably cowboys. I’m a bit of a sucker for Westerns…I grew up with Clint Eastwood movies and Butch and Sundance. But hey, I’m the guy who really liked Cowboys Vs. Aliens, even if no one else did. And Terra Man (the alien cowboy bad guy from Superman) holds a sentimental place in my heart, even if he’s way too goofy to have ever seen print.

Review: Batman #49

Batman #49 CoverIt is time. Bruce Wayne has reclaimed his true past as Batman. Now he must descend into the cave and face what he once was. Can he truly leave behind a life free from the pain and anguish of the Bat? Can he plunge once more into the madness and purpose that once consumed him? In this special, thrilling issue, watch as the fate of Bruce Wayne, and Batman, is decided once and for all.

We know things have been building to one moment, the return of Bruce Wayne as Batman, and writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV have given us that here in an interesting issue that plays with imagery to get us to that point.

Bruce knows his past, and is determined to take the mantel, but it’s Alfred who is the roadblock and that’s what makes the issue rather interesting. There’s something very “comic book” about Batman’s return, we saw that in earlier issues with the mysterious machine, but that’s kind of deus ex machina, the heart of it is about that trigger that made Batman.

Snyder and Tynion really have a hell of a debate in the comic about Bruce Wayne the man, Batman the hero, and where the two meet. We’ve seen for these last 10 or so issues a returned Bruce Wayne, one that’s charitable and not aware of his trauma or past that created Batman. And, if the Batman returns, would the people who make that happen be any better than the man wielding the gun in the alley of Crime Alley? That’s the debate and it’s heartbreaking.

Greg Capullo is off this issue and in his place is Yanick Paquette whose style here reminds me of a mix between Capullo and Francesco Francavilla (at least with the color palette). There’s an interesting mix of looks in the comic as the machine bringing back the memories teaches lessons through different iterations of Batman, each in their own world and with their own look. The art is decent, and gets the job done, but I feel like there’s so many others who could have created a much more impressive visual, especially since we’ve seen some amazing page layouts in Grayson, Batgirl, and elsewhere. Again, it’s not bad, it’s just not as eye catching of other comics we’ve seen do similar visual spreads.

The comic is an interesting one where I go back and forth as to what I think. To me, that’ll get settled in next issue, but I can see what was being attempted here. The emotional aspect is beyond top notch, it’s just the backdrop of which that’s present I’m a bit mixed about.

Story: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV Art: Yanick Paquette
Story: 7.8 Art: 7.4 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Marc Tyler Nobleman Talks To Us About His Work In Getting Bill Finger’s Name Recognized

bill-the-boy-wonderLast year, DC finally acknowledged Bill Finger as the co-creator of Batman. If you’ve paid attention to any comics featuring the Dark Knight lately, you’ll have noticed a slight change in the byline. Instead of just one name, it now reads “Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.” A driving force behind Finger finally being officially acknowledged after so many years was Marc Tyler Nobleman, who wrote Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman, and in the process of researching that book he also uncovered some previously unknown pictures, and descendants, of Bill Finger (and you can read more about that here).

Marc‘s book, and school tours, have introduced an entirely new generation of people to the name of Batman‘s co-creator, and his work is essential reading for those looking to find out more about Milton “Bill” Finger.

I was fortunate enough to be able to talk with Marc Tyler Nobleman about his book, his work to get Bill Finger the official credit he has deserved for more than 75 years.

Graphic Policy: Firstly, I want to say what an honour this is for me, personally. Your efforts to bring Bill Finger the justifiable credit for co-creating Batman have been both fantastic and inspiring. Did you ever think that you would get to see that credit printed in a Batman comic, or on the silver screen?

Marc Tyler Nobleman: Thank you for your kind words, Alex. I campaigned so hard for so long to get Bill’s name on Batman stories because I believe Back to the Future: if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. I default to optimist. However, I’m also a realist so I prepared myself for the possibility that it might not happen. That said, I devoted most of my thought energy to the positive.

GP: During your quest (can I call it a quest?) to have Bill officially recognised you unearthed some previously unknown photographs of Bill. Did you ever expect to find anything like that?

MTN: I did feel confident I could find at least one or two photos, but I don’t think I stopped to consider that I might find as many as I did (at least 13). Early on I realized that the only way I’d have a chance of succeeding is by locating people who were close to Bill but who did not work in comics. If they were in the industry, their photos would most likely already be public.

GP: In your book, Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman you imply that some of the responsibility for Bill’s lack of credit at his own feet. Do you think that if he’d stood up for himself earlier than he did he may have been credited before now?

MTN: I’m not programmed for hypotheticals.

GP: Do you feel that you’ve achieved what you set out to achieve for Bill with the “Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger” credit, or is there still more to do?

MTN: Yes and yes: obtaining official credit was the driving force for me but the cultural obligation to tell Bill’s story is a lifelong job. Also, the man needs a permanent memorial, all the more so because he has no gravestone, and I’ve been working on that since before the book came out. It’s not familiar territory for me but I’m finding my way. Stay tuned!

GP: You visit a lot of schools giving talks about the research involved in two of your books; the already mentioned Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman as well as your biography on Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman. How receptive are the kids to the history of the creators?

MTN: Profoundly so, I’m happy to report. I’ve been to schools where kids have made a board game about Siegel and Shuster and where kids have written letters to Bob Kane as Bill’s son Fred. Hearing Bill’s story, kids reveal the best of humankind—their desire to go out and do good in the world becomes palpable (and hugely inspiring). Kids have asked me questions that have almost brought me to tears.

GP: I think one of the strongest aspects of Bill The Boy Wonder… is its accessibility. I’m guessing that was done to increase awareness of Bill Finger with a younger audience?

MTN: Thank you. Yes, I wrote the book for all ages but with special emphasis on a younger audience. Unlike me, they can learn the truth about this icon before they grow up. We should always pay attention to whoever has created something we love. It’s hard to direct thanks into an abyss.

GP: Any plans to release an updated version of Bill The Boy Wonder now that his name is included in the byline?

MTN: The final words of my book: “Will his name ever be added to every Batman story? Batmanians are keeping their Fingers crossed.” Part of me wants to leave the book that way—it’s an instant time capsule. And it will encourage some readers to do further reading. Another part of me, of course, wants to revise it. Too soon to say which part of me will get his way.

GP: Brett (Graphic Policy’s blogger-in-chief) wanted me to ask: I’ve always wondered if folks knew what they were a part of when they were creating all of these characters and if there was some idea they’d last so long and be so loved?

MTN: I found no documentation of what the Bill and Bob of 1939 (the year of Batman’s debut) thought about posterity, but I think it’s safe to assume neither could have foreseen this character being around in a decade, let alone seven. Comic books were barely considered an art form then.

GP: I think it’s important to recognize the contributions that the early creators had to the comic book and pop culture landscape. How important do you think it is for publishers to acknowledge the men who built their characters? Do you think that we, the fans, have just as much responsibility in asking for that recognition – whether it be in bylines, or an official recognition?

MTN: I think it’s obvious that I feel it is vitally important to credit anyone for anything s/he contributes to society! And yes, now more than ever, fans have the power to share their opinion easily and on the world stage. Take it from me: stating your case sensibly and steadily can make a difference.

GP: After reading through your extensive research notes on your blog, do you have any plans to release another book detailing either the search for Bill, or all of the information you were able t unearth, or will that stay largely  on your blog?

MTN: Given how many people have asked if I will write a longer book on Bill, I should…but too early to say. For now, the material on my blog isn’t going anywhere.

GP: And finally, pirates, ninjas, cowboys or ninjas, and why?

MTN: Of pirates, ninjas, or cowboys, I chose knights, of course. In particular Dark ones.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Jonesy_001_A_MainWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Javier

Top Pick: Sunflower #4 (451 Media) – The visuals are amazing, but the luminescence is in stark contrast to the dark cult ridden story. CJ will do anything for her daughter. Or at least we are going to find out?

Descender #10 (Image Comics) – The space adventures of Tim 21 continue on the Robot Resistance’s Machine Moon home world. A new group (‘The Between’) and character (‘Queen Between’) are to be introduced in this issue.

The Last Contract #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The assassin Old Man with No Name is on the hunt for the rat bastard who exposed his kill list. And he ain’t taking no prisoners.

Last Sons of America (BOOM! Studios) – Don Carlo is about to open a Mexican Can of Whoop’ Ass on Jackie and Julian.  I guess they shouldn’t have gotten involved with the Don’s Star Wars quoting daughter.

Snow Blind #3 (BOOM! Studios) – Trent is one messed up kid, and now he knows everything about the WITSEC program and his family.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Constantine The Hellblazer TP Volume 1 (DC Comics)Constantine is DC’s best comic and this is the place to start for fans both new and old. It holds the blend of dark humor, self destructive lust, creepy magic and relatable melancholy that’s required in a Constantine comic. Yet the stories and creative art feel all new. And hurray, one of the writers is a bisexual man writing a bisexual male lead.

Top Pick: Jonesy #1 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box) – Love is dumb! Thus spaketh many a young rebel such as Jonesy, the protagonist of this new all-ages miniseries. She has the superpower to make people fall in love, but not with her. While she revels in being unique and an outsider she also wants to be accepted– in-spite of herself. Cute and bold art that’s half punk/half cartoon feels very contemporary and young.  This is writer Sam Humphries’s second latina teen protagonist (the other stars in Marvel’s Weirdworld which you should also be buying).

All-New Wolverine #5 (Marvel) – Laura Kinney teams up with The Wasp! I love this series’ character development and consistent feminist awesomeness. Laura is a complex female superhero and we’ve been hungry for that.

Black Canary #8 (DC Comics) – A mysterious ninja is stalking Dinah. I think I know who it is. Fantastic rock and roll art and interesting stories featuring a great female cast make this series easy to love.

No Mercy #7 (Image Comics) – After last issue’s climax how are you not reading this?! Completely suspenseful, realistic and accessible to non-comics readers. It’s sort of the HBO of comics.

Zodiac Starforce #4 (Dark Horse) – The Final issue of a magical girl series I wish I had as a kid (and I never did read Sailor Moon). A charming and inventive all ages comic with a kick-ass diverse and distinctive cast. You’re sure to find a character to identify with. Feels a bit like a technicolor Buffy for kids.

 

Logan

Top Pick: Batman #49 (DC Comics) –  After Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo rewrote the Batman mythos last week to have Bruce Wayne not be motivated by his parents’ death to pick up the cape and cowl, I am interested in how Snyder and guest artist Yanick Paquette put him back in the middle of the action against Mr. Bloom.

Jem and the Holograms Valentine’s Day Special (IDW Publishing) – My favorite part of the Jem and the Holograms series hasn’t been the plots, but the fun characters, art, and romance. This is why I enjoy the various annual and special issues, which can focus on the characters, their interactions, and antics without having to progress the overall plot. Hoping for some Kimber/Stormer adorableness.

Jonesy #1 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box) – The BOOM! Box imprint has a strong track record of fun, relatable all ages comics with great cartoonish art, like Lumberjanes and Giant Days. And Jonesy is different with its focus on romance. Also, there can never be enough comics starring members of fandoms.

Jughead #4 (Archie Comics) – Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson make for an excellent comedy team, and Jughead is one of the funniest current comics. Each issue, I anticipate the weird and wacky dream sequences in the middle of the comic. Also, Jughead is revealed to be asexual this issue.

Ms. Marvel #4 (Marvel) – I’m really enjoying the new volume of Ms. Marvel, and how Ms. Marvel has to balance being a regular high school student, Avenger, and superhero while also dealing with her name being used by an evil corporation that wants to level her city for expensive condos. Talk about a full course load.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Shaft: Imitation of Life #1 (Dynamite) – David Walker’s first volume for the classic character was fantastic, and this second one is a comic that I’ve been waiting to read since I found out about it many months ago. Walker mastered getting to the basics of John Shaft, what makes the character great, and I’m expecting more of the same.

Descender #10 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite comics out right now. This sci-fi series is as great to read as it is to stare at it’s beautiful pages.

Legend of Wonder Woman #2 (DC Comics) – The Wonder Woman we need. It’s a back to basics take on the character and is right now the best depiction of the character in comics. The first issue was great and shows you can easily do the character right with a solid creative team.

Old Man Logan #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic, the best debut of any All-New, All-Different Marvel comic. It perfectly captured the “Western” feel of the original story mixed in with a good revenge tale. So good that I don’t care this issue is out just a few weeks later.

Sunflower #4 (451 Media) – This series is just beautiful to look at, and the story rather haunting. A mother trying to get her kid back from a cult, yes please!

Happy Birthday Bill Finger

Bill FingerToday would have been Bill Finger‘s 102nd birthday.

I’ve been somewhat vocal about trying to bring awareness to Bill Finger ever since I started writing about comics last year, because his name is not as well known as it should be. Indeed, many people, when asked if they had ever heard about Bill Finger would respond with “Bill Who?

Bill Finger is the largely unknown co-creator of Batman.

He also contributed much to the Batman mythology in its formative years, from the Batcave and the Batmobile, to much of the Dark Knights supporting cast. And yes, that also includes the Joker, whom Bill had a hand in co-creating.

Today would have been Bill Finger‘s 102nd birthday were he still alive, but sadly he died almost penniless in 1974, and almost ended up in a paupers grave. He died largely forgotten, without ever seeing his name appear on the front of a comic. Well that, at least, has been rectified; DC issued a special seventy five year anniversary issue of Detective Comics #27 in 2014, and Bill Finger‘s name was right there on the cover.

You know where else his name is now? In the “Batman Created By Bob Kane with Bill Finger” byline emblazoned across any media featuring Batman since late last year.

There is also an award named after him, created by his frequent collaborator Jerry Robinson; The Bill Finger Award For Excellence In Comic Book Writing is awarded annually to two writers; one alive and one dead. Mark Evanier, the chair of the awards committee said in 2003 that the premise of the award was “to recognize writers for a body of work that has not received its rightful reward and/or recognition. That was what Jerry Robinson intended as his way of remembering his friend, Bill Finger. Bill is still kind of the industry poster boy for writers not receiving proper reward or recognition.”

On this day Bill Finger would have been 102. Think of him today, and raise a glass to an unsung comic book legend.

Bill Finger Week At Graphic Policy

Bill FingerThis week sees the 102nd anniversary of Bill Finger‘s birth. Who is Bill Finger, you may ask? Well, dear reader, Milton “Bill” Finger is the only-recently officially recognized co-creator of Batman.

In celebration of his birthday, which is today, February 8th, Graphic Policy has some Finger-related articles and interviews that we’ll be running over the coming week; there are interviews with writer Marc Tyler Nobleman, the author of Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman, and with Eisner Award winning artist Ty Templeton, who illustrated Nobleman‘s book, as well as the viral Batman Without Bill Finger comic strip.

On top of that, there’s a look at Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator Of Batman, the book that has helped to bring Finger‘s name into the lime light.

We’ll be posting the articles all week, so keep your eyes peeled!

Exclusive Deadpool In Nerd Block Classic! Will You Find The Limited Variant?

The Merc with a mouth is taking over and bringing an exclusive Deadpool item that we’ll be shipping to subscribers across the world this February! Knowing Deadpool, we’d expect there may be another surprise to be found too!

But wait, there’s more!

10,000 lucky subscribers to February’s Nerd Block Classic will find an extra special variant of our exclusive Deadpool item! Will you be one of the lucky one’s? The only way to find out is to subscribe!

February’s Nerd Block Classic is full of super surprises, including one that should please fans of the Dark Knight!

There are plenty more surprises in store for subscribers, including one from the Mushroom Kingdom!

Nerd Block Classic Deadpool

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