This weekend at Wizard World I was lucky enough to get a number of interviews with important people in the Batman com..."/> This weekend at Wizard World I was lucky enough to get a number of interviews with important people in the Batman com..."/>

Caped Crusades’ Amanda Chrisman Interview with Athena Finger


This weekend at Wizard World I was lucky enough to get a number of interviews with important people in the Batman community, including the very kind and personable Athena Finger, granddaughter of uncredited co-creator of Batman Bill Finger. This weekend was Athena’s first ever convention, and she was nice enough to take the time to talk to me one on one about the grandfather she wishes she and the world, knew better.

What was it like growing up as Bill Finger’s granddaughter, knowing your grandfather created Batman?

Well it’s actually really kind of sad, people didn’t really know who he was growing up. I grew up in the 80s so I didn’t really talk about it much, I got really tired of people calling me a liar, “why don’t you have a lot of money if that’s true, look at Batman”. So I didn’t really talk about it you know, I would tell select people that were very close to me, which they’re all like super excited for me now that its come out and all these people are talking about it. We’re trying to put together a tribute film, but growing up it was kind of like a thorn in the side, didn’t really talk about it, I was kind of like “yeah its cool but nothing is really coming out of it”. But more recently I’ve been more involved so its been good so far.

Can you tell me a little bit about why he [Bill Finger] didn’t get the recognition he deserved?

Well Bob Kane had good advice, and he took that advice, and so Bill was left out. So that’s, you know, pretty much the way it went. We’re talking 1939 nobody expected these characters to last as long as they did.

And by the time Batman got to be so huge it was too late?

Well Bob Kane could have done anything at any time, but that’s not who Bob Kane was. He knew that he had a good business and that he wanted to keep his name attached to it. I can’t really fault him for that, but at the same time what he did was pretty crappy. Bill did a lot for him so it is what it is, but the more people that are aware of it and the more people talk about it the more recognition he [Bill] will get in the community. It doesn’t necessarily have to be written down somewhere because people know the truth.

I’ve been a Batman fan since I was two and I always wondered how an artist without much writing experience could have created such a dynamic character on his own, but he didn’t. As I told Athena, I am very grateful to her grandfather for creating Batman. We wrapped up the interview with Athena thanking me on behalf of her grandfather for being grateful to him. I thanked her for her time and we said our goodbyes. Athena is a really nice person, I was tickled pink when the next day as she walked into a panel on her grandfather Athena saw me in the audience and waved to me.

I want all my readers to know that While Bob Kane was a great artist, and did come up with the idea of a superhero called Bat-Man with no superpowers, almost everything we love about the character, as well as most of the cast of allies and villains in Batman’s world, were created by the comic writer Bill Finger. It’s time that Bill got the recognition that he has always deserved, and becomes the credited co-creator of Batman.

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