Art Project Celebrates Batman Co-Creator Bill Finger


Art Project Celebrates Batman Co-Creator Bill Finger

A very talented friend of mine named J.B. Winter recently turned me on to an art challenge called Inktober in which comic artists created 31 drawings in 31 days corresponding to a specific theme.

For the 2015 edition, J.B. – who previously published a book documenting the creation of University of Missouri icon Ms. Mizzou by cartoonist Milton Caniff – dedicated his project to the Bill Finger Award.

"The award, which honors the memory of Batman co-creator Bill Finger, recognizes comic book writers who have not received their rightful reward and/or recognition. For the project I created 23 character illustrations and a comic illustrating part of a letter written by Bill Finger."

The Bill Finger Award For Excellence In Comic Book Writing is an honor bestowed each year to one living and one dead recipient in the comic field. It’s presented along with the Will Eisner Award at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Created by Batman vet Jerry Robinson, the award was designed to celebrate those who have gone unappreciated in the comics industry, like The Great Jack Kirby and Finger himself. Here are some of the great pieces done by Winter, including his interpretation of a famous letter from Finger about Batman’s place in the cultural consciousness.

"Bill Finger’s letter was addressed to Tom Fagan who lived in Rutland, Vermont, home of the Rutland Halloween Parade. However, Fagan wrote for the fanzine “Batmania,” which was created and distributed right here in Columbia, Missouri, by Biljo White. When Tom Fagan met Finger & Binder at the 1965 convention, Binder even recognized his name from his articles in “Batmania.” (Fagan gave a report of the 1965 convention in “Batmania” #7.) Biljo White was an integral part of the fanzine community and the story of Bill Finger has a significant connection with “Batmania.”"

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This a fantastic project, celebrating decades of history. I can’t help but be proud of J.B. and my current home, Columbia, and its long tradition of cartooning. That tapestry includes the great Frank Stack and Mort Walker, the creator of Beetle Bailey.

Next: Ranking Animated Adaptations: Barbara Gordon

For more on this project and other great works of independent art, check out Winter’s blog.