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of Comic-Con 2008
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Portrait of Bill Finger
by Jerry Robinson
About Bill Finger
Bill Finger (1914-1974), the unsung hero and co-creator of Batman, scripted the
first and many of the best Batman stories during the Golden Age of comic books.
He created many of the series' most notable characters, including the Penguin,
Riddler, Catwoman, and Two-Face, and he made significant refinements to Batman's
concept and persona. Finger wrote the scripts that introduced the Bat Cave,
Batmobile, Batplane, and Batsignal. Many terms he created, such as the Dynamic
Duo and Gotham City, have become part of our lexicon. Finger was a craftsman,
and his Batman's adventures were carefully plotted, as well as being imbued with
humor and sprightly repartee. Above all, he was a visual writer-he knew
instinctively what the artist could translate into compelling pictures and
Finger's comics writing credits include many other DC characters, including the
Green Lantern and Wildcat, and many titles for Quality Comics, Fawcett
Publications, and Timely Comics. His television credits include episodes of 77
Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, the animated New Adventures of Superman, and the
primetime Batman series.
Schwartz, Kurtzman to Receive Second Bill Finger Award
Alvin Schwartz and Harvey Kurtzman have been selected to receive the 2006 Bill
Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The choice was made
unanimously by a blue-ribbon committee chaired by writer and historian Mark
The Bill Finger Award was instituted last year under the supervision of comic
book legend Jerry Robinson. The first Bill Finger Awards were presented to veteran
writer Arnold Drake, who accepted in person at the 2005 Comic-Con International
in San Diego, and to Jerry Siegel, co-creator of Superman; Siegel's widow Joanne
accepted for her late husband.
"There are many fine writers deserving of wider recognition," Evanier notes.
"But this year's judges zeroed in on two men whose bodies of work deserve a
special salute, just as Bill Finger and his contribution deserve wider
Alvin Schwartz authored his first comic book script (for Fairy Tale Parade) in
1939 and just three years later began writing Batman, an assignment on which he
continued until 1958. In 1944 he also began a long association with Superman as
the writer of both the Man of Steel's newspaper strip and many of his comic book
appearances. Among Schwartz's many enduring contributions to the Superman
mythology, he wrote the first tale of Bizarro, a character who became a part of
popular culture, quite apart from comics. Schwartz also worked on Aquaman,
Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and many more DC properties before departing
the field of comics in 1958. He was since written novels, an autobiography. and
Harvey Kurtzman also began in comics in 1939 and soon became known for his
surreal and brilliant work as both writer and artist of humorous fillers and
short stories. It was after he joined EC Comics in 1949 that he especially
distinguished himself with both humor work, as the editor-creator of Mad and
author of its classic early issues, and with war comics as the editor/writer of
Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat. Mad soon became not only the best-selling
American humor periodical of all time but the keystone of an entire style of
humor for several generations, while the war titles have been hailed by many as
among the best depictions of war and historical material in comics. Kurtzman
later worked on other humor magazines, did a long stint on "Little Annie Fanny"
for Playboy, and authored several books before his death in 1993.
The Bill Finger Award remembers William Finger (1914-1974), who was the first
and, some say, most important writer of Batman. Many have called him the "unsung
hero" of the character and have hailed his work not only on that character but
on dozens of others, primarily for DC Comics.
In addition to Evanier, this year's blue-ribbon selection committee included
award-winning cartoonist Jerry Robinson, writer/historian (and author of Men of
Tomorrow) Gerard Jones, acclaimed writer Marv Wolfman, and Charles Kochman, a
senior editor with Abrams Books.
The 2006 awards are being underwritten by
(the major sponsor), this year joined by
Comics Buyer's Guide (CBG),
Heritage Auctions, and
TwoMorrows Publishing (supporting sponsors).
"Though the focus in comics collecting is usually artwork, it is the stories
told with that artwork that have captivated generations of fans," says CBG's
Maggie Thompson. "Despite that, the writers in the field's earliest decades
often worked in anonymity and even today are frequently overlooked. Comics
Buyer's Guide is honored to help pay tribute to giants of the past and present-
giants who have provided the words for unforgettable tales of imagination."
And Jim Halperin of Heritage Auction Galleries notes that his company "is proud
to support this award, named for one of the foremost pioneers in comics
literature. Without the efforts of Bill Finger and his contemporaries, our world
would be duller and much less colorful than it is."
Similar sentiments are expressed by John Morrow: "TwoMorrows Publishing is
honored to be associated with the Bill Finger Award. A main purpose of all our
publications is to document the achievements of great creators throughout comics
history. Sadly, Bill Finger's contributions to the medium remained largely
uncredited during his lifetime. So an award that recognizes deserving writers -
particularly those who are still with us, so we can all express our appreciation
to them - is a long time coming, and a natural choice for us to sponsor."
The Bill Finger Award falls under the auspices of Comic-Con International: San
Diego and is administered by Jackie Estrada. The awards will be presented during
the Eisner Awards ceremony at this summer's Comic-Con on Friday, July 21.
Dates & Times for 2008
WED, JULY 23
6PM - 9PM
Open only to pre-registered
4-day attendees and professionals
THU, JULY 24 -
SAT, JULY 26
9:30AM - 7PM
With additional late-night hours for programming, anime, games, film showings, etc.
SUN, JULY 27
9:30AM - 5PM
111 W. Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101
REGISTRATION IS CLOSED!
No onsite membership badges will be sold!
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