Friday, September 21, 2007

Pointing the Finger at Bob Kane





Even as a child, my friends and I could never quite seem to figure it out. Who did BATMAN? It said “Bob Kane” sometimes and yet the style was different much of the time from one issue to the next. It certainly didn’t help that the ubiquitous 80 Page Giants with their fifties reprints showed yet other styles, often appearing to have been drawn by DICK TRACY’s Chester Gould! We finally thought we’d figured it out when we pinpointed and identified Carmine Infantino’s angled, scratchy work on what we considered the best stories of the period. We decided that Bob Kane had to be the guy who drew the other stories in a stiff, unattractive style. When that style disappeared in the late sixties and Kane’s signature box with it, we knew we were right!…or so we thought at the time.

What you see here is probably the best single volume history of the Caped Crusader, hampered only by its use of Bob Kane as a source. Great visuals and factual information go side by side with anecdotes and memories that one now has to presume are largely fiction…much like Kane’s own (appropriately ghostwritten) “autobiography,” BATMAN AND ME. If you read between the lines 1989’s TALES OF THE DARK KNIGHT by Mark Cotta Vez almost seems to KNOW some of the truth but neatly skirts around it always ending up back at the “official” history. Luckily, the truth will out.

Check out DIAL B for BLOG - THE WORLD'S GREATEST COMIC BLOGAZINE in which everybody’s favorite (recently returned) blogger, Robby Reed coalesces much of the less than flattering info that’s come out on Kane in recent years and quite literally points the Finger at Bob! Today offers part three of a three part series in which we see that Kane may not have actually created the character at all, never wrote BATMAN, traced much of the artwork generally attributed to him, lied for decades about using ghosts—even to the other ghosts—cheated Bill Finger out of rightful credit and somehow still had the best damn contract in comic book history! The next time somebody asks you as a comics fan who created BATMAN, maybe the answer should be “Nobody knows!”

2 comments:

Emilio Pacheco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emilio Pacheco said...

Interesting points. I have that book (and many other Batman-related publications). The same thing could be said about Walt Disney/Carl Barks. Although Disney never took credit for creating the ducks, his name is certainly more widely known among children than Barks'. I'm a big fan of Walt Disney, but sometimes I wonder how much of his "world" is actually his creation. Also, the best Little Lulu stories were created by John Stanley and Irving Tripp, not Margie Buell.

Your blog is still one of the best on the Internet, if not THE best. Too bad I don't have Internet access at work anymore.