We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2015 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, as well as reading challenges that we have pledged to join this year.
We have just launched our new reading theme for September – October: Crazy for Comics! Graphic Novel Galore!
Bill The Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman
Written by: Marc Tyler Nobleman Illustrated by: Ty Templeton
Published by: Charlesbridge, 2012
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.
Last week, I shared Marc Tyler Nobleman’s Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman. As we are deep in the throes of our comic frenzy reading theme, I thought I’d follow last week’s post with Nobleman’s equally riveting Bill the Boy Wonder.
Written in a similar vein with almost a parallel storyline, Bill was the “idea factory” or “boy wonder” behind most of the ideas behind Batman – from the Dark Knight’s tragic beginnings that led to his being a hero, to his overall look, and his equally-interesting nemesis.
Yet, just like the Boys of Steel, Bill never got the recognition he fully deserved as he remained mostly an anonymous writer/co-creator with Bob Kane getting most of the credit (and royalties) from DC Comics. Bill struck me as a man who would rather concern himself with creating and writing – his head bursting with brilliant ideas that perhaps it was just way too much effort for him to stand up to Bob Kane and claim what is rightfully his.
Bill’s creative juices are indeed overflowing as he has a “library of gimmick books” where he would record an assortment of “stray facts,” street scenes and day dreams as he rides the bus throughout the city looking for inspiring stories to write about.
What struck me as even more amazing though was the amount of research that Nobleman has poured into the writing of this picturebook biography. The very extensive Author’s Note is a study in first-class sleuthing, dedicated investigation, and single-minded relentlessness in pursuing every lead he could find to look for Bill Finger’s surviving heir. Not only is this a tribute to a brilliant man’s legacy, it also honors his memory by potentially changing the life of his grand daughter whom very few people knew even existed. Truly an amazing work of investigative and comic art. Find it and add this to your library.