Books Crazy for Comics Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes

[Nonfiction Wednesday] Bill the Boy Wonder – Batman’s Co-Creator


Myra here.

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 byCharlesbridge, 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.


#nfpb2015 Challenge Update: 52 (25)

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

8 comments on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] Bill the Boy Wonder – Batman’s Co-Creator

  1. I just checked another book out of the library on this topic – I think you posted it last week, right? Yes, I see it in your link above, the Superman Creators book! You’re keeping me returning to the library!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How did I not know of this book?!? I have Boys of Steel AND a superhero-themed library. Getting this right away–thanks! 😀


  3. I still need to read this one, Myra, & like the Boys of Steel, it does sound good. Thanks for telling a little about it!


  4. Such an awesome reading theme!! We’re actually organizing a graphic novel workshop for a library group I belong to, so this would be an awesome inclusion. Thanks for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad there are so many good bios of graphic novelist. I think it’ll help kids and parents understand this is a viable option with positive impacts.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing this book–I’d forgotten about it, and I had wanted to read it.


  7. I need to alert one of my sixth graders who is CRAZY about superhero comics about this book! Thanks!


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