Review: Bill The Boy Wonder by @MarcTNobleman with (gorgeous) pictures by @TyTempleton
I didn’t know anything about Bill Finger when I started to read Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman. Nothing. However, that is certainly not true after reading Bill the Boy Wonder, which tells the story of how Bill Finger was hired on as an anonymous writer in the earliest days of Batman (and allegedly created many – if not most – of Batman’s most notable attributes while working with Bob Kane), but has never received formal recognition for his work.
The book itself is gorgeous. Ty Templeton’s art is fantastic throughout the book, which is mostly told in short declarative sentences, definitely appropriate for children . Bill the Boy Wonder is a graphic biography of Bill Finger and is filled with a ton of information about Finger’s life. Nobleman conveys a lot of information in very little space (the book is about 48 pages long and most of each page is devoted to Templeton’s art, with the story of Finger’s life taking up approximately five to ten sentences per page. The story is well-written and told in a picture book format. Still, if you’re like me and don’t know anything about Finger, you’ll probably learn a lot about his story as well. You get the sense as you read the book that Nobleman is passionate about bringing the story into the open. To at least get more people to recognize Finger, who he clearly respects as worthy of recognition. Perhaps even more interesting than the biographical portion is the story of Nobleman’s search for information found at the six-page author’s note at the end of the volume. It’s a fascinating story in its own right and shows how much work went into creating Bill the Boy Wonder.
The story itself is interesting and I would expect that most children ages eight and up should be able to follow along with Finger’s story and learn a little about the creation of Batman. For adults, you will certainly not find a challenging read (this is a children’s book, after all), but – as noted – I knew nothing about Finger when I started to read the book and I feel like Nobleman did a good job of conveying a lot of information with a minimal number of words. Also, it’s a very nice book to look at, with Templeton’s art doing a great job of bringing Finger’s story to life. It’s a biographical children’s book, but is a well-written, informative, and expertly-illustrated biographical children’s book. The book’s MSRP is $17.95, but it is available for $12.21 from Amazon.
Edit: I have been contacted with concerns that I over-emphasized the ‘children’s book’ nature of his book in this review. While the review notes age eight as the low end of my estimate for reading the book and notes that – as an adult – I found the book interesting and that it conveyed a great deal of information and was well-researched. However, as a point of clarification, the book is for late-elementary school-aged children through adults. Some minor changes were made to this review in the hopes of clarifying this.