Monday, October 1, 2012

A Boy Wonder rises?

As a follow-up to our review of the book, Bill Finger, The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, we wanted to share some of the feedback we got from the author Marc Tyler Nobleman.

mtnobleman: Thanks for covering my book. I appreciate your input. We all know you can't judge a book by its cover. I often say you can't judge it by its thickness, either.

The book is the result of five years of research and contains significant info that has never before been published elsewhere, starting with a fact in the very first sentence. The exhaustive six-page author's note also contains considerable new details, including the biggest bombshell of the book. A month before the book's release, I blogged a list specifying the discoveries I made: Also, for many readers, the entire story is new.

Yes, this is a picture book, but for older readers, and it's the first book in ANY format on Bill Finger. The reason I wrote it for a wider audience is so kids would growing up knowing that "Batman created by Bob Kane" is not the truth rather than learning it as adults (if ever).

I agree that Finger deserves a longer treatment as well, but I am happy to report that many have responded with heartfelt and enthusiastic endorsement for my approach, including Batman film producer Michael Uslan, NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, FORBES, MTV, the WASHINGTON POST, and many fans who attended my two Bill Finger talks at Comic-Con.

LXNG: Thanks for your response, I greatly respect and appreciate it as well as the book itself. And for you to take the time to register as a member here to post a response to a review that was largely positive, on a site with only ten members, is even more greatly appreciated. I hope you continue to contribute to our site, that would be amazing!

As I said above my only real criticism was the format and maybe the substance. I think the book may have benefited from a little more context. But I'm a little unclear about your some things. You say, "Yes, this is a picture book, but for older readers," and then go on to say you wrote it so, "kids would growing up knowing that "Batman created by Bob Kane" is not the truth rather than learning it as adults (if ever)."

That seems a bit contradictory to me.

If the format was chosen specifically for kids then I might understand, but doing, "a picture book, but for older readers," would seem to be appropriate to me anyway, only if the subject himself was involved in "picture books." Since it was comic books, why not layout the story like a comic? Or even better like a Dick Sprang Batman comic? Maybe that's just me, obviously NPR's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, FORBES, MTV, and the WASHINGTON POST, disagree. My brain works in weird ways. Either way, I very much enjoyed the book and hope it continues to do well!

And everybody check out Marc's blog, (now in) the "League Approved" Blog List!!!

mtnobleman: Thanks Joe! Every reader counts.

To the general public, the perception of the term "picture book" is often that the format is aimed primarily at kids who can't read yet (so typically ages 5 or 6 and younger). But within the publishing industry, that's not the reality. Some authors, including me, stretch the boundaries of the format (to nod to the Plastic Man book you mention). We believe that it's not the length but rather the content and prose. Sometimes a picture book is the FIRST type of book to address a topic, as with my Finger book. There are actually middle and even high schools that use picture books in the classroom. There are also, of course, a wealth of picture books about equally sophisticated topics from Anne Frank to Martin Luther King. I sometimes blog about picture books for older readers:

You can join in the discussion too! Right here on the League Message Boards

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