- Megan Bingham
Marc Tyler Nobleman likes comic books. Actually, he loves comic books. And, he loves the histories of his comic-book writers. On Saturday, September 9, from 3:00-4:00 at England Run Branch, Mr. Nobleman will be joining us as part of the University of Mary Washington's Great Lives series to talk about his beloved superheroes, the books he has written, and the inspiration he continues to receive from creators such as Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, and Joe Shuster.
Mr. Nobleman is the author of more than 70 books for young people of all ages, including Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman and Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman. Both titles are real-life, behind-the-scenes stories that follow the creations of two beloved pop-culture superheroes, Batman and Superman.
The picture book Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman tells the story of two Depression-era teens from Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who made up their own stories—Jerry wrote; Joe illustrated. In 1938, Superman debuted when both co-creators were only 24 years old, and the series soared in popularity. Unfortunately, as they were inexperienced in the ways of publishing contracts, Jerry and Joe spent many years fighting for just compensation—a courageous if little-known battle that Mr. Nobleman brings to light. Boys of Steel was named an American Library Association Notable Book and received multiple starred reviews.
Bill the Boy Wonder is another powerful biography by Mr. Nobleman, which follows the creation of the caped crusader Batman. In the past, Bob Kane's name was the only one attached to the comic books. However, Bill Finger, a Jewish writer from the Bronx, actually came up with the original vision of Batman in 1939. During the first 25 years of Batman comics, Bill's name only appeared once.
Through extensive research, Marc Tyler Nobleman uncovered the "secret identity" of Batman's creator. Due to Mr. Nobleman's discoveries and the announcement that Bill Finger is "Batman's Biggest Secret," DC Comics has attached Bill Finger's name to recent productions involving Batman, such as Fox's TV show Gotham and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Additionally, The Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing is now given out each year at San Diego Comic-Con to two writers, one living and one deceased, who have not been properly recognized for their works. The online streaming service Hulu has also created a documentary, Batman & Bill (2017), which chronicles Bill Finger's career.
Join us in welcoming Marc Tyler Nobleman on Saturday, September 9, from 3:00-4:00 at England Run Branch! A question & answer session and book signing will follow. Until then, check out these books on the history of American comics.