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Author Topic: Batman based on the Shadow  (Read 11397 times)
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TELLE
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« on: June 26, 2007, 09:49:12 AM »

By now we all know that Bob Kane never drew or wrote anything and that Bill Finger was responsible for most of the writing.  We also know that alot of the art in the first Batman story was swiped.

Now two Shadow experts dissect Finger's generous swipes.

http://www.comicmix.com/news/2007/06/24/the-case-of-the-chemical-syndicate/

Link from Mark Evanier:

http://www.newsfromme.com/archives/2007_06_24.html#013629


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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2007, 11:17:23 AM »

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"

http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/112/
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 04:48:02 PM »

Interesting.  I have to say its hardly shocking.  The age of pulp and thriller entertainment was really copy and throwaway.  I still remember my mother (who was born in 1929) laughing that anyone would keep the books or remember the storylines.  I find the transition of Super Heroes away from this pulp model pretty early (adding Robin, etc.) interesting.
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2007, 05:15:04 PM »

Well, of couse the pulp "lifts" don't end with The Shadow.  Batman also dresses like a bat (ala pulp hero The Black Bat), answers a signal flashed from the top of skyscraper (like the Phantom Detective) and accesses his secret cave via a grandfather clock (like Zorro).  There was even a "Commissioner Gordon" who starred in his own pulp tales.

Still, no one ever said early comics were created in a vaccuum.  Finger himself was the one who put these guys on the track of the Shadow source material by mentioning it in the Steranko book.  In a medium as disposable and ephemeral as comics were thought to be in 1939, it'd be a shocker if creators *didn't* steal from other sources. 

The issue with Kane isn't that he swiped images (you'd be hard-pressed to find an artist who didn't), but that he looked people straight in the eye for decades and swore up and down he not only invented Batman (all by his lonesome) but that he wrote and drew every story until 1964 or so, which is a kick in the nads to every guy who put his sweat and tears into making the character great.

This article is worth reading for this one line alone: 

Quote
(By the way, Gibson did know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; they were introduced by their mutual friend, Houdini.)

How freakin' cool is THAT?  Shocked

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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2007, 07:39:02 PM »

"Holy Shades of Plagarism, Batman!!"
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2007, 11:58:08 PM »

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?"

http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/112/

Meanwhile a year later it's that Dial B guy again with a whole new site and a 10 part serial/documentary with the secret origin of THE SHADOW...where?

At http://dialbforburbank.com/...where else?

Tell 'em old Doc Furious sent ya........ Wink

(One of those two guys talking the Shadow/Batman connection is Bob Greenberger ex-DC-er and currently managing editor at WWN www.weeklyworldnews.com).


...see how it's ALL connected in real life like those Silver Age coincidences?Huh?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2007, 12:03:31 AM by Klar Ken T5477 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2007, 12:33:06 AM »

The issue with Kane isn't that he swiped images (you'd be hard-pressed to find an artist who didn't), but that he looked people straight in the eye for decades and swore up and down he not only invented Batman (all by his lonesome) but that he wrote and drew every story until 1964 or so, which is a kick in the nads to every guy who put his sweat and tears into making the character great.

And to add insult to injury, he had it engraved on his tombstone, as discussed in an earlier thread I can't be bothered to search for. I know you shouldn't speak ill of the dead and all that, but Kane was an Olympic-level plagiarist.
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2007, 05:16:27 AM »

This might be somewhat unpopular as a thought - but I wonder who really benefited after everything was said and done.  I mean, Superman and Batman are pretty much the defining characters of the comic genre.  You might as well throw Wonder Woman right in there - but I don't know whether her origins are as heavily tied to established pulp creations as the former two.

It would seem to me that Doc Savage benefited greatly from Superman, as did the Gladiator novel.  Very seldomly do you find historians fail to mention Superman's fathers in pulp - thus Superman could be said to have kept interest in the pulp fathers alive.

The same for Bats.  I would never have heard of the Bat, Shadow, etc. if I didn't discover them through a historian pointing out that Bats had his genesis in those earlier pulps.

Ultimately there could be argument made simply on the basis that those archetypes were redefined or redeveloped by their progeny in their own new genres and the old ones died away.
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"If I print "She was stark naked"--& then proceeded to describe her person in detail, what critic would not howl?--but the artist does this & all ages gather around & look & talk & point." - Mark Twain
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