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Books on Film: Batman and Bill

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The other day I got an email from author Marc Tyler Nobleman. You know his books, right?

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He was reaching out because one of his books had been turned into a documentary – this one:


The doc is called Batman and Bill and it premieres on Hulu May 6.

Mr. Nobleman wondered if I might like to see it, being that I love children’s literature and this might just be the first time in history that a work of children’s nonfiction had ever been turned into a documentary (I think it is, by the way – you know of one I’m missing?).

Here’s the trailer:

That’s a good trailer.

I definitely wanted to see it, and for more than the children’s literature connection. I’m also a big Batman fan. During my heavy comic-reading years (middle school and high school) Batman was my guy.

Poorly Photographed Proof:

Batman Comics

I watched the documentary last Friday night. From the first scene, I was all in. It contains:

A virtuous aim. It features Nobleman’s twisty-and-turny quest to have Bill Finger (the man who ghost-wrote most of the early Batman comics) recognized as a co-creator.

A great villain. Bob Kane doesn’t come off looking too good here, which serves to amplify the importance of Finger getting the credit he deserves.

Some nice surprises. Nobleman’s determination brought out a few different “oh wow” moments, including revelations about Finger’s heirs and truths revealed through rare interviews.

A satisfying conclusion. The final scene had me smiling big.

Recommended! It arrives May 6th on Hulu.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Thanks so much for this kindness, Travis!