It’s the birthday of the comic-book author Bob Kane, (books by this author) born in the Bronx (1916), who was working at DC Comics in 1939 when his editors began asking for more superhero characters to follow up on the success of Superman. Kane thought about it over the weekend, and on Monday morning he turned in some sketches of a character he called Batman. The character made his debut in DC Comics number 27, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” in May of 1939. He is alter ego of multimillionaire Bruce Wayne and one of the few superheroes in the history of comic books who doesn’t have any special powers. He’s just rich enough to build himself special crime-fighting gadgets. Kane said he based the character partly on Zorro, because he liked the idea of a fashionable rich guy dressing up as a vigilante at night to fight crime. He got the idea for Batman’s costume from a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci of a bat-winged flying machine.
So, burning question:
Your faced with a creative challenge. What do you do? What resources will you draw from, (literally, if you’re an artist, or figuratively, if you’re tangling another sort of task)? Did you ever imagine that Bob Kane would use the genius of a 420-year dead guy to inspire him? Happens all the time.