BOB KANE - COLLECTION - HFSID 280256
BOB KANE Batman creator Bob Kane signed this angry letter on his personalized stationery in 1990, saying he was "appalled" by the recipient's "unmitigated gall to use my name against my wishes" on a business proposal. Accompanied by the proposal in question, with Kane's scathing comments on a proposed set of "Wheel Chair Funnies". Two items: 1) Typed letter signed
Sale Price $935.00
Batman creator Bob Kane signed this angry letter on his personalized stationery in 1990, saying he was "appalled" by the recipient's "unmitigated gall to use my name against my wishes" on a business proposal. Accompanied by the proposal in question, with Kane's scathing comments on a proposed set of "Wheel Chair Funnies".
Two items: 1) Typed letter signed "Bob". 1 page, 8½x11, on Kane's personalized stationery. May 21, 1990. Addressed to Mr. Mel May, Sherman Oaks, California. In full: "Re: 'Wheelchair-O-bics' Dear Mel: I am in receipt of your 'Wheelchair-O-bics' and feel that it has 'commercial merit', and could possibly motivate numerous handicapped individuals to exercise. However, Mel, I am deeply disturbed and disappointed to learn that you would erroneously use my name on your proposal, when I distinctly informed you that I would not be able to contribute to the project. By using my name without permission, you are totally misleading potential backers and, hence, are being presumptuous and dishonest. Furthermore, after explaining to you that I am much too busy and therefore. 'pass the project', you have the unmitigated gall to use my name against my wishes in order to attempt to manipulate and exploit my good name. I am appalled by such deceitful behavior! Kindly remove my name from your proposal, and cease and desist from using my name henceforth. You might contact the Goodwill Industries of America (as they work with the handicapped), and see if they would be interested in helping you. Good luck in your project.! Bob Kane cc: William Sarnoff". Lightly soiled. Paper clip impression at top edge. Writing impressions near bottom edge (do not touch signature). Otherwise in fine condition. 2) Annotated document unsigned. 8 pages, 8½x11, single-sided sheets. Part of this document appears to have accompanied the above letter. The first page is a typed letter from May on Mel May Productions letterhead, dated May 14, 1990, to Bill Sarnoff, Warner Publishing, New York City. It's a proposal for "Wheel Chair Obics", an exercise program for the handicapped by Dorothy Winkler complete with a VCR videocassette, a TV special, a book and an annual telethon. Kane appears to have taken offense to these sentences: "Please visualize a paperback with about 70 CHAIR OBIC exercises and, possibly, illustrated drawings by Bob Kane, creator of Bat Man. I've known Bob for 47 years and I know you are friends, too." The other seven pages are photocopies of short descriptions of 68 "Wheel Chair Funnies". These pages include numerous photocopied notations, written by Kane's in block letters. Notations on page 1: "See my critique in your middle 'pitch' break!/Also last page!" Notations on page 4: "Mel and Dorothy!/I realize that Mel just can't take/no for an answer - but to quote/a 'Goldwynism' 'Include me out!'/My critique: I have mixed feelings about/poking fun at the handicapped. And most/of the 'gags' are really not very funny!/However - my enclosed letter is self/explanatory why I do not wish to become/included in this project. Please do not/forward me any further material as I/emphatically/must/pass!/[drawn arrow]/Also - I find that most all your 'gag caption [sic]/are irrelevant to the cartoon and are merely/contrived and corny without being funny,/Mel - a gag writer you ain't!!! Forget it!!!" Notations on page 7: "Mel: If you persist in going through with this 'funnies' segment - then I suggest you find yourself an 'amateur doodler' fresh out of art school or a mail order cartooning school who may be hoodwinked into doodling for nothing - as no professional artist will work on a tentative project which may never get off the ground - without a substantial advance payment up front. Also - you need a professional gag writer to come up with all socko punch lines - as 95 percent of your so called gags are contrived and not funny, a yawn - so to speak!" Lightly toned and creased. Light impressions on letter and descriptions. Otherwise in fine condition. In 1939, 18-year-old Bob Kane (1915-1998), born Robert Kahn, a born doodler, was challenged by his boss at DC Comics to create a superhero. Kane responded by ingeniously combining the fear of bats and the use of disguises from the 1920s silent films The Bat and The Mark of Zorro with drawings from Leonardo da Vinci to create his heroic character, Batman. His renderings of Batman, Robin and their villainous counterparts transcended the fledgling comic book industry. Kane's superhero and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne (modeled on the artist himself), have been the subject of a campy TV series (1966-1968) and a series of Batman films, including Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), Batman & Robin (1997), Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008), as well as a spin-off film, Catwoman (2004).
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