Re: RARA-AVIS: Chandler course

Date: 02 Mar 2004


Re your question below:

> Do I remember correctly that there is a
> character named Joe
> Chill in one of his stories? If so, which one and
> when was it
> published? I'm curious whether or not it predates
> the Batman comic in
> which they name Joe Chill as the killer of Bruce
> Wayne's parents.

I don't recall off-hand which Chandler story Joe Chill was in, but I can state with pretty strong certainty that he predates the character of Joe Chill (by that name) in BATMAN.

Although the mugging murder of Dr. and Mrs. Wayne was first depicted in 1939, the killer wasn't named until a 1948 story in which Batman sets out to solve his parents' murder.

By 1948, Chandler had already written all but two of the Marlowe novels, and all but one of the Marlowe (or any other crime) short stories, and I'm pretty sure Joe Chill doesn't appear in THE LONG GOODBYE, PLAYBACK, or "The Pencil."

Quite a few of the writers on BATMAN were avid mystery fans, and a few were even pulp writers at roughly the same time Chandler was. I believe the story in which Chill was actually named as the Waynes' killer was written by Bill Finger (the uncredited co-creator of Batman). I don't know off-hand whether Finger was a Chandler fan or not, but it doesn't seem unlikely. Of course, it could all just be a coincidence.

And that's the last Chandler question I'll answer for free. You'll just have to pay your $15 and sign up for the course like everyone else from now on.


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