Ugh. The site is finally back up. And wanted to say a very big thank you to everyone for such positive words of support. We have great respect for you.
Dear Batwoman readers -
From the moment DC asked us to write Batwoman — a dream project for both of us — we were committed to the unofficial tagline “No Status Quo.” We felt that the series and characters should always be moving forward, to keep changing and evolving. In order to live up to our mantra and ensure that each arc took Batwoman in new directions, we carefully planned plotlines and story beats for at least the first five arcs well before we ever wrote a single issue. We’ve been executing on that plan ever since, making changes whenever we’ve come up with a better idea, but in general remaining consistent to our core vision.
Unfortunately, in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series. We were told to ditch plans for Killer Croc’s origins; forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways; and, most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. All of these editorial decisions came at the last minute, and always after a year or more of planning and plotting on our end.
We’ve always understood that, as much as we love the character, Batwoman ultimately belongs to DC. However, the eleventh-hour nature of these changes left us frustrated and angry — because they prevent us from telling the best stories we can. So, after a lot of soul-searching, we’ve decided to leave the book after Issue 26.
We’re both heartbroken over leaving, but we feel strongly that you all deserve stories that push the character and the series forward. We can’t reliably do our best work if our plans are scrapped at the last minute, so we’re stepping aside. We are committed to bringing our run to a satisfying conclusion and we think that Issue 26 will leave a lasting impression.
We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to work on Batwoman. It’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of our careers. We’ll always be grateful to everyone who helped us realize 26 issues: Mike Siglain, who brought us onto the project originally; Greg Rucka for inspirationally setting the stage; our amazing artists Amy Reeder, Trevor McCarthy, Pere Perez, Rob Hunter, Walden Wong, Sandu Florea, Richard Friend, Francesco Francavilla, Guy Major, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein; Larry Ganem, for listening in tough times; and editors Mike Marts, Harvey Richards, Rickey Purdin, and Darren Shan.
And most of all, a huge thank you to everyone who read the book. Hearing your voices, your reactions, your enthusiasm every month was such a joy, so humbling, so rewarding. You guys rock! Because so many of you embraced the series, we were able to complete four arcs, and your passion for Batwoman encouraged us to push ourselves to do our best work with each and every issue.
Thank you for loving Batwoman as much as we do.
Goodbye for now,
Haden & J H
This week sees the release of Batwoman 23. Hope you find something to like about it. Below is the cover for this issue presented in stages…
Rough sketch for editorial approval…
Black and white version…
Logo version. I’ve been trying to have some fun with the logo work on the recent covers, trying to garner an additional aspect to composition or feel of the image. With issue 22 last month, and issue 23 here, I’m pretty happy about the results…
Here is a fun logo thing I did a while back for our dear friend Jenn O. Cide. She is the coolest. And wanted to create a character that could sort of symbolize all of the amazing wondrous things that she does. Below is the result…
Find her where other weirdos dwell
Here is what I’m involved in so far for this year’s SDCC. (Suits by Artful Gentleman)…
J.H. WILLIAMS III ITINERARY AT COMIC-CON
**denotes non-DC event
Thursday, July 18______________________________________
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.- Location: Room 8 – SPOTLIGHT ON J.H. WILLIAMS III
This award winning creator on such notable works as Promethea, Batwoman, and the upcoming Sandman with Neil Gaiman will talk about why he loves comics, moderated by John Bultena (Lecturer Merritt Writing Program, UC Merced). Visual presentation, discussion, and Q&A session.
5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. – **SIGNING (SDCC) In Guest Autograph Area of the convention
Friday, July 19___________________________________________
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Location: Press Suite (Marriott) – SANDMAN PRESS ROUNDTABLE
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.-THE NEW 52 PANEL- Location: Room 8
Where hopefully we get to talk about Batwoman!
Saturday, July 20_______________________________________
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. **SIGNING (HERO INITIATIVE) at Roy’s behind the Marriott (This may start early)
3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. – Location: Room 6DE – VERTIGO: SANDMAN 25TH ANNIVERSARY AND BEYOND PANEL
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Location: DCE booth #1915 – SIGNING (w/Neil Gaiman)
5:40 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Location: DCE booth #1915 – SANDMAN 101
If anything changes or new comes up I’ll update…
At last the title of the new Sandman series has been revealed! And here is first cover image for the series. This is the same piece that was run for today’s NY Times article but a better view. You’ll note the difference in color versus the article version. For some reason the image shown for the Times article looks grey, or dulled, or darkened. So I wanted to show it here with a clarification on the color. In both virgin and text design versions…
For those who don’t know yet, but I’ve talked about this before, I’m doing artwork for the upcoming Blondie album release Ghosts Of Download (Wendy and I were stoked to have helped with a name for the upcoming album, just absolutely thrilling). Working with them has been a tremendous experience for me, and real personal dream come true moment. Which I’m excited about beyond any mortal words. And just this week, the first teaser single of the new songs by them was released to be heard. It’s called A Rose By Any Name. I’ve done artwork for this as well. Below are the front and back design images for it. I hope you enjoy them. We’re trying to bring something different. This is only a taste of the new music by Blondie. And only taste of the visuals being created by me for this release.
The new music is fun, dance and electro oriented, and I love that it sounds a bit unexpected compared to the previous couple releases. But that is what I’ve always loved the most about Blondie, is that they never do the expected. That they keep themselves creatively open to whatever musical inspirations strike them, regardless of popular trends. That plays a big part in what makes them one of the greatest bands in the world.
(One of the fun aspects of lettering for the band name on this art, is that it reminds me of play buttons on a stereo or something)
All about Monsters. This was one of the funnest issues for Haden and I to write. Our focus for the issue being what happened to Killer Croc after becoming the The Hydra of myth in the World’s Finest arc, and having his ass handed to him by Wonder Woman during the Medusa war, while Batwoman was facing off against Medusa herself. We also get to have a special guest artist this month Francesco Francavilla. If you’re not familiar with his works, he’s known for some amazing covers all over the place, did some Batman stuff before the New 52, and more recently his own creation The Black Beetle. His work was a great fit for this weird off kilter story in Batwoman 21. The story and all that has been happening to Croc in the pages of Batwoman ever since bringing him into the fold was going to lead into a much bigger storyline later. And there are hints of what was coming ever since To Drown The World. But all that has been quelled and this cool weird little tale about where Croc was headed in our eyes based on all of the little teases we’ve written will be the last of it, unless the powers-that-be change their minds. Regardless, the issue is an entertaining one, hope you enjoy it.
I wanted the cover to feel very streamlined, almost simple in presentation to sort of reflect the directness of the story for this issue. Here it is in stages…
Update: Proceeds will be going to the Hero Initiative
I can finally talk about a cool little project I’ve worked on with Jake Wall, a friend of mine. It’s a limited edition suit lining for Artful Gentleman out of San Francisco, a company Jake has a major hand in. This specially designed project was an amazing opportunity to try something different. I’ve been wanting to do projects that reach beyond comics for quite some time. Doing work for music recently for The Sword’s latest release, and the upcoming Blondie album as an example. So why not fashion. This is exciting to do and exciting to talk about finally. Artful Gentleman do such amazing work. Everything is custom and highly detailed, their work is addicting to wear. I have two suits from them myself, with a third on the way. So when they approached me with this new concept of exclusive suit lining designs, I had to say yes. Just to see what the possibilities would be. And as an added incentive, a portion of the proceeds that Artful Gentleman garner will go to the charitable organization Hero Initiative. I’ve been a major supporter of their efforts of a long time, and this seemed like another cool way to do that. For now, you can see examples of Artful Gentleman’s craftsmenship through their kickstarter campaign at the link below. And at their website, we’ve listed contact info for anyone who is interested in getting one of these limited edition linings I’ve designed. The image and photos below show what it looks like on a vest, but this design is offered in multiple ways, just ask about it from the Artful Gentleman crew. Visit their kickstarter campaign page to see more of what they are all about for further inspiration.
Arrgh and hell! Apparently somewhere along the way we, the Batwoman team, goofed up the spelling of Jacob’s wife name. We’re not sure how it slipped by the last two issues, but it is a “duh, what were we thinking” moment. So yes, her name is Catherine with a C, not what got printed, Katherine with K isn’t right. The odd thing is that this literally slipped passed everyone. But you can expect the next issues to be correct, and the published 18 and 19 will be corrected for the collected editions ;^)
The joy of typos.
Batwoman 18 has hit the shelves. We hope you enjoy it. We begin a new arc where we will be defining the idea of Family for Kate more. Not only with her own, but also what can be expected from the supposed “Bat-Family”. Below is the cover by Trevor McCarthy. I return to covers with issue 20.
It’s been much much too long since putting up art to be available. So Issue 14 through 17 will be going up in one week, Saturday March 23rd.
(UPDATE): The pages should go up this Saturday around noon pacific. Hopefully we won’t have any problems with the time like we did on the last sale. Also, some pages may not be made available due to some not leaving our possession.
A recent interview for Comic Book Resources has been posted this week.
here at CBR
This week sees the release of Batwoman 17. It’s a bittersweet thing for me. I’ve been living with Batwoman for a good 3+ years, maybe 4. I’ve been heavily immersed in her world visually for this entire time.
Back when we (Haden and I) were offered to take over Batwoman’s direction after Greg Rucka’s departure, there was a certain sense of elation and trepidation in saying yes, and a certain kind of responsibility. Batwoman is an important character, and a socially important one that has meaning that extends well beyond the printed pages of the world she lives in, reaching out into ours possibly affecting those who encounter her story. At the time, we quickly said yes to telling her story, but then had the arduous task of putting that puzzle together, while having it be an expansion from what Greg and I had already set in motion.
After weeks of planning and plotting, figuring out just how those pieces moved and fit into a bigger construct, we knew where we were going with her, where the bigger fantastical story interacted with more personal aspects of Kate Kane’s life. So the current few issues of the tale have all been set up since the beginning, since Batwoman’s first Issue 0 (yes, there has been more than one). And it’s all culminating now, into issue 17 that is out now. It’s an important issue in many respects, not just to Kate’s story, but to ours as well. But this is really only phase 1, while this new chapter brings lots of things to a head, it’s also the beginning of phase 2.
So back to why this is bittersweet. Although this issue is a culmination of many things that we had set out to do at the very beginning, it is also the marking of a change creatively. It serves as my final duties on Batwoman interior art for quite sometime to come as I move over to handle Sandman with Neil Gaiman for awhile. But it’s not the end of my love affair with these characters that inhabit Batwoman’s world by any stretch. I’m remaining as writer along with Haden, so we will still be her voice, telling more of the bigger picture. And I’m still doing art for the covers beginning with issue 20. Joining us starting with issue 18 will be Trevor McCarthy, we would like to give him a big warm welcome to our team, visually chronicling her story starting with issue 18. Trevor is no stranger to Batwoman’s world, having brought scenes to life during arc 2 and 3, To Drown The World, and issue 15′s Interlude 2. So we’re happy to have him on board.
And that said, I felt the cover to this issue needed to be in answer some way visually to the cover of issue 1, acting as it’s companion, but thematically opposite in some ways. Issue 1 was water, this new one is fire. Giving it all a sense of change, an ending of an arc, while setting up drama and presence, that Batwoman more firmly than ever before, stands her ground.
Here is the rough for editorial approval…
Here is the black and white…
Here is the color version. This is where I needed to add and enhance a lot of the elements. Bring in more snake bones, paint colors over the black backgrounds, add intensity and detail to fire effects, and add flecks of floating burning embers…
Here is the logo version. I needed it to mimic the logo position of issue 1 as well, to further sell the idea of them being companion pieces…
Batwoman 16 hits all finer comics shops now.
Here is the cover in process stages…
Editorial approval sketch…
Black and white rendered version…
My color version. Here, whence I saw it in color I felt the the noseless Medusa didn’t really work in this version. So I digitally painted one in very subtly as to not interfere with over effect…
My logo placement version. The print version of this has another one of those annoying Arrow TV show banners across the top. But here you can see it as it its meant to be seen…
Batwoman Volume Two of the ongoing series is now available in hardcover at all finer comic shops and bookstores. The cover image below has one difference from the printed version, on the print version the logo is transparent allowing the art to show through…