I don’t do very many conventions a year. Usually only one or two, if any at all. There just isn’t enough time to travel and get work done properly in the way I need to focus. Plus sometimes other travel comes up for family stuff. I probably will not be going to SDCC this year. So my only convention this year at this point is Asbury Park in New Jersey this upcoming weekend (12th and 13th), with a short stop along the way to see Todd Klein, Master Of Letters, for a couple days. Todd is attending the show as well. Below is a link, some cool people will be there that I’m eager to meet…
Well, I have been completely neglecting my blog since January now. I’m such a terrible internet host. It seems time has something to do with it. That is my excuse for now. As I work away on this current project, it does seems as if Sandman manages suck away time in ever increasing increments. I’m not sure why that is, really. But I do find it very interesting that this is occurring, since the story itself is sort of dealing with time and how it can move away from events only to circle back around again. There is a very strange sensation I’m having while working on this stuff. I’m a bit off kilter, that is the effect. Every new page posing a creative question in the turmoil of my addled brain. Questions I have yet to know if I’m answering correctly, or thoughtfully enough. I feel as if there is a creative sizzle popping and snapping, eager for a crash of a wall to release its fire.
This is tough for me, it is like all of my creative focus is honed into a blunt object on the project. Time being flattened across an intangible surface. Which means any other project, especially writing ones I had declared getting to, have evaporated into the dark pools recessed in my mind. And there they shall remain until time becomes something I can hold again. Frustrating because I have written a new intro concept story for a new blog feature and have written the first stages of a first act of the second story for this same feature. But I suppose everything happens as it should, when it needs to and not before.
On that note, finally issue 2 of Sandman: Overture is out this week. I’m relieved about this, but also quite nervous. It moves and breathes quite differently than issue 1, yet still feels like a part of the same story. That is a good thing. I’m finding the same is happening with issue 3 so far as well. It’s going to be very different from issue’s one and two.
Also, if any of you are making your way to San Francisco between now and the end of April you will find all of the art for Sandman: Overture issues 1 and 2 on exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum. The painted piece below is there, this is the cover to issue 2 out this Wednesday at all finer comic shops with good taste…
Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco is hosting some of my work for gallery display, and we’ll be doing a special event for them Saturday, March 15th. Currently there are a few pieces up for viewing now, including the image above. But we plan on displaying many more. If you can make it out to see us that evening would be wonderful. Details can be found here…
Adding a few items to the store today, but all available for purchase Saturday around noon CA time. Prompted by the surprise arrival of old Promethea related art that was found at one of the DC offices. I had thought these pieces were lost to oblivion. They were done for the ABC sketchbook a long time ago. Also 3 Batwoman covers are going up as well. These are up to issue 24, but the unpublished cover art for issues 25 and 26 will remain in my hands for the time being. Here are the images…
The Sandman painting from the previous post is now on display at Gallery Nucleus in southern California. Hopefully some of you can visit and see all of the amazing art that this piece has the good fortune of sitting next to.
Here are a couple recent Sandman related pieces. The sketch is the Cartoon Museum in San Francisco, it’ll be seen as some sort of bookplate thing in their catalogue. The color piece is a painting study, and will be shown in some form in the relatively near future. I’ll update when I have more information about these things.
Well, really on Wednesday morning. But I wish we had done a special midnight release this Tuesday night. Here is the cover below. I’m not doing my usual process blogs for these Sandman covers because some of that will be used for the Special Editions versions for each issue. And I’m not doing any thumbnails for composition on these either, so I can’t even show that. I’m letting them dictate to me as I draw and paint what the full compositions will be, letting them be dreamed up as I work, so to speak. This becomes extremely evident for the cover to issue 3 when you see that later.
Here is a list of music that was listened to while drawing pages for Sandman Issue 1…
Chelsea Wolfe: Apokalypsis
Chelsea Wolfe: The Grime and The Glow
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Push the Sky Away
Sound City: Real to Reel
May 9th -
David Bowie: The Next Day
Those Poor Bastards: The Plague
Julian Cope: Black Sheep
May 30th -
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Specter At The Feast
Fitz And The Tantrums: More Than Just A Dream
The Twilight Garden: A World We Pretend
Nellie McKay: Obligatory Villagers
Black Sabbath: 13
The Warlocks: Heavy Deavy Skull Lover
Death In Vegas: Dead Elvis
Gogol Bordello: Pura Vida Conspiracy
Marnie: Crystal World
Julian Cope: Revolutionary Suicide
Ad Astra: Jewels Of The Nile on vinyl
Joey Ramone: “Ya Know?” on vinyl
Music Inspired By Star Wars And Galactic Funk By Meco on vinyl
Rush: Fly By Night
Love and Rockets: Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven
Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks
Nine Inch Nails: Hesitation Marks Remixes
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Mosquito
Love and Rockets: Express
Love and Rockets: Earth Sun Moon
Love and Rockets: Love and Rockets
Love and Rockets: Sorted! The Best of Love and Rockets
ELO: No Answer
ELO: ELO II
ELO: On the Third Day
ELO: Face The Music
ELO: A New World Record
ELO: Out of the Blue
ELO: Secret Messages
ELO: Balance of Power
Rush: Vapor Trails Remixed
DEVO: Hardcore Volume 1 on vinyl
DEVO: Hardcore Volume 2 on vinyl
The Mission: The Brightest Light
Chelsea Wolfe: Prayer for the Unborn
Chelsea Wolfe: Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs
Chelsea Wolfe: Pain is Beauty on vinyl
The Damned: The Stiff Singles 1976-1977, vinyl 45s
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis: The Proposition- Original Soundtrack
Those Poor Bastards: Songs of Desperation
Those Poor Bastards: Hellfire Hymns
Blondie rarities (homemade compilation #8)
Blondie rarities (homemade compilation #9)
Blondie rarities (homemade compilation #10)
Ghost Dance: Stop The World
Clearing up some confusion as to when our last issue of Batwoman is to be published…
It’s this week in Batwoman issue 24. The big showdown between Batwoman and Batman kicks off this issue. And was going to run into the next 2 issues, a real knockdown heavy hitting battle. This issue was only the first part of it.
I’m depressed over this a bit. And frustratingly the issue will give no arc conclusion, or conclusion to our run. We apologize to you readers for that. It wasn’t what we wanted to happen.
Issue 24 was already written and being drawn by the time fallout came from our decision to leave the title. There had already been an issue 25 written by us and turned in, but at this point I don’t think this will ever be published. Issue 26 was to be the final chapter of the arc and is left unwritten by us currently. So DC isn’t publishing the end of the arc. Or at least not in any way we intended. If there is ever an offering of a conclusion to the last 7 months of storytelling, it most likely will be by the hands of others, and we have no idea how exactly that direction will proceed.
What saddens me about it is that our issue 26 two months from now would have ended in a place that would serve as an adequate end cap to our run in a lot of ways. We knew how we were going to wrap things by issue 26, and felt we would have done so in a satisfying manner, or so we hoped. There was SO much stuff going to happen, some crazy reveals, the reveal of Bones’ past, just how he connects to Kate and Beth Kane, and a confrontation with Jacob Kane and his Murder Of Crows. Batwoman having the final throw-down with Batman. We were going to give large plot points on how Beth became Alice. Bette Kane a.k.a. Hawkfire shocked and horrified by something Alice/Beth does during the rescue mission. Ultimately bring the entire family to some form of a beginning to heal, and how Maggie would fit into all of this. Chase, seeing the horrors of what Director Bones is doing, was going to cause her to make a radical decision that would forever change her life. This was all set up after altering a major plot point to suit DC’s needs. We would’ve been able to end our run at good spot for the next creative team. But that must only be happening in some parallel world. So the first 7 issues of this fourth arc will leave the story in a sort of limbo and not fully resolved, at least by us.
So I guess we have to say goodbye to Batwoman for real now. We love you Kate.
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.