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J.H. Williams III addresses Batwoman delay

Batwoman #1

As DC Comics’ solicitations confirmed yesterday, the much-anticipated debut of the Batwoman series has been moved from February to April — the date that writer-artist J.H. Williams III notes he originally wanted.

“Some think that this book was to launch last July,” the award-winning artist writes on his blog, “this was never the case, this was speculation on the part of some. The book was also never to launch in November either. The zero issue which came out at that time was never in the original plans, but was done as a bit of a reminder as requested by DC, and to set the stage, this of course took out time of the work already in progress. February had been decided on the launch date by the company with reservations about that from me. I felt that was a bit too soon in a realistic look at work progression. One of the reasons for this was that I had been seriously committed to making appearances around the world over this past year. I think maybe 3 months or more of work loss occurred during that time. I kept trying to point this out whenever discussions about schedule came up. When first discussing the launch date earlier last year we had originally wanted April 2011, and now ironically that is what we have. Only after solicits stating otherwise, causing some unnecessary frustrations.”

Williams, who’s collaborating on Batwoman with W. Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder, says his schedule was further complicated by the addition of the covers for the high-profile Batman Inc. (He’s since bowed out of that assignment, with the cover for Issue 5 being his last.)

“Even though there has been issues raised in the scheduling and plans being jumped the gun on, DC acknowledges for the greater good of the project we need more time,” he continues. “I’m glad that they saw this was a good idea, this will help maintain a certain standard that we’ve already set in place.”

Visit Williams’ blog for more of his comments, and to see his covers for Batman Inc. Batwoman #1 is set to debut on April 27, according to the DC Comics website (the solicitations released yesterday say April 6).

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Comments

12 Comments

Williams’s stuff is awesome. Covers are amazing. That said I’m old enough to remember artists in the 80′s and 90′s who were drawing TWO books a month very well (Byrne, JRjr, etc.. ) let alone all the guys who did one consistently.. I never really noticed a systemic problem with lateness until the Image Age; when the artists became ‘rock stars’ and sales generators. I’m glad DC is holding back launch of this series before it’s ready. If I were them I wouldn’t even publish #1 until I had at least 6 months banked. You can’t help but wonder what sales would be on some runs without 3-5 month delays or mini series with a consistent artist (yeah, Final Crisis, for one) ..I guess my larger point is, (and I’m by no means singling out Jones here) that no matter how awesome the art can be, if you can’t draw 20 pages a month (1 a business day) should you be in this business? For now at least, it’s still a periodicals business first.

@ Jack
Have you not considered the fact that JHWIII is both penciler and inker? Also consider his work is more intricate than most.

While I am disappointed in this, Williams is one of the few artists I don’t mind waiting for.

I’m happy for companies not to push guys like JHWIII too hard so that their work suffers. I also think a regular monthly is probably beyond him. To me he’s best used in minis or specific arcs that can be scheduled and worked on ahead of time.

@Jack: “I’m old enough to remember artists in the 80′s and 90′s who were drawing TWO books a month very well”

Then you’re old enough to remember delays on Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, the two most important superhero books of the decade. And fill-in issues on other series.

There’s definitely a part of me that hates delays and doesn’t understand how they go so long. But the end result is the most important thing. It sucked waiting years between issues of Planetary, but the next time I read through it that won’t be a problem, and it beats the hell out of switching artists.

I think a good recent example is Doctor Who: The Forgotten. The art was initially done by Pia Guerra, but she had to cut back on pages due to a death in the family and we got another artist on some pages to make the monthly schedule — with the result that the climax of the story (big two-page spread with all ten Doctors) was off-model and disappointing. I’d have gladly waited another month, two months, six months to see Guerra do that spread herself.

Or, hell, Batman #700 — Quitely’s surgery led to an artist switch in the middle of a story, which hurt the cohesion of an issue which was supposed to delineate each story’s timeframe by switching artists. Pretty much unavoidable since it was a big tie-in issue and (I believe) already delayed, but it hurt the end product.

Williams’s art was the only reason I read the Batwoman run on Detective, and it’s why I’m going to pick up Batwoman, whether it gets out on time or not. So the guy’s not a machine like Kirby who can crank out a half-dozen books in a month — who is? Hell, you mention JRJr as an example of a guy who can put out multiple books, but remember the delays on Kick-Ass?

Anyhow. Delays are disappointing and I wish they didn’t happen. But they beat the alternative.

Not only is the work worth waiting for I’d rather they delay releasing #1 then rush 1 and have 2 be delayed.

“Then you’re old enough to remember delays on Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, the two most important superhero books of the decade. ”

WATCHMEN shipped 12 issues in 13 months — http://www.comichron.com/special/watchmensales.html — can we let that false memory die, please?

-B

Eightiesologist

January 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I think some of you are missing the point. Yeah we agree his art is fantastic and he’s got a heavier work load on this. But the delays are due to him doing covers for another comic book and making appearances around the world. Who’s fault is that? This isn’t his or his family’s health. It’s because he bit off more than he could chew and DC inexplicably enabled it (or pushed it). They should never have solicited the thing until they had enough in the bag.

Sometimes these artists have to climb off that pedestal and live in the real world a little. I mean his last issue of Detective was in December of 2009. So in 16 months, we will have seen ONE comic book fully illustrated by him (Batwoman 0)? I’m sorry…if you’re a professional, i don’t care how good you are….get the damn job done.

I’m not complaining I have wanted dc to do something with this character since 52. she showed a lot of promise then . I am still not sold on the writing team but I am willing to give them a chance. I only hope they don’t make the fact that bat woman is a lesbian as a minor issue

I don’t mean go all Ellen and make that the only interesting thing about her but it should not be pretended it is not an issue.
Look at Marvels North Star, Karma and Annolie other then to have them say I’m gay every so often there is nothing else indicating it . Heck Karma has the most developed personal life out there other then just being gay and no body has even mentioned that in over three years she’s a single mom of two for crying out loud. I just hope that Bat Woman’s creative team treats her with more respect then that .

for the record I’m strait but if I had some one writing about me I would not want them to write me as a gay person who likes woman but as a strait person who likes woman. Gay character should be treated the same way good day

To Brian Hibbs:

You have to get Marvel and DC staffers/freelancers to stop using it as a defense for lateness first.

Then maybe the myth can finally end.

It really comes down to the publisher; both Marvel and DC are to blame for the current tardiness in comics. They cater way to much to the artist, and at times the writer also, and it shows when books like Batwoman are extremely late. As one of you stated JHWII’s late issue was in summer ’09 and because of overextending himself he was/is unable to meet the deadline. However, if DC hadn’t solicited this book and waited until Williams was far enough ahead in the planning and execution then this discussion would never exist. I am also a reader from the 80s and I honestly can’t remember books being this late; the publisher actually planned fill in issues, I’d usually skip those unless the artist was of my liking, to give the artist a break or a chance to catch up if needed. Perhaps with the advent of newer technologies like the Internet artist and writers are often times at such great distances from one another and the publisher that it’s difficult to curtain any issues that may arise, like lateness. I’ve been an advocate of trades and wish that DC/Marvel would actually go to that format as a regular business practice. I think publishing 4 trades a year of a title might solve the problem of books shipping late and offer the reader a more cohesive story. (not having artists/writers leave in the middle of a run type of thing). So let’s not put all the blame on JHWII, yes he’s part of the problem I’m hearing in this forum but the powers to be are reinforcing this behavior and it’s the fans that have to pay for it. Side note: I often wonder how an artist support themselves when I see them come and go on a book so often?

I know it’ll be a good series, so it’s worth the wait. There’s a lot of other characters out there that I like to keep me busy in the mean time.

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