One of the brightest stars in comics over the last few years has been JH Williams III, who will be co-writing and co-drawing the ongoing Batwoman series after his stint drawing the character in Detective Comics while she was written by Greg Rucka.
Comic Book Resources’s blog Robot6 have an interview with Williams, and it’s definitely worth a read. Here’s just a bit;
Q: Have you had any formative conversations with [Amy Reeder] about your aim for the series and her alternating arcs?
Williams: We talked a little bit about the first arc because of the way the stories are going to progress. Each story arc switches its genre a bit, but it all flows together and will blend in a natural progressing. At the same time, we’re wanting to present plot elements in a way that it will fit together as well. For example, the first story arc is a horror story that dovetails into the second, which is an intrigue/espionage thing. When I was describing it to Amy, I told her to pitch it along the lines of a James Bond-type plot but with a structure that isn’t necessarily James Bond; more along the lines of a Quentin Tarantino film’s structure.
Q: For the arcs you aren’t drawing, can you still visualize in your head how you’d do the page while you write it? Does your mind think that way?
Williams: Definitely. In visual terms, I can see how things flow. For example, in some cases with the scripts Haden is writing the first draft before I step in, and when I do I can sometimes see how panels are flowing and figure out how to reorganize the structure or figure out something new for the scene to be more efficient in its storytelling. Also I try to hold ourselves to the rule of not having too many panels. I don’t like to write over five panels for one page, because then you’ll start to get things boxed in and make the artist feel more boxed in and get artwork not as fully realized as it could be. It’s a good rule, and it forces your brain to be more efficient with storytelling and to not necessarily use excessive storytelling just because you can. The goal is to figure out how to be really efficient and editorially judge the material; I think it’s a good exercise to work within certain parameters.
The interview is very interesting, especially if you’re a fan of Williams’ breathtaking and innovative work, and for more information on the upcoming Batwoman series make sure you check out DC’s blog post from April.