J.H. Williams III does really well at both drawing and writing. If you don’t believe me, go check out Batwoman Vol 2, where he writes, inks, pencils, and otherwise does all the art duties for the book. Guy’s a dynamo, the book looks visually beautiful and Batwoman is one of the strongest written Nu52 titles out right now. However, he’s also going to be doing the art for the Sandman prequel called The Sandman: Overture and so he has taken a hiatus from doing the art for Batwoman, but he will continue to write it as well as draw the cover art for the book. CBR sat him down recently to talk about how this will affect the book and what the future holds in store for the title. When asked if it was difficult from both drawing and writing the book, something that he had full control over to show exactly what story he wanted to, Williams III had a few things to say.
Yeah, it has been difficult to just focus on the writing side. I’m a visual thinker and therefore a visual writer. I do my best to convey the images in my head in the scripts; I even did that when I was drawing the scripts myself. But ultimately the artists Haden [Blackman] and I are working with are tremendously talented, and seeing their interpretations of the described visuals in our scripts is always exciting.
The key things for me is making sure the visual storytelling is clear, that the emotional beats come through, that the visual narrative carries through. As for returning to art on “Batwoman,” I’m still doing cover work, but only time will tell for the interior pages. “Sandman” is going to take a while to finish; it’s a daunting task. Besides, we like what Trevor McCarthy is bringing to the table.
So what about the newest arc on Batwoman? Williams III wasn’t quick to answer on the future of the story of the book, but did mention a few things, specifically what the theme of it would be;family
…The plot for the arc, though, is about family, even at its highest intrigue moments it boils down to family bonds, be they by blood or by choice…Haden and I feel like for characters and story to move forward there has to be some form of emotional evolution that integrates with the plot evolutions. However, Kate allowing her father in a little bit has less to do with emotions about him right now, it’s about the necessity of needing his help and expertise and the connections he has.
We’re going to get into some interesting stuff as the people who Jacob works with; the people that trained Kate come into the story in concrete ways. But as for her feelings on Jacob’s behavior and lies, it’s far from over. Right now the most important thing to her is Beth, to save her sister from the clutches of the DEO, to bring Beth home finally after all these years.
Batwoman is an interesting character in the grand scheme of things in Gotham because she has never really been a member of the Bat-family, nor does her path really cross all that much with Batman. She’s always been her own (Bat)woman so to speak. That doesn’t mean that her path isn’t going to pass again with the Dark Knight, even if her story is chiefly her own.
Batwoman from the outset has never been really a sanctioned by Batman figure. Nor should she have to be. We felt it supremely important to build Kate and Batwoman up as independently as possible, otherwise the series has no legs. In this current arc four storyline we are seeing more of what you’d expect from a series taking place in Gotham: some typically known Batman-esque characters including Batman himself.
Her differences with Batman are going to come to a head. The problem with so many Gotham-related titles crossing over all of the time is that they easily fall into the trap of becoming Batman’s story and no longer that title character’s own story. So we felt it very important that if Batman and others were to appear in “Batwoman,” that it had to be a Batwoman story, no one else’s. Batwoman has to hold her own, build her own legacy and mythos; it would be a disservice to her to handle it any other way. And ultimately it has made the series stronger for it.
With that said, Batwoman #22 is on sale in two weeks and be sure to check out The Sandman: Overture when it releases in October.