|Born||February 12, 1970|
Long Island, New York, U.S.
|Area(s)||Cartoonist, Writer, Penciller, Inker, Letterer|
|Pedro and Me|
Batman: Under the Hood
Judd Winick (born February 12, 1970) is an American cartoonist, comic book writer and screenwriter, as well as a former reality television personality. He first gained fame for his stint on MTV's The Real World: San Francisco in 1994, before finding success as a comic book creator with Pedro and Me, an autobiographical graphic novel about his friendship with The Real World castmate and AIDS educator Pedro Zamora. Winick wrote lengthy runs on DC Comics' Green Lantern and Green Arrow series and created The Life and Times of Juniper Lee animated TV series for Cartoon Network, which ran for three seasons.
As part of his run on Batman, Winick wrote the 2005 storyline "Under the Hood", which featured the return of Jason Todd, the second Robin (who was murdered by the Joker in the 1988 storyline "A Death in the Family"), now operating as the anti-hero Red Hood. Winick also wrote the prequel mini-series Red Hood: The Lost Days, which detailed the exact nature of Todd's resurrection, as well as the animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood, which adapted his original story to screen.
Winick was born February 12, 1970 to a Jewish family, and grew up in Dix Hills, New York. In his youth Winick initially read superhero comics, but this changed when he read Kyle Baker's graphic novel Why I Hate Saturn, which Winick said in a 2015 interview he still reads once a year. Winick also cites Bloom County: Loose Tails by Berke Breathed as the first collection of that strip that changed his life, one which prompted him to spend the next ten years "horribly aping" Breathed's style.
Winick graduated from high school in 1988 and entered the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor's School of Art, intending to emulate his cartoonist heroes, including Breathed and Garry Trudeau. His comic strip, "Nuts and Bolts", began running in the school's newspaper, the Michigan Daily, in his freshman year, and he was selected to speak at graduation. The University published a small print-run of a collection of his strips called Watching the Spin-Cycle: The Nuts & Bolts Collection. In his senior year, Universal Press Syndicate, which syndicates strips such as Doonesbury and Calvin & Hobbes, offered Winick a development contract.
After graduation, Winick lived in an apartment in Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, with fellow writer Brad Meltzer, struggling to develop Nuts and Bolts for UPS, while working at a bookstore. On January 1, 1993, UPS decided not to renew Winick's strip for syndication, feeling it could not compete in the current market. Winick was unable to secure syndication with another company, and was forced to move back in with his parents by the middle of 1993, doing unfulfilling T-shirt work for beer companies. Winick had Nuts & Bolts in development with the children's television network Nickelodeon as an animated series, even turning the human characters into mice, and proposing new titles like Young Urban Mice and Rat Race, but nothing came of it.
Winick applied to be on MTV network's reality TV show, The Real World: San Francisco, hoping for fame and a career boost. During the casting process, the producers of the show conducted an in-person, videotaped interview with Winick. When asked how he would feel about living with someone who was HIV-positive, Winick gave what he thought was an enthusiastic, politically correct answer, despite reservations. Winick was accepted as a cast member on the show in January 1994. The producers informed the housemates that they would be living with someone who was HIV-positive, but they did not reveal who it was. Winick and his six castmates (Mohammed Bilal, Rachel Campos, Pam Ling, Cory Murphy, David "Puck" Rainey, and Pedro Zamora) moved into the house at 949 Lombard Street on Russian Hill on February 12, Winick's 24th birthday. Winick became roommates with Pedro Zamora. Although Cory Murphy, who was the first housemate to meet Zamora, learned that he was HIV-positive when they took the train together from Los Angeles to San Francisco, Winick learned that Zamora was the housemate who had AIDS after Winick and Zamora had decided to be roommates, when Zamora told him that he was an AIDS educator, and subsequently showed his scrapbook to Winick and the other housemates.
Winick's Nuts and Bolts strip began running in the San Francisco Examiner in March of that year.
Winick, who is Jewish, was offended at Rainey's decision to wear a T-shirt depicting four guns arranged in the shape of a swastika, and by Rainey's refusal to accede to Winick's request not to wear it.
After filming of the season ended, Winick and Ling moved to Los Angeles to continue their relationship.
By August 1994, Zamora's health began to decline. After being hospitalized, he asked Winick to substitute for him at a national AIDS education lecture. When Zamora died on November 11, 1994, Winick and Ling were at his bedside. Winick would continue Zamora's educational work for some time after that.
Winick designed illustrations for The Complete Idiot's Guide to... series of books, and did over 300 of them, including that series’ computer-oriented line. A collection of the computer-related titles' cartoons was published in 1997 as Terminal Madness, The Complete Idiot's Guide Computer Cartoon Collection.
While working on Pedro and Me, Winick began working on comic books, beginning with a one-page Frumpy the Clown cartoon in Oni Press’ anthology series, Oni Double Feature #3, in 1998, before going on to do longer stories, like the two-part Road Trip, which was published in issues #9 and 10 of the same book. Road Trip went on to become an Eisner Award nominee for Best Sequential Story.
Winick followed up with a three-issue miniseries, The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius, about a cynical, profane grade school whiz kid, who invents a myriad of futuristic devices that no one other than his best friend knows about. Barry Ween was published by Image Comics from March through May 1999, with two subsequent miniseries, The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius 2.0 and The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius: Monkey Tales (Retitled The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius 3 or The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius: Gorilla Warfare in the collected editions), published by Oni Press, which published trade paperback collections of all three miniseries.
Winick’s graphic novel, Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned, was published in September 2000. It was awarded six American Library Association awards, was nominated for an Eisner Award, won Winick his first GLAAD award, has been praised by creators such as Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, and Armistead Maupin, and has been incorporated into school curricula across the country.
Winick's work in mainstream superhero comics received attention for storylines in which he explores gay or AIDS-oriented themes. In his first regular writing assignment on a monthly superhero comic book, DC Comics' Green Lantern, Winick wrote a storyline in which Terry Berg, an assistant of the title character, emerged as a gay character in Green Lantern #137 (June 2001) and in Green Lantern #154 (November 2002) the story entitled "Hate Crime" gained media recognition when Terry was brutally beaten in a homophobic attack. Winick was interviewed on Phil Donahue's show on MSNBC for that storyline on August 15, 2002, and received two more GLAAD awards for his Green Lantern work.
In 2003, Judd Winick left Green Lantern for another DC series, Green Arrow, beginning with issue #26 of that title (July 2003). He gained more media recognition for Green Arrow #43 (December 2004) in which he revealed that Green Arrow's 17-year-old ward, a former runaway-turned prostitute named Mia Dearden, was HIV-positive. In issue #45 (February 2005), Winick had Dearden take on the identity of Speedy, the second such Green Arrow sidekick to bear that name, making her the most prominent HIV-positive superhero to star in an ongoing comic book, a decision for which Winick was interviewed on CNN.
In 2003 Winick wrote a five-issue miniseries for DC's Vertigo imprint called Blood & Water, about a young man with terminal illness whose two friends reveal to him that they are vampires, and that they wish to save his life by turning him into a vampire himself.
Winick's other comic book work includes Batman, The Outsiders, and Marvel's Exiles. In 2005 he co-wrote Countdown to Infinite Crisis, a one-shot comic that initiated the "Infinite Crisis" storyline, with Geoff Johns and Greg Rucka. Winick was responsible for bringing Jason Todd, the second character known as Batman's sidekick Robin, back from the dead, and making him the new Red Hood, the second such Batman villain by that name. That same year, Winick created an animated TV show named The Life and Times of Juniper Lee in 2005, which ran for three seasons on the Cartoon Network. Along with creating the show and the characters, he has also directed the voice actors alongside Susan Blu.
Between September 2005 and March 2006, Winick wrote the four-issue Captain Marvel/Superman limited series, Superman/Shazam: First Thunder with art by Josh Middleton. Winick continued his work with the Marvel Family in a 12-issue limited series titled The Trials Of Shazam!, and continued his Green Arrow work with 2007's Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Special, which led to the ongoing series Green Arrow and Black Canary, the first 14 issues of which Winick wrote. In November 2007, DC released a Teen Titans East special, a prequel for Titans, which was scripted by Winick. Following the "Battle for the Cowl" storyline, Winick took over the writing on Batman for four issues. He co-wrote the 26-issue biweekly Justice League: Generation Lost with Keith Giffen, a title which alternated with Brightest Day. In addition, he was a regular writer on the monthly Power Girl series.
Winick wrote the screenplay for the 2010 direct to DVD animated feature Batman: Under the Red Hood, which was based on the 1988–89 story arc "Batman: A Death in the Family" and the 2005 "Batman: Under the Hood" story arc that he wrote in the Batman comic book.
Beginning in September 2011, Winick began writing new Catwoman and Batwing ongoing series that were launched as part of DC Comics' reboot of its continuity, The New 52. The Catwoman series was criticized by some readers for its focus on Selina Kyle's sexuality, particularly scenes showing her sexual relationship with Batman. Winick responded that it was DC that desired this tone.
Winick is the head writer on The Awesomes, an animated superhero comedy series created by Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker for Hulu. It debuted on August 1, 2013 and ended on November 3, 2015.
In July 2012 Winick announced that he was leaving Catwoman after issue #12, in order to create an all-ages, original graphic novel called Hilo (pronounced "High-Low"), a move that Winick explained was inspired a year or so prior when his then-seven-year-old son asked to read his work. Not having age-appropriate material for him, Winick gave him Jeff Smith's Bone, which both father and son enjoyed, and decided to create an all-ages story that his son could read. The full color series, whose tone and visuals Winick describes as "part E.T., part Doctor Who, part Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes", stars a small town boy named D.J. whose life takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious boy named Hilo falls from the sky, and takes D.J. and his friend Gina on adventures that include robots, aliens and a quest to save the world. The series represents Winick's first artwork since 2002's The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius: Gorilla Warfare, as well as his first children's book. It is published by Random House, with the first book published in September 2015. The deal is for three books, though Winick plans to have a total of six graphic novels by the time the story is finished, and hopes to release a book every six months. The first two volumes of the Hilo series, Hilo, the Boy Who Crashed to Earth and Hilo, Saving the Whole Wide World, are New York Times bestsellers.
After appearing on The Real World, Winick and his former costar, Pam Ling, began to date. Winick proposed to her with a cartoon he made for the occasion, and which he presented to her while wearing a gorilla suit. The cartoon presented Ling with two choices to answer his proposal. After she accepted his proposal, he summoned three singing Elvises. Winick and Ling married in a civil ceremony on August 26, 2001. Writer Armistead Maupin spoke at their ceremony. As of 2016, they have two children, a son and a daughter, whom they work to keep out of the spotlight, preferring to omit photos of them from social media, and mention of their names in interviews.
In Pedro, the 2008 film dramatizing Pedro Zamora's life, Winick is portrayed by Hale Appleman. Winick and his wife Pam Ling can be seen in a cameo in a scene where Jenn Liu and Alex Loynaz, as Ling and Zamora, are meeting up on a set of stairs.
Writer Judd Winick and artist Mike McKone told the story of a familiar band of dimension-hopping mutant heroes.
The prequel to Infinite Crisis was a collection of short stories...which were written by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, and Judd Winick.