BY EVENTSEEKER STAFF
San Francisco is very rich and diverse when it comes to culture and art. Most comic book aficionados residing in this city already know about the Isotope Comic Lounge, and visiting comic lovers likely make it a point to stop at the store. James Sime, the store’s proprietor, has done a heck of a job over the years bringing comic creators into his shop for in-store events–current DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, Darwyn Cooke, Warren Ellis to just name a few. Sime and company even took The Walking Dead’s co-creator Robert Kirkman, as well as a gaggle of fans, along the streets of San Francisco for a zombie pub-crawl back in April as part of this year’s Wonder-Con festivities.
This Saturday, December 3rd, Sime welcomes J.H. Williams III to the store. Williams, one of the comic book industry’s best illustrators, has been a guest of honor at Isotope before. This time, he returns with W. Haden Blackman, one of his creative partners on their monthly comic book title, Batwoman, published by DC Comics.
Along with comics and crime novelist Greg Rucka, Williams had a previous run on the Batwoman character for the publisher’s flagship title, Detective Comics, which was very well received by fans and critics alike. Known for his lush pencils and imaginative vision, Williams’ style paired with Rucka’s smart and strong writing could not have been a more perfect match.
The Batwoman heroine is the alter-ego of one Kate Kane. She was named in tribute to the character’s Silver Age incarnation, which debuted back in the 1950s. When this new Batwoman was conceptualized, arguably the biggest selling point was the fact that she was a lesbian, and she resembled more of a chesty, “lipstick lesbian” who wore high heels, at that.
Yes, high heels.
When Rucka and Williams took Kane and her Batwoman alter-ego into the pages of Detective Comics, they made the distinction that while Kane’s sexual orientation is definitely a part of who she is, it is not all that she is. She became a very layered and interesting character worth caring about. Rucka and Williams also got rid of the heels–just too darn impractical.
In September, DC wiped the slate clean of its 70-some odd years of continuity, and started completely fresh, giving its universe of characters either a rebirth, or in most cases, completely altering their histories and legacies. In all, there have been 52 new titles starting over at issue number one, with Batwoman one of those 52. This time around, Williams is not only illustrating, but also co-writing the Batwoman’s adventures with Blackman.
Criticism of some books has ranged from customary complaints about the lack of execution of a plot-point, to valid, pointed criticism of how women are portrayed in the new DC-Universe as a whole. However, there has not been too much criticism of the Batwoman title, because, frankly when you have a creator the caliber of Williams anchoring a book, there really won’t be too much to complain about.
DC Comics has been pairing up the creative teams of their titles with local comic book shop retailers across North America to celebrate this historic 52-issue re-launch with in-store events and signings. No stranger to big events, Sime and his store have been planning something special for this event with Williams and Blackman.
In the afternoon on Saturday from 3pm to 6pm, Williams and Blackman will take part in an all-ages autograph session. The Batwoman Afterparty begins at 8pm and will close out the event. Sime and company are going to be keeping this party exclusively for the 21 and over crowd. As an added bonus, your ticket to the afterparty includes a custom made Pirate-Girl Pin-Up Highball glass designed by Williams himself. So get your tickets to this event while you still can, and get ready for an epic day and a wild night.
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