Judd Winick (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Judd Winick (born February 12, 1970) is an American comic book, comic strip and television writer/artist and former reality television personality. Winick first gained fame for his 1994 stint on MTV's The Real World: San Francisco, before earning success for his work on comic books as Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Pedro and Me, his autobiographical graphic novel about his friendship with Real World castmate and AIDS educator Pedro Zamora. He also created the animated TV series The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, which ran for three seasons on Cartoon Network.
Early life and career
Winick was born February 12, 1970, and grew up in Dix Hills, New York. He graduated from high school in 1988 and entered the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor's School of Art, intending to emulate his cartoonist heroes, Garry Trudeau and Berkeley Breathed. 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. U of M also 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 also 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.
The Real World: San Francisco
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 953 Lombard Street on Russian Hill on February 12. Winick became roommates with AIDS educator Pedro Zamora, who informed Winick that he was an AIDS educator, and showing 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 David "Puck" Rainey's wearing of 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.
Writing and art career
Winick designed illustrations for The Complete Idiot's Guide to... series of books, and has done 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 also began working on comic books, beginning with a one-page Frumpy the Clown cartoon in Oni Press" anthology series, Oni Double Feature #4, 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 also published trade paperback collections of all three miniseries. Barry Ween was also optioned by Platinum Studios to be adapted into an animated series, but to date, nothing has come of this.
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. Among its other awards are:
2000 Publishers Weekly Best Book
2000 Bay Area Book Reviewers Award for Best in Children's Literature
2000 Eisner Nomination for Best Original Graphic Novel
2001 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor Award
2001 American Library Association Notable Children's Book citation
2001 American Library Association Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Roundtable Nonfiction Honor book
America's Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature Highly Recommended List (Award sponsored by the National Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs"CLASP).
Winick"s work in mainstream superhero comics has received attention for storylines in which he explores gay or AIDS-oriented themes. In his first regular writing assignment on a monthly superhero 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 2001) 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 book, 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.
Winick"s other comic book work includes Batman, The Outsiders, and Marvel's Exiles. Winick was also 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. Winick also 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. 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 called 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. He is currently the writer of Titans. In November 2007, DC also released a Teen Titans East special (a prequel for Titans), which was also scripted by Winick. Following the "Battle for the Cowl" storyline, Winick took over the writing on Batman for four issues. He co-wrote a 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.
Starting in September 2011, under DC Comics' "New 52" relaunch, Winick began writing new Catwoman and Batwing ongoing series.
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.
Winick wrote the screenplay for Batman: Under the Red Hood the direct to DVD animated feature for Warner Premiere in 2010. It was based on the 1988-89 story arc "Batman: A Death in the Family" and the 2005 "Batman: Under the Hood" story arc that ran in the monthly Batman comic book series by DC Comics, the latter of which Winick had written.
Winick proposed to Ling 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 2008, they have two children.
In popular culture
In Pedro, Nick Oceano's 2008 film dramatizing Pedro Zamora's life, Winick is portrayed by Hale Appleman. Winick and his wife Pam can be seen in a cameo in a scene in which Jenn Liu and Alex Loynaz, as Ling and Zamora, are meeting up on a set of stairs.
Winick is also mentioned in Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.