Every week How to Love Comics spotlights a comic book artist that should be on your radar. I present you a gallery of their work and then leave you some reading recommendations if you are starving for more. I’ve cleverly titled this Artist of the Week.
This week’s featured artist is the surreal J.H Williams III. Williams is an award winning artist has made a name for himself through his beautiful and experimental comic book art which breaks new ground in sequential storytelling. He has achieved this through varying and unconventional page layouts which give extra depth to the story while also mixing different styles together in different contexts. He’s most famous for his work on the character Batwoman and is currently working with Neil Gaiman on a Sandman story.
Below is a gallery of his work from various points in his career for you to marvel at. Enjoy!
J.H Williams III Reading Recommendations
If you’ve enjoyed this gallery and want to read some of J.H Williams III’s work here are 3 comics I highly recommend.
Written by Greg Rucka, J.H Williams III, Hayden Blackman. Art by J.H Williams III, Trevor McCarthy and Amy Reeder. Published by DC Comics.
Batwoman is probably J.H Williams III’s most famous work which he not only did art for but also co-wrote for much of. Originally only a 6 issue run with Greg Rucka on Detective Comics spun out into Batwoman’s own ongoing series. Unlike Batman, Batwoman took on the more supernatural threats of Gotham City.
This lead to some fantastic art from Williams whose work consisted of almost exclusively double page spreads of experimental panel layouts. He also played around with different art styles with a water coloured style when Batwoman is in her costume to a flatter style in her civilian life. This worked a treat to show the contrasts of her life and situations.
J.H Williams did art for the character in Batwoman: Elegy (Detective Comics #854-860) and most of Batwoman #0-#17 which are collected in Batwoman volumes 1-3. These are also available digitally.
The Sandman: Overture
Written by Neil Gaiman. Art by J.H Williams III. Published by Vertigo Comics.
Sandman: Overture is a prequel to the groundbreaking, and much loved, series from Neil Gaiman. This series tells the origins of the series from the creation of the universe to how Morpheus was captured.
J.H Williams III’s art is superb as always, mixing up the surreal with the ordinary in a fashion only he can do. As a reader we see his explosive and colourful creation to the universe to a spread in which each panel is a tooth. In this series he continues to experiment with the comics medium while still respecting what has come before in The Sandman.
There’s currently 5 issues of this miniseries with the 6th and final to be released later in year. It is also expected for a collection to be also out before the end of the year too. Sandman: Overture is also available digitally.
Written by Alan Moore. Art by J.H Williams III. Published by America’s Best Comics/DC Comics.
Promethea is Alan Moore’s exploration of superheroes, mythology, spirituality and science-fiction all wrapped into one to create a series which pushed boundaries in storytelling. The series follows college student, Sophie, who has been brought the task of bringing the apocalypse through her embodiment as the entity known as Promethea.
With J.H Williams on art, this series experimented with different kinds of visual storytelling. Through the use of different styles and page layouts crafted the kind of work you expect from him today and can see throughout this article. The most famous of his experimental works on Promethea would definitely have to be a spread in issue #15 which loops the reader from page to the other and back again in a way that could be read infinity.
Promethea ran for 32 issues and is collected in 5 collections as well as digitally.