Who’s Who at DC-The New 52: JH Williams III

DC Comics has posted:

THE SOURCE: How do you write the first line of a new series?

JH WILLIAMS: It can be tough. You want the first line to grab, but it can’t be overloaded with information either. You want to set a tone, but also lead the reader into the story with ease, not overwhelm too much. It’s a very fine line to walk. But the goal is to write a simple captivating line that has weight and meaning, but it’s full understanding requires you to read the next line, and then the next, and so on. This concern occurs when writing prose work as well.

How do you draw a first panel of a first issue?

For me, first panels of a story need to function much in the same way as what I say about the first written line. I like to place focus on something in a way that when you first look at it, you don’t know what the context is, or it raises questions as to what is happening. By doing this, you provoke the reader to want to learn more.

How do you introduce a new hero?

The goal for any new protagonist in a new story is to get at what makes them tick within the first chapter or issue. But to do so in a form that doesn’t give away all there is to know about them. If a first appearance gives away everything about the lead character, then you’ve created an information bust, and the reader isn’t going to be as compelled to return. You have to keep some mystery, or use complicated motivations for the character’s behavior or actions.

How do you introduce characters?

I find that the best way to introduce new characters into a story is to try finding high points in the plot that could relate to them, giving them a key moment to present themselves. Another way is by use of a scene that defines the new character’s motivations or mission in the story. Sometimes it can seen through the eyes of another character, and if done properly you briefly learn something about 2 characters at the same time.

How do you draw a first appearance?

This relates to how the character is introduced within the written plot. If the plot is showing the character at a relevant point, or at a high point, its easy to set the character within that visually. The scene informing how dynamic or emotionally positioned the character is visually. What does the scene mean to this particular character can inform how to handle them visually.

How do you introduce a new villain?

Villain introduction for me, works best if its revealed at a high point of tension, either related or unrelated to the scene at hand. A villain’s first scene should also always leave questions to the reader on what is their deeper motivations.

What was the first comic you ever worked on?

I believe my first professional paying job was when I was 15 or 16. I did 2 pin-ups for something called Alternate Existence. It was very independently produced. And I was certainly not very good then ;-)

Check out the full profile at the DC Comics blog The Source:
Who’s Who at DC Comics-The New 52: JH Williams III

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