J.H. WILLIAMS III
I first worked with J.H. Williams and his inker partner Mick Gray on some Batman issues in the mid 1990s. I was impressed with their artistic skill, and when their book Chase came out from DC Comics, I enjoyed reading it and admired the well-designed pages and fine drawing.
In 1998 I had been asked to letter and do design work for the upcoming America's Best Comics line written by Alan Moore. Editor Scott Dunbier was looking for artists for two of the books, Top 10 and Promethea, and asked if I had any ideas. I suggested Williams and Gray for one of them. Scott had been pursuing another art team for Promethea, but when that fell through, he asked Williams and Gray, who jumped at the chance to work with Alan. An award-winning and critically acclaimed team was born!
Jim Williams is an artist who thrives on collaboration. Of all the artists who worked on the ABC line, he was the one who worked most closely with both Alan Moore and myself, with weekly, or sometimes more frequent calls to each of us to discuss the work in progress. I believe his talks with Alan led to Promethea becoming the most personal and innovative of the ABC titles, as Alan gradually realized that J.H. was ready and eager for any sort of artistic challenge thrown his way. Jim approached each issue and each story segment within those issues with unique design elements that enhanced the storytelling, and graceful page designs that also made the art a joy to behold.
As he worked on each batch of pages, Jim would call me to make suggestions for the lettering, and tell me the look he was after. And often he would say, "You might have trouble getting all the words to fit on these pages. Could you letter them smaller?" The eternal artist question! Somehow I always found a way to make it work to his satisfaction without making it smaller.
One of the most rewarding parts of Promethea was working with Jim to develop the widely varied covers, often inspired by some artwork or cover from the past. For instance, the cover of Promethea #6 was inspired by the old pulp magazine cover art of Margaret Brundage, as shown below.
For more about Promethea covers, visit the DESIGN section of this site using the tab at the top of the page.
Read more about J.H. WILLIAMS III
All text and images ©Todd Klein, except as noted. All rights reserved.
Jump to one of these topics in Lettering:
Use the tabs at the top of the page to move to other areas, such as HOW TO for tips and information on how to do your own lettering.