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Crossing the Dark Divide

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Sep
4

Heartbroken

Dear Batwoman readers –

From the moment DC asked us to write Batwoman — a dream project for both of us — we were committed to the unofficial tagline “No Status Quo.” We felt that the series and characters should always be moving forward, to keep changing and evolving. In order to live up to our mantra and ensure that each arc took Batwoman in new directions, we carefully planned plotlines and story beats for at least the first five arcs well before we ever wrote a single issue. We’ve been executing on that plan ever since, making changes whenever we’ve come up with a better idea, but in general remaining consistent to our core vision.

Unfortunately, in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many long-standing storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series. We were told to ditch plans for Killer Croc’s origins; forced to drastically alter the original ending of our current arc, which would have defined Batwoman’s heroic future in bold new ways; and, most crushingly, prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. All of these editorial decisions came at the last minute, and always after a year or more of planning and plotting on our end.

We’ve always understood that, as much as we love the character, Batwoman ultimately belongs to DC. However, the eleventh-hour nature of these changes left us frustrated and angry — because they prevent us from telling the best stories we can. So, after a lot of soul-searching, we’ve decided to leave the book after Issue 26.

We’re both heartbroken over leaving, but we feel strongly that you all deserve stories that push the character and the series forward. We can’t reliably do our best work if our plans are scrapped at the last minute, so we’re stepping aside. We are committed to bringing our run to a satisfying conclusion and we think that Issue 26 will leave a lasting impression.

We are extremely thankful for the opportunity to work on Batwoman. It’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding projects of our careers. We’ll always be grateful to everyone who helped us realize 26 issues: Mike Siglain, who brought us onto the project originally; Greg Rucka for inspirationally setting the stage; our amazing artists Amy Reeder, Trevor McCarthy, Pere Perez, Rob Hunter, Walden Wong, Sandu Florea, Richard Friend, Francesco Francavilla, Guy Major, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein; Larry Ganem, for listening in tough times; and editors Mike Marts, Harvey Richards, Rickey Purdin, and Darren Shan.

And most of all, a huge thank you to everyone who read the book. Hearing your voices, your reactions, your enthusiasm every month was such a joy, so humbling, so rewarding. You guys rock! Because so many of you embraced the series, we were able to complete four arcs, and your passion for Batwoman encouraged us to push ourselves to do our best work with each and every issue.

Thank you for loving Batwoman as much as we do.

Goodbye for now,

Haden & J H

Comments

  1. Can you make another post detailing the true ending of the arc and the intended ongoing arcs?

  2. Maybe after #26 hits stands. We’re working very hard to ensure that #26 still provides a kick-ass ending to our run, and I don’t want to steal any thunder from that. But, I’d love to eventually talk about some of the stuff we had planned… :)

  3. […] Blackman also has the statement on his website. In the statement, they write: […]

  4. I am so raged and sad that is has happened. I am completely alienated from DC now. This is just, awful.

  5. You should try to keep the rights to use the refused story ideas at a later date and in other characters as you see fit.

    Good luck on your future projects!

  6. Kudos on a job well done and standing up for what you believe in! As someone who’s been reading since the Rucka Detective Comics days, to see the evolution of the character along with the innovative storytelling and awe inspiring art over these past couple of years has been a joy to witness. You’ve done yourselves and Kate proud, and while I’m devastated and quite angry with D.C. right now, I look forward to reading the final issues of this fantastic run. All the best, and I for one will be keeping an eye out for what you do next!

  7. Thanks for all the hard work. Batwoman brought me back to comic collecting after a 10 year hiatus. I’ll likely stop reading DC after this.

  8. So pissed at this. The last DC book worth buying has lost its creative team because they weren’t allowed to be creative. I hope you guys get to work together again soon. I’d suggest Image or IDW for future projects as they seem to be the only two companies right now with books worth reading.

  9. I’m really sorry to hear you guys got stonewalled on such great story ideas. I don’t think a lot of editors at these big companies understand their readers or even storytelling in general. I keep hearing about stuff like this, writers being forced into whatever direction their bosses think will sell the most books and disregarding the reason most people actual read comics: for quality story and characters. But it’s hard to preach quality to people who only measure their success in quantity. Look forward to whatever you guys do next.

  10. Nooo, so sad… I was super worried when we stopped getting JHIII art, but this comic still defied my expectations and was superb. I am glad we at least get an ending, I’d love to see some closure with Beth. So bummed.

  11. I’m sorry to hear of your departure, but support your decision 100%. DC’s editorial staff is going to creatively bankrupt their entire line.

  12. […] Williams III and Haden Blackman — longtime writers of the Batwoman comic book — are leaving DC Comics over a dispute about editorial changes to their planned story lines, including being forbidden to […]

  13. This is a Huge Disappointment this team has made Batwomen a must Buy and Made her my Favorite female Character of all time. I’ve bought every issue of Batwoman pre-new 52 and everything including Harcover Graphic novels of things I already had, any figurines I got find you name it, I have it. And for DC to pull something like this Disgusts me. I don’t know what I’m going to do but DC is diggin there own Grave.

  14. This is sad on so many levels. Batwoman has been my favourite book of the New 52, but if DC refuses to let you guys – people who know t he characters – do your best work, I don’t think I can keep reading after #26.

    I hope you two will work together on many more projects in the near future. Please keep us posted. I wish you the best of luck for all your future projects.

  15. Heartbroken to see you guys leave, especially under such circumstances. Creative team changes are just a part of life in comics, but the way this *keeps happening* this way, talented people being driven away from stories they care about…it’s just depressing.

  16. Former DC Fan Says: September 5th, 2013 at 5:51 am

    First they ruin Powergirl, Now this? After this I’m dropping DC for good. It’s over, I’m done.

  17. Thank you for an amazing comic! Batwoman has been my favourite thing to come out of the New 52 and I will miss you guys greatly.

  18. SoulReaverDan Says: September 5th, 2013 at 6:12 am

    I am not terribly ashamed to say that I am actually nearly crying right now. You guys have been writing my hands-down favorite book in the New 52, and really in DC, and hell, pretty much in comics altogether right now. I just… I can’t believe this. I’ve loved every moment and every issue of the runs that you guys have been doing so far, and I’m just crushed to see you leaving. The thing that confuses me the most is their apparently not letting you show Maggie and Kate getting married. Marvel made a huge issue out of their first in-book same-sex marriage and it was a big hit and super high publicity. It seems like the sort of thing they shouldn’t have any issues with it.

    Anyways, I really do wish you both the best, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep following the book after you’ve left, knowing the circumstances that lead to it. Best of luck in future projects, and maybe if the community speaks up we can pull a Gail Simone and bring you back.

  19. 26 will be my last issue. Coincidentally, this was the only remaining DC title on my pull list. Well, I guess that’s that. Thanks for all the great work and best wishes going forward!

  20. […] at the last second that Batwoman couldn’t show Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer getting married, causing the creators to walk off of the title.  No, hush, that’s just the straw that’s breaking Batman’s back.  It’s a […]

  21. […] then this and this happened on J.H. Williams III’s and W. Haden Blackman’s […]

  22. […] Blackman also has the statement on his website. In the statement, they write: […]

  23. […] Rucka and Amy Reeder to each (separately) cut ties with the comic. Now, Williams has posted on his blog that due to the fact that DC has definitively nixed Kate Kane (Batwoman)’s marriage to […]

  24. Nick Porcino Says: September 5th, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Sorry to hear it, I really admired the way you guys approached this project, and the integrity I felt in your commitment to the characters.

  25. Haden

    I just want to congratulate you and J.H. for making it this far in an environment that, at least from the outside looking in, appeared to be hostile to the very concept of Batwoman from the start. The title looked and read like nothing else out there and each month, I was happy to see it on the shelf. Considering the pressures of mainstream comics, it is a major accomplishment you and all your collaborators continued Kate’s story for so long.

  26. […] for both of us — we were committed to the unofficial tagline ‘No Status Quo,’” Blackman posted on his website. “. . . Unfortunately, in recent months, DC has asked us to alter or completely discard many […]

  27. Craig McKay Says: September 5th, 2013 at 8:21 am

    This is such sad news, Batwoman is by far the best comic I have ever read from DC comics and to hear that you guys are leaving is very sad. I hope you have the best of luck in whatever projects you end up on. I was really looking forward to the wedding issue and maybe DC will come to their senses one day and allow it (or fan backlash will force them) and I hope you can return to Batwoman some day and finish what you started. Thanks for the great stories so far and I hope you get more respect and creative control on your next project.

  28. Kat(notKate) Says: September 5th, 2013 at 8:30 am

    As a gay woman, I wanted to thank you both for all that you’ve put in Batwoman. I have been supporting the character since its 52 Weeks debut. Personally, I have become emotionally invested in the title just because I did see a part of myself in her and certain qualities of Kate with in me. The title gave me something to look forward to, especially with Kate and Maggie’s (future) wedding. The stories you told, the ones that involved Kate’s family and relationships especially, have a very human touch to them. You both made Kate Kane very real. She was strong, intellegint, funny and loving. You made her the every day woman and not some bimbo.

    I hope, as naive as that may be, that the editor’s will have a change of heart (and perspective), and have you continue writing for Batwoman.

    Mr. Blackman and JHW, you are outstanding men in my book. It has been a pleasure reading Batwoman. I wish you both all the best in the future.

    ~Batwoman4Ever~

  29. I stopped reading comics when I was 17, because I found very few I could connect with as a woman. I finally was convinced to pick up Batwoman, and lo and behold- someone I could relate to! (not that I go around kicking ass and taking names, but you know what I mean.) I work with college students, and have convinced many of the females to pick up Batwoman, to the point where they can’t WAIT for a new issue to come out so they can go and buy it. Thank you for the hard work you put in to making Batwoman an awesome, fleshed out character. Sadly, I think #26 will be the last one I pick up, as I won’t support a company that thinks it’s 1913 instead of 2013.

  30. Wow, this is ridiculous. I remember when DC announced the New 52 and I was on board and set to go…now I can’t see myself buying any more of it. Good luck to both of you and thanks for the stories you’ve given us.

  31. […] el issue #1 en el reboot de DC Comics en el 2011. Pueden leer las expresiones de  JH Williams y W. Haden Blackman en sus respectivos blogs. El issue final de ellos en Batwoman es el […]

  32. […] is no room for doubt on why they decided to up sticks and leave DC – as both Williams and Blackman‘s websites in a cross-post […]

  33. […] Williams III and W. Haden Blackman announced late last night that, after having given the matter much thought, they have decided that […]

  34. I am crushed, and so very disappointed in DC. But to you, Mr. Blackman, and to your most esteemed co-writer, I offer you my profound thanks. Not only for giving the world such an amazing book in “Batwoman,” but for your integrity. “Batwoman” is the comic I wish I’d had when I was a young geeky lesbian, just starting to figure myself out. I’m with you both through issue 26, but I have a feeling that may be my last as well. Time will tell.

  35. […] storylines in ways that we feel compromise the character and the series,” Williams and Blackman wrote in a […]

  36. I, too, came back to comics after a long hiatus because of Batwoman. This title seems to have had that effect on many readers, judging from these comments. DC should pay attention: if they kill the innovation and emotional effectiveness of their books, they’ll lose readers like us.

  37. […] night J. H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman announced that they’re leaving Batwoman after 26 issues due to editorial interference that included […]

  38. Dear Sandy of Comic Odyssey (comic book shop where I get my comics in Manila),

    Please cancel my “Batwoman” subscription after issue # 26 (Dec 2013). J.H. Williams III and Haden Blackman are both leaving. The direction they’ve brought to the book for readers like me is something I valued much (managing to be independent compared to Batman-related titles). For the meantime, I will have to buy the title on a per issue basis or whenever I feel like trying out the new team DC will appoint.

    Jayvee =)

  39. […] on mostly positive reviews for years now, but this will probably mark the end of that good will. In a post titled “Heartbroken,” Blackman explains the situation in a little more […]

  40. […] In the joint letter posted to their websites this morning, the co-writers specifically noted that their reason for leaving the book was because of editorial differences. They included several examples of such differences, which meant several of their storylines had to be altered – their planned Killer Croc origin storyline which had been in the works for months, their current arc on the series…. and the wedding between Batwoman and her fiancee Maggie Sawyer. […]

  41. […] In the joint letter posted to their websites this morning, the co-writers specifically noted that their reason for leaving the book was because of editorial differences. They included several examples of such differences, which meant several of their storylines had to be altered – their planned Killer Croc origin storyline which had been in the works for months, their current arc on the series…. and the wedding between Batwoman and her fiancee Maggie Sawyer. […]

  42. (From Brazil) This is so frustrating. Batwoman deserved better, but you did the right thing, I would do exactly the same.

  43. I have so many feelings about this =( I’d really like an official statement from DC on why they won’t allow the wedding. Right now, I’m envisioning:

    “We don’t want your money!” -DC Comics

    Seriously though, Batwoman is the reason I started reading comic books. Last weekend I cosplayed as her at PAX. I went from being incredibly new to the comics scene to cosplaying for it in 3 years because I love this title. It’s incredibly frustrating to know that the character might never be fully realized because DC won’t let their creative team be creative.

  44. […] released a statement together informing fans about their decision. You can find the post on their blogs as well. The statement […]

  45. I’m curious… many folks raging about this on the internet tonight are saying that DC was promoting a homophobic agenda, and that the focus of this was not allowing the gay wedding. Reading through your post, it sounds like while some of their choices were not what you wanted, the big problem was that they were communicated at the last minute. It sounds to me more like a lack of respect for timelines. Was this mostly about stopping a gay wedding, or was it more about not making drastic changes in the 11th hour?

  46. We were told DC objected to characters getting married in general because it evidently “ages” the characters and saps all the drama out of a relationship. I don’t think there is an anti-gay agenda, but as someone who is married and knows that there is no end of drama, the anti-marriage stance seems totally ridiculous to me.

  47. […] a joint letter on Blackman’s website, he and Williams III had this to […]

  48. […] Read the original letter here. […]

  49. […] Haden Blackman and J.H. Williams III, the writer and artist of Batwoman, respectively, posted  a message on the former’s blog that they would be leaving the title. Here’s the section of that post that has received the […]

  50. […] So you’ve probably heard by now that the supernatural force behind the current run on Batwoman have walked off the book because of editorial differences. It would appear that the editorial team running the book and the team have had some differences in opinions. Williams and Blackman had this to say on their blog: […]

  51. […] their statement in full below, or at each of their […]

  52. […]  [we were] prohibited from ever showing Kate and Maggie actually getting married. – Haden Blackman […]

  53. […] will be leaving the series after issue #26. In a post titled ‘Heartbroken’ on Blackman’s personal blog, the writer explained that the pair’s reasons for walking away from the comic were related to […]

  54. […] been great for news about DC. First there was the change in direction, at the last minute, for Batwoman as a character , which has led to the current main creative forces behind the character to leave the comic. And […]

  55. This is the worst news I’ve heard in comics since Walking Dead #100…
    I am so diappointed and bummed. Batwoman was literally the only DC book left worth reading. The saddest part will be seeing this comic turn into a sad, generic shadow of its former self.

    “Heartbroken” is right. You guys will be remembered for these 26 issues.

  56. […] a post that went up on both Williams’ and Blackman’s blogs, the two announced that they are leaving Batwoman as of issue 26. In the posts, the two […]

  57. […] the ongoing debate on gay marriage, and the forums exploded with discussions on this departure. Williams and Blackwell released the following statement about their exit from the series they have been with since the […]

  58. […] from DC recently, and did so in a very public and outspoken manner. I am of course talking about J.H. Williams & Haden Blackman walking off of Batwoman. This in turn sparked all kinds of reactions from well thought out essays on how DC banning […]

  59. […] the ongoing debate on gay marriage, and the forums exploded with discussions on this departure. Williams and Blackwell released the following statement about their exit from the series they have been with since the […]

  60. […] the series,” Williams and Blackman wrote in a statement posted last night on each of their websites. “We were told to ditch plans for Killer Croc’s origins; forced to drastically alter the […]

  61. […] J.H. Williams – ont démissionné, annonçant donc la fin de la série (relancée en 2010) après la publication du 26e numéro prévu en décembre. Les « directives éditoriales » sont directement mises en cause […]

  62. […] J. H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, creative team of the New 52’s Batwoman, announced their resignation earlier this month – citing, among other editorial changes, that they were forbidden to show […]

  63. […] on a few random pages (likely due to the last-minute editorial changes Blackman mentioned in his departure announcement) — turning in finishes that are drastically different from McCarthy’s typically […]

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