Judd Winick

Judd Winick

Infobox Comics creator
name = Judd Winick

imagesize =
caption = Judd Winick at Midtown Comics East in New York City, June 24, 2004.
birthname =
birthdate = birth date and age|1970|2|12
location = Long Island, New York
deathdate =
deathplace =
nationality = American
area = Writer, Penciller, Inker
alias =

notable works =
awards =

Judd Winick (born in February 12, 1970 [imdb name|0935099] on Long Island, New York) is an American comic book and comic strip writer/artist known for his 1994 stint on MTV's "," as well for his work on such 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.

Early life and career

Winick 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. UM 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. In early 1993, 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. However, in early June of that year, 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, doing unfulfilling T-shirt work for beer companies. ["Pedro and Me"; Pages 16 - 18.] 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. [http://www.frumpy.com/judd/index.html Biography page at Winick's official site] ]

"The Real World: San Francisco"

Winick applied to be on MTV network’s reality tv show, "", 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 revealed that one of his roommates would indeed be HIV-positive, though they did not reveal which one. ["Pedro and Me"; Pages 19 - 30.] Winick became roommates with AIDS educator Pedro Zamora, and subsequently found out that Zamora was the housemate with HIV. Zamora educated Winick about the disease in order to ease Winick's misgivings, and the two became best friends. The two also became friends with medical student Pam Ling, with whom Winick would eventually fall in love. Winick and Ling often attended Zamora’s lectures, where they became familiar with how he educated large groups about HIV and AIDS. ["Pedro and Me"; Pages 61 – 72; 73; 84 - 89; 96 -102; 111 - 112.]

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. ["The Real World Diaries"; 1996; Page 137]

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. ["Pedro and Me"; Pages 119 -137.]


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 Pressanthology 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 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 Notable Children's Book Selection, American Library Association
* 2001 American Library Association Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Roundtable Nonfiction Honor book
* [http://www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/yalsa.htm YALSA] (Young Adult Library Services Association) Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
* YALSA Notable Graphic Novels
* [http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/bulletin_of_the_center_for_childrens_books/ Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book]
* [http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/CLACS/outreach/list/amer02.html 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). [cite web |url=http://www.frumpy.com/pedroandme/index.html |title="Pedro and Me" |accessdate=2007-04-12 |publisher=frumpy.com]

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, [ [http://www.cbgxtra.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1191 Melby, Nathan; "Gay comics characters get media attention: Green Lantern writer Winick focuses on hate crimes, while Marvel’s Rawhide Kid is called out"; cbgextra.com] ] 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. [cite web |url=http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0410/23/cst.04.html |title=Transcripts: CNN Live Saturday |accessdate=2007-04-12 |date=2004-10-23 |publisher=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. Currently, Winick is continuing his work with the Marvel Family in a 12-issue limited series called "The Trials Of Shazam!" which is illustrated by Howard Porter. The series is intended to re-imagine the "Shazam!" mythos, the characters, and their roles in the DC Universe. He is currently the writer of "Green Arrow and Black Canary" and "Titans". In November 2007, DC also released a "Teen Titans East" special (a prequel for "Titans"), which was also scripted by Winick.

Television work

Winick created an animated TV show named "The Life and Times of Juniper Lee" in 2005, which had three seasons on the Cartoon Network.

Personal life

Winick proposed to Ling in March 2000, wearing a gorilla suit. They married in a civil ceremony on August 26, 2001. [cite web |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990DEEDB1139F93AA3575AC0A9679C8B63 |title=Weddings: vows; Pamela Ling and Judd Winick |accessdate=2007-04-12 |author=Debra A. Klein |date=2001-09-09 |publisher=New York Times] Writer Armistead Maupin spoke at their ceremony. They had a child in May 2005.


External links

* [http://www.frumpy.com/ Judd Winick's Official Site]
* [http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=34655 Judd Winick talks Juniper Lee] at Newsarama
* [http://www.livejournal.com/users/juniper_lee Juniper Lee Community] at LiveJournal
* [http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/juniperlee/ Cartoon Network: Juniper Lee]

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