The Isotope Communique
Posts Tagged ‘JH Williams III’
PHOTOS: JH Williams III @ Isotope 2018

Oh guys, this was the *perfect* event, I am over the moon! Writing this report on the event took me all week long and, as you’ll see, so full of really special moments that I will never forget. My heart is absolutely bursting with happiness!

Click Here For Photos From This Event

You probably are aware that JH Williams III (or “Jim” as the Isotope family all knows him) doesn’t do many public appearances and given how much my staff and customers treasure him and his work we really wanted to make this one a special night. But what I could not predict was just how special it would truly be!

The weekend was a team-up with our friends at the California College of the Arts​ MFA In Comics Program and the Isotope, so it was a full weekend long celebration of this extraordinary comic creator who has truly re-defined the comics artform in the 21st century. Jim had a talk on Friday night at CCA’s Timken Lecture Hall in celebration of CCA’s MFA in Comics graduate students. I have to say that the CCA students right now are just *incredible*, and the energy behind the whole program is just fantastic, I love what they’re doing there and it’s no exaggeration when I say that I think that school is going to make a huge impact on the future of the comics industry. The JH Williams III talk with professor Justin Hall on Friday night was incredibly insightful and inspirational. And of course full of mind-blowing art. If you haven’t been to one of CCA’s public talks with cartoonists I can’t recommend it more highly. Afterwards Kirsten and I set up a small table with SANDMAN OVERTURE, PROMETHEA, BATWOMAN and WHERE WE LIVE at the CCA reception. In 17 years we’ve never set up and sold comics outside of the Isotope’s four walls but we made an exception because this was such a special event. I pretty much just hung out talking with the amazing art students while Kirsten did all of the work. The weekend was off to an awesome start and we had a blast working with the staff of CCA’s MFA In Comics Program (thanks Matt Silady and Anuja Silady and Justin Hall and Ed Luce). And it was about to get even better…

Our party the next night on Saturday was sublime. Beyond even my highest expectations and hopes. Over the years our parties had been getting just too over-stuffed, even with me intentionally under-promoting our events(!), so last year Kirsten and I decided to take a bit of time off from posting parties to slim down the crowds a bit. A huge success! We had the perfect sized crowd for this!

And the result was everything I could have ever hoped for. Jim’s intricate work is incredibly time-consuming and absolutely not conducive for quick scrawl-out pictures. So it is understandable that he doesn’t tend to draw much in public. I’ve known Jim for 13 years and the Isotope has had the pleasure of hosting several events with him over the years but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen him do so many mind-blowing drawings for fans before. Just phenomenal. Those of us who got to watch him draw and those who got to take home those sketches home. Wow. Talk about a once in a lifetime event!

But it got even better…!

At around 10pm we stopped the party. Which is something I almost never do. But this party was special. And we were about to have one of the most special moments in Isotope history unfold before our collective eyes. Jim is a very by-the-rules guy and he’d promised Entertainment Weekly the chance to debut his pages to the world when the time is right, sometime later this year or early next year. But, as long as no photos were taken of the work, he’d agreed to show the Isotope faithful the *entire first issue* and most of the second issue of his upcoming ECHO LANDS series. And not just show us, but Jim walked us through each and every page, describing the story and characters, pontificating his techniques, and laying bare the thoughts, artistic ambitions and challenges that went into every page.

ECHO LANDS really is unlike anything anyone has seen in comics before. And, of course, Jim’s art is just breathtaking. A pre-eminent master at the top of his game, pushing himself beyond anything we’ve seen him attempt before. And clearly having the time of his life doing it. Despite the whole thing being totally mind-blowing, Jim kept the talk super casual and relaxed, happily answering questions from fans and students and professional comic creators alike.

I could listen to endless hours of Jim talking about his art, transfixed and hanging on his every word. Anyone could tell you his art is incredibly deep and awe-inspiring but getting to hear about the amount of thought he puts into the creation of those pages you feel his work on a totally different level that is somehow even more astonishing and miraculous. My favorite thing is as superlative as his work really is I don’t know any comic artist who describes their work as “fun” as much as Jim does. It just makes your heart sing to hear that.

Speaking of making your heart sing… one of the most special things of the night was that our beloved Katie Longua (of MUNCHIES and HER SPACE OPERA fame) had just her upcoming graphic novel DEBIAN PERL: DIGITAL DETECTIVE announced the day before in a huge way… on the Hollywood Reporter! We’re so excited for her!

I couldn’t be more proud of Katie and spent a good portion of the party just introducing her to people and telling them about her upcoming book. So many of the party’s attendees were art students and future comic creators so it was extra cool to see how inspired by her work and excited everyone was. And even better was later in the night Katie pulled out a flyer she’d saved from her very first Isotope party ever and it was JH Williams III in 2008! I remember meeting Katie and hanging out with her and her fellow the Academy of Art students that night. But what I did not know… and this is the coolest thing… is it was on that day, when she first met JH Williams III at an Isotope party ten years ago. that Katie decided she wanted to make comics! And here we were, the day after her huge Hollywood Reporter announcement, having a party with JH Williams III again!

Just… wow. I was blown away just thinking about that! And definitely one of the happiest moments in my entire 17 year long (so far!) comics career.

Another great moment at the party was when I spotted FAE ARCHAIC creator Kirt Burdick, one of San Francisco’s greatest unsigned comic creators, sitting at the drafting table getting his JH Williams III comics autographed. I quickly grabbed a copy of FAE ARCHAIC and slid it in front of Jim, “This is Kirt’s book…” Jim was instantly excited and enthusiastically exclaimed “Oh, I was looking at that earlier! This is YOURS?!” (laugh) So cool. Kirt was utterly speechless.

As if my heart could not contain more joy my longtime friend Maureen Minn walked in the door of the party. My jaw hit the floor. Back when we lived in Wisconsin Maureen was the person who took me to my very first comic convention ever! “I’m driving to Chicago to go to Chicago Comic Con – and you’re coming with!” It wasn’t long after that she started working at a comic book store. I was so envious! So Maureen will forever be one of the coolest people in my entire world. She lives here in San Francisco but has kiddos and has never made it to one of my parties before. AWESOME! I had a blast introducing her to everyone and telling people she’s responsible for my entire comics career (laugh)! Maureen had come with her next door neighbor, Heather Nodelman, who I had helped pick out books for her twin daughters only weeks before. So sweet. Thank you for sharing your photos with us Heather!

I kept saying “this is perfect, this is perfect, this is perfect” to myself, the happiest mantra, all night long. And it really was.

Jim and Wendy Williams are some of our favorite people on Earth so it was great to spend time with them again. My sincerest thanks to DJ Bearzbub who we haven’t had the pleasure of having at one of our parties in well over a year. I was downright giddy setting up his equipment up once more and to see him up there on the mezzanine doing his thing all night long. Even my beloved friends Adrienne Rappaport​ and Jim Cox who I hadn’t seen in forever were there. And with Josh Richardson was behind the bar with Kirsten, Katie Mattingly at the register, Andrew Gapen and Ash Aiwase at the door? This is perfect, this is perfect, this is perfect.

Thanks to all of you who joined us and filled my night with smiles. You made a perfect event more perfect than I could ever hope to ask for.

I can’t wait to throw another party.

– James

Isotope & CCA Proudly Present:

Isotope has teamed up with our friends at the California College of the Arts’ MFA in Comics Program for a weekend-long celebration with JH Williams III, the artist who blew all our minds on SANDMAN OVERTURE, BATWOMAN, PROMETHEA, DESOLATION JONES, BATMAN, and so many more jaw-dropping books.

Few artists have a more stunning body of work or have been more influential on the evolution of the artform of comics in the 21st century. Williams is also the only artist to have worked with each of the most important writers of several generations, including Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Greg Rucka, and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Not to mention his work with two of the greatest bands ever (check out that work here and here). Simply put, we here at the Isotope we are of the opinion that Mister Williams is the single greatest artist working in comics today.

On Friday, July 13th the California College of the Arts’ MFA in Comics Program is having an-depth talk with Williams as part of their summer lecture series at their San Francisco Campus’ Timken Lecture Hall (more info here). Moderated by queer comics historian Justin Hall. Yes, we will definitely see you all there!

And on Saturday… an epic party at the Isotope! Featuring a perfectly curated setlist by San Francisco’s own DJ Bearzbub, all our favorite local creators, a whole bunch of comic-making CCA students, and all your best, comic-loving friends here at the Isotope!

Williams is a long time member of our family and we have had so many wonderful times together with him… so for those of you who have yet to get to know him… we want to bring that experience to you too. As always Jim will be happy to sign your SANDMAN OVERTURE hardcovers, PROMETHEA omnibii, BATWOMAN paperbacks, vintage CHASE comics, BLONDIE and THE SWORD albums, and anything else he’s ever worked on. And we don’t even mind if you’ve bought those things elsewhere, this isn’t about us, it’s about you and Jim getting to say “hi.”

JH WILLIAMS III @ ISOTOPE AFTERPARTY
Saturday, July 14th 2018
8pm – Midnight
21+ please

An intimate late night afterparty with the best comic crowd anywhere on the planet, once-in-a-lifetime bespoke refreshments by master mixologist Kirsten Baldock, and delightful tunes by DJ BEARZBUB. This event is a casual backstage-after-the-show vibe and gives you all an opportunity to actually hang out and get to know our guest of honor JH Williams III… the way we think an in-store appearance should truly be!

We will have lots of copies of Williams’ books on hand but if you’d like to ensure we have a copy of something for you that day, please call or email hidden; JavaScript is required to reserve your copy.

If you haven’t already, please do read our Harassment Policy. Thank you.

THE SANDMAN OVERTURE CELEBRATION

Celebrating the greatest living comic artist working today – JH Williams III (SANDMAN OVERTURE, BATWOMAN, PROMETHEA) and the release of the biggest book of the decade, the SANDMAN OVERTURE DELUXE EDITION hardcover.

There are few people on planet Earth we love more than JH Williams III (if you like beautiful memories people share with their friends this will bring tears to your eyes) and together we’ve been quietly planning our event to celebrate the amazing SANDMAN OVERTURE for a long, long time. The Isotope staff wants you all to have a wonderful experience meeting him and for everyone to get to create amazing memories of JH Williams III’s visit together. So we’re doing a duo of events as only the Isotope can to make sure everyone has a chance to meet one of the nicest and most talented people in all of comics! First up is a casual, daytime signing event for the under 21 crowd, and then an epic celebration later that evening for the folks who like our mix and mingle, bring-your-ID, after-dark events.

SANDMAN OVERTURE SIGNING w/ JH WILLIAMS III
2pm – 6pm, Saturday November 14th

This intimate all-ages autographing session is completely free of charge and open to all. We want to ensure you have a completely unique and personal experience with Jim so we’re specifically tailoring this event to let you have a real moment to sit down with him. Jim will sign your SANDMAN OVERTURE hardcovers, PROMETHEA omnibii, BATWOMAN paperbacks, vintage CHASE comics, BLONDIE and THE SWORD albums, and anything else he’s ever worked on. As always, we don’t even mind if you’ve bought them elsewhere, this isn’t about us, it’s about you and Jim getting to say “hi.” As this is sure to be a popular signing and we definitely want everyone to get time to actually talk with Jim so we kindly ask that you bring no more than 5 items for him to sign. On behalf of every one of us, thank you so much.

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SANDMAN OVERTURE AFTER PARTY w/ JH WILLIAMS III
8pm – Midnight, Saturday November 14th

An after party as only the Isotope can do! If you’ve been to a late night event at the Isotope before you know the great atmosphere and amazing crowd that will be turning out for this. This event has a casual backstage-after-the-show vibe and gives you all an opportunity to actually hang out and get to know Jim… the way we think an in-store appearance should truly be!

Featuring the exclusive JH Williams III SANDMAN OVERTURE Print, an ultra-limited art print on acid-free/pH neutral 100% cotton rag Fabriano Watercolor Paper, lovingly printed using Epson’s archival UltraChrome inks with a lightfastness rating of over 200 years. Available nowhere else on the planet! This hand-numbered print is suitable for framing and can be proudly hung on the wall of your swank pad….

… or you can choose to upgrade your SANDMAN OVERTURE: DELUXE EDITION from the vanilla cover version other places carry by using this print as an exclusive dust jacket. And your bookshelf can experience the true glory and magnificence that is the THE SANDMAN OVERTURE ISOTOPE EDITION!

These ultra-limited, hand-numbered dustjacket/print souvenirs are completely free to attendees of SANDMAN OVERTURE AFTER PARTY w/ JH WILLIAMS III as an “Isotope loves you” to our customers and will be available one night only and nowhere else or ever again.

The SANDMAN OVERTURE AFTER PARTY w/ JH WILLIAMS III also features San Francisco’s famed DJ BEARZBUB, spinning his famous brand of exotic grooves, hot b-sides, booty shaking nöyze, and rare beats.

And of course, the man of the hour himself, JH Williams III!

Passes for the SANDMAN OVERTURE AFTER PARTY w/ JH WILLIAMS III are available at the link below. Your $24.99 ticket includes a copy of SANDMAN OVERTURE: DELUXE EDITION HARDCOVER (cover price $24.99), and a JH Williams III SANDMAN OVERTURE Print (priceless!)


http://sandman.brownpapertickets.com

This event is sure to sell out so grab your passes tout de suite. We’re looking forward to seeing you, we think you’ll all love getting to know Jim as well as we do!

If you haven’t already, please read our Harassment Policy.

Free Comic Book Day Is Here Again!

Free Comic Book Day is an annual event at comic shops the planet over. And here at the Isotope our FCBD celebrations are truly the stuff of legend, feast your eyes! We will once again be featuring San Francisco’s most glorious and massive smorgasboard of absolutely free comic reads for comic lovin’ kids of all ages!

And we’re proud to announce our featured comic creator special guest star, the single most jaw-droppingly talented 10 year old comic artist we have ever seen, Ethan Castillo!

First of all… you must check out Ethan’s art! Here, here, here, here and here will give you a taste of what this incredible 10 year old comic artist is up to. You may have seen him rubbing elbows with all your favorite artists at the conventions and doing sketches for the celebs. Or perhaps you’ve happened upon his very active DeviantArt page or had your brainbox rattled looking at his Spider-Man centric Instagram.

Stuff like this (yes, seriously):

Ethan will be doing sketches and hustling his amazing sketchbook starting right when the doors open and the madness hits, 11am. We invite you in to meet him and have your minds totally blown by this talented young artist!

The day-long celebration also features San Francisco’s very own DJ BEARZBUB, spinning his favorite blend of extra-exotical b-sides, booty shaking nöyze, and rare, rare beats to keep your Free Comic Day shopping grooving!

And because Free Comic Book Day has just gotten *so* busy here at the Isotope over the last few years we’ve actually had to bring in some additional help. Those of you who attended last year may remember our secret “shop boy” was none other than SANDMAN OVERTURE artist JH Williams III! This year we continue the tradition with a completely new “shop boy” to help run the register alongside myself and Josh. And also an all-new “security staff” to make sure everything is running smoothly (bring your kids and your cameras). We’re very excited to get to introduce you! Keep your eyes on our Twitter accounts and Instagram for more details on our mystery staffers on the day of the event.

With such a great day lined up for all of you, let me leave you with a final parting thought about what we think really makes FCBD so special…

We do indeed continue to have the most generous, high-stakes, no-limit, can’t-find-anywhere-else explosion of free reads in SF but we do ask that you keep in mind that here at the Isotope we believe Free Comic Book Day is all about the kids, and even the mighty Isotope’s supplies are limited, so before you over-indulge yourselves, remember… every free comic you scoop up is one the kids can’t. So please be nice to the kiddos. Thank you kindly!

xoxox

Here’s a list of the official releases: FCBD 2015 website

Happy SANDMAN OVERTURE Day!

The most anticipated comic of the decade has arrived!

Neil Gaiman, JH Williams III, Dave Stewart and Todd Klein take us on six-issue odyssey of awesomeness.

Check out more here. And for you digital readers, go ahead and grab a copy from the Isotope’s sexy Digital Store.

The JH Williams III Suit Has Arrived!

I’ve been going out of my mind waiting to get to announce this since late last year… ladies and gentlemen let me introduce you to the magic where comics and fashion meet… the JH Williams III suit!

Of course you all know JH Williams III‘s work from PROMETHEA, BATWOMAN, DESOLATION JONES, and the upcoming SANDMAN VOLUME ZERO. His resume reads like a who’s who of the best the industry, and he’s only artist in the history of comics to have worked with Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Howard Chaykin, Greg Rucka, Seth Fisher, James Robinson, Mark Waid and Alejandro Jodorowsky!

It’s no secret that my love for awesome suits and for great comic art truly know no bounds. Two things the world should have more of! As an avid nerdy fashion advocate it’s brought a big smile to my heart over the years to know just how many comic professionals have been inspired to buy their first-ever suit because of me and to get to do my small part to help elevate the fashion consciousness of the industry (keep it lookin’ sharp Ben, Antony & Jim… I’m still working on this guy). Of course I’m always on the hunt for something truly unique to add to my wardrobe and, although I had no idea how it might be possible, I’ve been been hoping to find a way to bring those passions for comic art and sharp suits together for years.

And now, the creators, Artful Gentleman and JH Williams III are announcing this amazing work of fashion and art and they’re telling the world about it! Seriously, could this be more exciting?

Artful Gentleman: On The JH Williams III Suit

Me, I’m just a lucky guy who happened to put two amazing individuals together and am reaping the high-fashion benefits. Lucky me! Here’s a nice photo of my vest from last month’s Akira The Don event. But believe me, that is not just a vest… check out the custom JH Williams III suit lining as well.

My particular bespoke suit was created with all my fashion fetishes in mind so it’s an extra-long beauty, in a deep royal purple that shimmers in the sunlight, there’s an over-abundance of buttons and subtle but exciting stitching as per my specifications, and also sports at least one secret pocket you’ll have to frisk me to discover. Working with AG to design this beauty was a total blast I’m sure you’ll agree that’s simply jaw-dropping stuff they have created together with JH Williams III. Of course Mister Williams is the true star of the show, so his custom suit of his own is ultra-sharp jet-black with a blood-red stitch (you’ll have to ask him if he has any secret suit features).

So yes, lucky me. And now lucky you too! Because you can now get your very own custom made JH Williams III suit from Artful Gentleman.

Check out their Kickstarter Campaign to get in on the ground floor of this fashion revolution and sign yourself up for one of these custom beauties. Or to see what other bespoke wonders AG has to offer. You’d better believe I’ll be right there with you supporting this awesome indy San Francisco business and getting my next custom suit too!

Hmm… now what shall we have Artful Gentleman make for us?!

www.artfulgentleman.com
www.jhwilliams3.com

Darwyn Cooke & The Vegas Wedding Bar Crawl

We’re still recovering from a multitude of insane Vegas weekends… it’s been a crazy six weeks!

It all started off with the congromeration/convention/conference we held with our good friend Grant Morrison known as MorrisonCon (yep, that crazy con was put on by your very own Isotope amigos)! It was a tremendous amount of work to pull it off but it was all worth it. A truly huge personal success for Kirsten, myself, Ron Richards and the Morrisons, especially creatively and culturally. Of course when you do something truly innovative there’s always going to be folks who come out of the woodwork to disparage your efforts but I’m happy to report it was *such* a success that after the fact pretty much everyone has universally accepted the life-changing convention paradigm shift we hoped it would be. That makes me smile!

It was only two weekends later that Kirsten and I were rushing straight back to Sin City for a truly lovely renewing of the vows ceremony for JH Williams III and his wife Wendy Williams. The wedding was held in one of the most adorable and un-Vegas like places I’ve ever seen, in the beautiful chapel at the Artisan Boutique Hotel. It was simply filled with love and sweetness. Jim and Wendy clearly felt the same. I had the honor of walking the bride down the isle and I have to tell you I’ve never cried so much at a wedding in my entire life. I’m truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

Last but certainly not least was a third weekend in Las Vegas for Darwyn Cooke‘s wedding to the always lovely Ms. Marsha Cooke. For those of you who love Dar’s art as much as I do you’ll probably be thrilled to see that they made some very sexy Darwyn Cooke Custom Wedding Celebration Card Decks in honor of the day for the guests (pictured at left). The wedding ceremony, held under the waterfalls at Mandalay Bay on the Strip, was absolutely lovely. And Darwyn and Marsha’s vows definitely got my crying like a baby all over again. We’d been quickly becoming Vegas experts over the previous visits but even so we knew this would be potentially one of the craziest trips of all, filled with all sorts of fun events the Cooke’s had planned for their multitudes of guests and also more than a few evenings that didn’t end until the crack-of-dawn. One of those events was a “Joker’s Wild Bar Crawl” held by myself and Kirsten that Dar asked us to do to entertain the Cooke’s many guests. Kirsten contacted our brilliant circus goddess friend (and Vegas local) Jenn-O-Cide to get some bar crawling advice and really put together something special for the Cooke’s. The Joker’s Wild Bar Crawl took place on a swanky party bus named “Big Daddy” (see it in all it’s flashing disco lights and hot-pink-stripper-pole glory here), we filled it to the brim with an assortment of adult beverages, and took the crew of comics industry who’s whos out on an off-the-Strip tour of some of Las Vegas’ best watering holes!

While we were having too much fun (particularly with the world class bartenders at Frankie’s) and didn’t quite get to all the stops, I thought it would be nice to share the itinerary we put together with you folks. Just in case any of you were ever planning to host a Las Vegas tour with a similar group, or needed an excuse to do some off the Strip exploring of that city. Enjoy!


Click to Enlarge

Have fun and please do always remember to call ahead and warn the bars before you bring 40 people on a bus to visit them. They’ll thank you for it!

Congrats again to Darwyn & Marsha for a beautiful wedding! And thanks to all who attended and helped make our part of of it special for Darwyn and Marsha… we had a blast!

Now It Can Be Told

An entire comic convention curated by superstar comics author Grant Morrison… and it’s created by your friends from the Isotope and Ron Richards from iFanboy?

Featuring a hand-picked special guest list of UMBRELLA ACADEMY’s Gerard Way, FANTASTIC FOUR’s Jonathan Hickman, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN’s Frank Quietly, BATWOMAN’s JH Williams III, BATMAN INC’s Chris Burnham, and four more guests still to be announced?

No, you’re not dreaming!

Want to know more? Click and see what amazingness we have up our sleeves for you.

Official Website for MorrisonCon
Announcement & Interview w/ Comic Book Resources
WIRED Magazine talks to Grant about MorrisonCon
Comics Alliance really “Gets It” when it comes to MorrisonCon

All hype aside… this is going to be jaw-dropping.

iFanboy Attends the BATWOMAN Bash

There are few comic folks we like here at the Isotope more than the great folks of iFanboy. Their long-running, often imitated, never equalled Pick of the Week Podcast features smart and funny commentary about each week’s new books as well as a broader look at the industry as a whole that we all really love.

One of the things that makes the iFanboys such a breath of fresh podcasting air is that, despite being comics critics, they’re clearly still fans of the funnybooks. Too many of their so-called peers are simply yawn-inducing to me, with their endless snarkfests, nerd totempole antics, and lack of class or decorum. Thankfully, our industry has insightful, clever, and downright friendly commentators like iFanboy. Folks who love comics and, like me, like talking about them with other people who love comics.

What can I say? I’m a huge fan.

A number of years ago I decided to seek them out and see what we could come up with creatively together. I gotta tell you, it’s been a great meeting of the minds. Together with the iFanboys we’ve done more than just a few awesome events for lucky comic fans.

And although our recent BATWOMAN Celebration wasn’t an event we threw with them, they still gave us a nice personal write-up on what it’s like to attend an event at the Isotope. It’s a pretty great article, go check it out:

SCENES FROM ISOTOPE: BATWOMAN ART SHOW & PARTY PHOTOS WITH J.H. WILLIAMS III

Thanks for the marvelous write-up and awesome party photos, iFanboys. You guys rock!

Batwoman Celebration Photos by Dyami


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Beautiful pictures from the Isotope’s BATWOMAN Celebration and DC New 52 Art Tour, featuring JH Williams III and W. Haden Blackman… and around 200 of you! Thanks to all for helping make this one of our best events of the year!

Photos ©2011 by the Isotope’s resident paparazzo Dyami Serna. To get yourself high-quality copies of these pictures: www.dyamiserna.zenfolio.com

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