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#371878 - 07/01/08 02:59 PM FREDDIE WILLIAMS RETURNS TO ROBIN
Jennifer M. Contino Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/02
Posts: 22928
Loc: PA

BY JENNIFER M. CONTINO
A few years ago, Freddie Williams II was just one of the many designers and artists who worked for Hallmark, but he dreamed of drawing comic books. His dreams came true thanks to DC Comics. Soon Williams II was drawing Robin, among other heroes. Recently he worked on ten issues of The Flash, but told THE PULSE he was very happy to be returning to the Teen Wonder's adventures this September. Williams II joins scribe Fabian Nicieza as Robin deals with some of the ramifications of Batman R. I. P.. Williams II said he always thinks "WWBMD (What would Batman Do)" when working on a particular scene.


THE PULSE: I know you were working full time when you first broke into comics at Hallmark, but then were able to quit your job and make comics your full time occupation. What has it been like not having to "report" for a nine to five type of job every day and be your own boss now?

FREDDIE WILLIAMS II:
Leaving Hallmark was a scary step, just because it was the best 9-5 job Iíd ever had, but itís been really great, because I get to make my own schedule. Honestly most of the time I am just stuck to my computer though I get to immerse my brain into everything comic related, and not being torn between two different worlds helps to keep me sane!

THE PULSE: Has there been a kind of learning curve for you to working in comics? Was this kind of similar to what you were doing with Hallmark or a whole new ballgame?

WILLIAMS II:
Yeah, I feel like I am learning all the time still. This is allot different then what I did at Hallmark, even though I am using the same programs itís allot more hands on and more artistic. What I did at Hallmark prepared me to work with art directors and how to prioritize work to hit deadlines, that sort of thing. Working on Comics is pretty dramatically different, a real dream come true.


THE PULSE: You've got to draw covers and interiors for some of DC's biggest icons. What do you prefer: getting to work just on covers or being the regular interior artist on a series?


WILLIAMS II:
Both to be honest, I would love to do interior art and covers for every book I work on, makes the book feel ďwholeĒ to me. I really wanted to do the Robin covers when I was on it originally Ė but I am really glad I still got to work on the Robin covers even after I left. And now, Iíll finally get to do everything on Robin Ö itís all coming together!

THE PULSE: When you're covering a work, so many covers now seem like just big poster type deals, how do you add some dynamic elements to make them stand out from the typical "pose" type deal?

WILLIAMS II:
I just try to make the covers relevant to the interior; I want to mesh well with the story inside as well, as opposed to being just some random image that isnít related to the story at all.

THE PULSE: When you're doing both the cover and interiors of a book, how do you decide on that image that will capture the attention of the potential reader and get them to pick up the book?

WILLIAMS II:
If the script is available, thatís the first place I start, I read it and re-read it to come up with some ideas. But since the covers are done so far in advance, sometimes the script isnít available so I usually go off what the editor has in mind for a cover, I then thumbnail them out and send them back to my editors with see what they think and go from there.

THE PULSE: I know you've spent 10 issues illustrating the adventures of the family Flash, how was working on that speedster different than the non-powered adventures of the teen wonder?

WILLIAMS II:
Visually, they are almost completely opposite. Even though Robin can get a bit animated, he was pretty grim and hid in the shadows allot, as well being able to use his cape and his mop of hair to show motion and movement. As opposed to Flash, which was art directed to be more open and cartoony. Flash is basically just a naked figured with nothing except for lightening to help in showing motion. Also, drawing the team dynamic was a bit different as well Ė having to account for some many figures.

THE PULSE: Who were some of the past Flash artists who influenced your rendition of those characters the most?


WILLIAMS II:
Daniel Acuna, because I was following him on the book, and we were trying to ease readers in that transition. Mike Wieringo was a great insperation though, his work is great!


THE PULSE: Since Flash's twins hadn't been drawn a lot, how did you decide the way you wanted them to look and move on the page, especially since their powers seemed a little unpredictable -- how'd you capture that magic?

WILLIAMS II:
I followed Acunaís lead at first, and then it evolved from there as I got to know their characters better.

THE PULSE: What interested you in returning to the interiors of Robin -- that is if you had the choice to stay with Flash or come back ...?

WILLIAMS II:
I never really left Robin completely Ė being able to work on covers kept me up to date on the boy wonder. I always really enjoyed Robin, but getting to work on some other DC characters was great!

THE PULSE: Is it like riding a bike? Once you began drawing Tim Drake again, was it
comfortable and easy to get back into the sequential swing of things?

WILLIAMS II:
I think so yes, itís like going back home. I really enjoy working on a darker book and Robin fits that perfectly.

THE PULSE: Your first story seems like it might be a little darker, dealing with the repercussions of Batman R. I. P.. How does the content determine the style in which you illustrate something? Does it affect your art deeply?

WILLIAMS II:
Absolutely, it gives me the licensing to go darker if I feel like it.

THE PULSE: What do you think it is that defines Tim Drake as Robin?


WILLIAMS II:
Out of all the Robins, he found out who Batman was on his own. Heís detective skills and thinking makes him more like Batman then any Robin before him. Also more than any other Robin, I can see him taking the throne and being Batman someday.


THE PULSE: How do you take those defining elements and make sure they are present when you're illustrating him in these pages?

WILLIAMS II:
I always think - WWBMD (What would Batman Do) Ha Ė that and I try to filter it through his youth, since heís still trying to come into his own.

THE PULSE: How do you think you've grown as an artist since you first illustrated the character? Do you see a natural progression in your art?

WILLIAMS II:
Yes, I see a big difference Ė I am hoping for the better Ė but a bigger understanding of Robin and how to play up his visual strengths. I hope I always continue to grow and learn as an artist on whatever character I am drawing. Itís very fun to get to approach him after having months to reflect back on the original work I did on Robin.


THE PULSE: When the first part of the Fabian Nicieza penned "Search for a Hero" comes out in September, how far ahead on the artwork do you hope to be?

WILLIAMS II:
By September I hope to have three to four issues aheadĖ if everything goes as planned.


THE PULSE: Who are some of the artists influencing you the most as you return to this character?


WILLIAMS II:
I feel like I have allot to build off of from my experience on my original run, so I am looking at my previous work for this go round.

THE PULSE: What other projects are you working on ?

WILLIAMS II:
I have just finished up with my how to book (The DC Comics Guide to Digitially Illustrating Comics). I am not sure of the release date and waiting to hear from the publishers for a firm date. And although itís way too early to talk about now, I have something big on the horizon coming in Feb of 2009, itís going to be awesome!


PULSE readers can always look for news about his big project and other details at his official website:
http://www.freddieart.com

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#371879 - 07/01/08 10:21 PM Re: FREDDIE WILLIAMS RETURNS TO ROBIN
Rockin' Rich Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/01
Posts: 130
Loc: Earth 3
Really enjoyed Freddi's run on the Flash with Tom Peyer. Hope those two get to work together again.

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