Willingham at the 2012 New York Comic Con
1956 (age 62–63)
Fort Belvoir, Virginia, United States
|Area(s)||Writer, penciller, inker|
William Willingham was born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. During his father's military career the family also lived in Alaska, California, and finally three years in Germany. Willingham got his start in the late 1970s to early 1980s as a staff artist for TSR, Inc., where he illustrated a number of their role-playing game products. He was the cover artist for the AD&D Player Character Record Sheets, Against the Giants, Secret of Bone Hill, the Gamma World book Legion of Gold, and provided the back cover for In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords. He was an interior artist on White Plume Mountain, Slave Pits of the Undercity, Ghost Tower of Inverness, Secret of the Slavers Stockade, Secret of Bone Hill, Palace of the Silver Princess, Isle of Dread, In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords, the original Fiend Folio, Descent into the Depths of the Earth, Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords, Against the Giants, Queen of the Spiders, Realms of Horror, and the second and third editions of the Top Secret role-playing game. He also wrote and illustrated a couple of 1982 adventures for the game Villains & Vigilantes for Fantasy Games Unlimited, Death Duel with the Destroyers and The Island of Doctor Apocalypse. Willingham also produced the alien race design artwork for the original Master of Orion video game.
He first gained attention for his 1980s comic book series Elementals published by Comico, which he both wrote and illustrated; this series guest-starred the Destroyers from his V&V adventures. He contributed stories to Green Lantern and started his own independent, black-and-white comic book series Coventry which lasted only 3 issues. He also produced the pornographic series Ironwood for Eros Comix.
In the late 1990s, Willingham produced the 13-issue Pantheon for Lone Star Press and wrote a pair of short novels about the modern adventures of the hero Beowulf, and a fantasy novel Down the Mysterly River published by the Austin, Texas writer's collective, Clockwork Storybook, of which Willingham was a founding member. In the early 2000s, he began writing for DC Comics, including the limited series Proposition Player, a pair of limited series about the Greek witch Thessaly from The Sandman, and the series Fables. In 2003, Fables won the Will Eisner Comic Industry awards for best serialized story and best new series.
He describes himself as "rabidly pro-Israel" and says that Fables "was intended from the beginning" as a metaphor for the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, although he argues that Fables is not "a political tract. It never will be, but at the same time, it's not going to shy away from the fact that there are characters who have real moral and ethical centers, and we're not going to apologize for it."
Willingham worked on the Robin series from 2004 to 2006, and established Shadowpact, a title spun off his Day of Vengeance limited series. He also wrote Jack of Fables, an ongoing spin-off of his Fables series, co-written by Lilah Sturges. At the 2007 Comic Con International, he announced that he would be writing Salvation Run, a mini-series about supervillains who are banished to an inhospitable prison planet. He handed over the writing to Sturges after two issues because of illness. He worked on DCU: Decisions, a four-issue mini-series that deals with Green Arrow's endorsement of a political candidate. Again with Sturges, he began writing the Vertigo series House of Mystery, and DC's Justice Society of America with issue #29.
At 2013 NY Comic Con it was announced that Willingham would be writing a seven part mini series for Dynamite Entertainment (with art by Sergio Fernandez Davila). The series is Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure and includes some of Dynamite's licensed and public domain characters in a steampunk setting. The series was released in January 2014, and a collected edition was published in January 2015.
The issues listed include those where writing credits are for at least one story included in the issue.
|Justice Machine Annual||#1||1983||Texas Comics|
|Elementals||#1–23||1984 – March 1988||Comico|
|Justice Machine Featuring The Elementals||#1–4||May–August 1986||Comico|
|Elementals Special||#2||January 1989||Comico|
|Elementals vol. 2||#1–16
|March 1989 – May 1991
June 1991 – March 1992
|Time Wankers||#4–5||April–August 1991||Fantagraphics|
|Ironwood||#1–11||1991||Fantagraphics, Eros Comix imprint|
|Elementals: Sex Special||#1||1991||Comico|
|Elementals: Ghost of a Chance||#1||December 1995||Comico|
|Elementals: The Vampire's Revenge||#2||August 1996||Comico|
|Coventry||#1–3||November 1996 – July 1997||Fantagraphics|
|Mythography||#2, #4||February, June 1997||Bardic Press|
|Pantheon||#1–13||May 1998 – August/September 1999||Lone Star Press|
|Pantheon: Ancient History||#1||August/September 1999||Lone Star Press|
|Flinch||#7||December 1999||DC Comics, Vertigo imprint|
|Proposition Player||#1–6||December 1999 May 2000||DC Comics, Vertigo imprint|
|The Dreaming||#55||December 2000||DC Comics, Vertigo imprint|
|The Sandman Presents: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Dreams... But Were Afraid To Ask||#1||July 2001||DC Comics, Vertigo imprint|
|The Sandman Presents: The Thessaliad||#1–4||March–June 2002||DC Comics, Vertigo imprint|
|Fables||#1–150||July 2002 – July 2015||DC Comics, Vertigo imprint|
|X-Men Unlimited||#49||August 2003||Marvel Comics|
|Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight||#168||August 2003||DC Comics|
|Robin vol. 2||#121–147||February 2004 – April 2006||DC Comics|
|The Sandman Presents: Thessaly: Witch for Hire||#1–4||April–July 2004||DC Comics, Vertigo imprint|
|Batman Vol. 1||#631–633, #643–644||October–December 2004, Early–Late October 2005||DC Comics|
|Day of Vengeance||#1–6||June–November 2005||DC Comics|
|Day of Vengeance: Infinite Crisis Special||#1||March 2006||DC Comics|
|Shadowpact||#1–16||July 2006 – 2007||DC Comics|
|Jack of Fables||#1–50||September 2006 – March 2011||DC Comics, Vertigo imprint|
|Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall||2006||DC Comics, Vertigo imprint|
|DCU Infinite Holiday Special||#1||February 2007||DC Comics|
|Peter and Max: A Fables Novel||2009||DC Comics, Vertigo imprint|
|Justice Society of America (vol. 3)||#29–40||2009–10||DC Comics|
|Angel: Immortality for Dummies||#28–32||2010||IDW Publishing|
|Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure||#1–7||2014||Dynamite Entertainment|
- Bill Willingham. ""About"". billwillingham.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- Irvine, Alex (2008), "Fables", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 72–81, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015
- Willingham, Bill 1956–. Contemporary Authors. January 1, 2005. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2013. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
- Deppey, Dirk (September 18, 2006). "Bill Willingham (excerpts)". Retrieved July 31, 2007.
- Irvine, Alex (2008), "Jack of Fables", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 100–101, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015
- "SDCC '07: Bill Willingham on Salvation Run". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.. Newsarama. July 27, 2007
- "Baltimore Comic Con '07 – DC Universe Panel". Archived from the original on May 12, 2008.. Newsarama. September 9, 2007
- "EXCLUSIVE: Willingham Explains 'Salvation Run' Departure". Comic Book Resources. January 28, 2008
- "Dan Didio on DCU: Decisions". Archived from the original on May 14, 2008.. Newsarama. May 9, 2008
- "Sturges & Willingham on the New House of Mystery". Newsarama. February 20, 2008. Archived from the original on December 16, 2009.
- "Talking JSA With Willingham & Sturges". Comic Book Resources. January 19, 2009
- Willingham and Sturges Talk Justice Society of America. Newsarama. December 26, 2008
- Bill Willingham Talks About Angel & Fables, TFAW.com, October 7, 2009
- Willingham, Bill (2015). Legenderry : a steampunk adventure. Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite Entertainment. ISBN 9781606905944.
- Other sources
- Official website
- Bill Willingham at the Comic Book DB
- Bill Willingham at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Bill Willingam at Library of Congress Authorities, with 62 catalog records
| Robin writer
| Batman writer
| Shadowpact writer
| Justice Society of America writer
James Dale Robinson