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Over the last two decades, Judd Winick has had a remarkable journey in comics. Winick rose to fame thanks to his appearance on The Real World: San Francisco, but he built a lasting place for himself in the comic industry thanks to memorable runs on Batman and Outsiders, as well as his creator-owned title, The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius. Now Winick is the best-selling author of the all-ages comic Hilo, and he's back in Seattle for ECCC 2019.
While appearing on the ECCC Live Stage, Winick stressed the importance of comics geared towards younger readers, because the industry constantly needs a cycle of new fans to keep it going.
"To be really blunt and honest, I'd say through the '90s and into the 2000s, when it came to superhero stories were getting very dark and very gritty," said Winick. "Now, I was one of those guys who made them very, very dark and very gritty ... And it took a little while to step back and just see that."
"I think that the comic book industry is probably realizing that when it comes to kids, when they grow up and are no longer reading the kids' books, there's going to be kids right behind them who are a couple years away from reading those books again," continued Winick. "But we are not making young comic readers who are gonna go on to read the grown-up stuff. They've got to start somewhere. And if they can't pick up Spider-Man and Superman today and learn to appreciate it now, then they're not going to do it in five years, when they're teenagers or older."
Winick related that he couldn't show his young son his own Batman run but he was able to turn him into a big fan of Jeff Smith's Bone. Winick also touched upon Hilo and other books from his career in the video!