Pat Shand Interviews Bill Williams
Again: Exit Interview
Writer of the Eddie Hope backups in ANGEL
and SPIKE: THE DEVIL YOU KNOW
Bill Williams: Well, the plan was to have him introduced into Team Angel, but that was scrapped which works just as well for me. I’m not sure that the vengeance road has room for a full minivan.
For me, I got a solid grip on the character when I had another character ask him why he never went home when Los Angeles snapped back to normal. Eddie Hope’s name became ironic for him in that he considered himself damaged and corrupted by the events of After the Fall. He was afraid that he would poison all of his friends and family if he did not quarantine himself. That put him on an even lonelier road.
So in Angel #39, Eddie has suffered a nasty physical beating and it makes him reconsider what he is doing. There is also a nice callback to the Spike mini-series. It was fun for me to be able to write a few lines of dialogue for Angel in the Angel comics.
My truncated run with Eddie ends with the scene I always intended to conclude the series with, just a bit early. Eddie’s story is over, but in comics anything is possible.
BCR: Fans have been all a-twitter. Is Eddie modeled after Wentworth Miller?
BW: That’s a question for David Messina who is a great guy. An Italian publisher found that we both worked on the Eddie stuff for Angel. They were interested in publishing Italian editions of some work I published in the states and David more or less vouched for both sides so I’m at the contract stage for those foreign rights. Like I said great guy.
When it comes to the art I do my best to leave out any reference to celebrity. It’s one of those things that can really bite you when it goes wrong and I did not know that David would be the lead artist on the Eddie stories until the last minute. I suppose one of the many reasons not to provide reference is the danger that you will end up with bad photo tracing as a result.
I was at the Wizard show in Austin chatting with Brian Denham as he was drawing a Spike commission for a fan and man that guy gets it. He can pull up a photo on his cell phone and draw a likeness that is spot on and not deadened by the process.
That said, I can see a little passing resemblance to the Prison Break actor.
BCR: What was your favorite moment in your tenure as an Angel/Spike writer?
BW: At the end of Angel #38, Eddie has been beaten unconscious by Team Angel. Originally in issue #39, Eddie was to have a hallucination and have a bit of a dream walk where a few stray bits of his character were stitched together and it was surreal and charming and funny. But that bit was cut away in the change over in the creative teams when Willingham left the title.
I liked writing the banter between the Spike and Eddie in the Spike: Devil You Know mini-series, which will be out in trade form early next year. I pitched it as ‘24 with Vampires’, but by the time I was through it was more like ‘48 Hours with vampires’. Spike has such a wonderful sense of humor, that it’s a shame not to use it.
But my favorite bit that hit the shelves was the extended fight between Team Angel and Eddie in Angel #37 and #38. Eddie is fairly certain that the vampires and monsters on Team Angel will kill him if they beat him and Team Angel is furious for the abduction of Gunn. There’s a lot of drama in that fight.
BCR: Now that Eddie's story has wrapped up, what is next for Bill Williams?
BW: I am so far behind in my effort in the National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel between November 1 and November 30. To hit that mark, you need to manage around 1700 words a day. I lost a week already as I finished a new comic book project that just hit the digital distributors. So, I need to pull out a few 5,000 word days to hit the writing deadline. The novel is a mystery set in Austin where a young police detective chases a killer and wanders into a variation on a Hitchcock classic.
The reason I lost that week was that I have a new webcomic launching on December 1. A few years back, I wrote a story that is loosely based on some events I lived through when my cat was hit by a car and I had to help him rehab. Biscuit & Lefty: A Cat’s Tale is available for digital download from WOWIO. www.wowio.com/users/product.asp?BookId=223401 It is also in the works with Graphic.ly and Comics Plus and more. It will launch for free as a webcomic on December 1 off of my blog www.billwilliamsfreelance.com which is chock full of fun stuff. The story is so sweet that my letterer Thom asked me if I really wrote it. The art is by Bobby Diaz and me and I’m pretty proud of it. Bobby penciled it and I inked and colored the pages.
At that show in Austin, I talked with Brent Erwin from Ape Entertainment and he seems keen on a pitch I sent in for one of his licensed properties. So I might have a few projects in the cycle from them.
But with the comic book field, you never know.
Big thanks to Bill Williams for the interview! Check out the links he provided and be sure to catch the end of Eddie Hope's saga of vengeance in Angel #39.