Judd Winick is an American comic book, comic strip and television writer/artist and former reality television personality. Winick first gained fame for his 1994 stint on MTV's The Real World: San Francisco, before earning success for his work on comic books as Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Pedro and Me, his autobiographical graphic novel about his friendship with Real World castmate and AIDS educator Pedro Zamora. He also created the animated TV series The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, which ran for three seasons on Cartoon Network.
Winick designed illustrations for The Complete Idiot's Guide to... series of books, and has done over 300 of them, including that series computer-oriented line. A collection of the computer-related titles' cartoons was published in 1997 as Terminal Madness, The Complete Idiot's Guide Computer Cartoon Collection.
While working on Pedro and Me, Winick also began working on comic books, beginning with a one-page Frumpy the Clown cartoon in Oni Press anthology series, Oni Double Feature #4, in 1998, before going on to do longer stories, like the two-part Road Trip, which was published in issues #9 and 10 of the same book. Road Trip went on to become an Eisner Award nominee for Best Sequential Story.
Winick followed up with a three-issue miniseries, The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius, about a cynical, profane grade school whiz kid, who invents a myriad of futuristic devices that no one other than his best friend knows about. Barry Ween was published by Image Comics from March through May 1999, with two subsequent miniseries, The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius 2.0 and The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius: Monkey Tales (Retitled The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius 3 or The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius: Gorilla Warfare in the collected editions), published by Oni Press, which also published trade paperback collections of all three miniseries. Barry Ween was also optioned by Platinum Studios to be adapted into an animated series, but to date, nothing has come of this.
Winick's graphic novel, Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned, was published in September 2000. It was awarded six American Library Association awards, was nominated for an Eisner Award, won Winick his first GLAAD award, has been praised by creators such as Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, and Armistead Maupin, and has been incorporated into school curricula across the country. Among its other awards are:
* 2000 Publishers Weekly Best Book
* 2000 Bay Area Book Reviewers Award for Best in Children's Literature
* 2000 Eisner Nomination for Best Original Graphic Novel
* 2001 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor Award
* 2001 Notable Children's Book Selection, American Library Association
* 2001 American Library Association Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Roundtable Nonfiction Honor book
* YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers
* YALSA Notable Graphic Novels
* Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
* America's Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature Highly Recommended List (Award sponsored by the National Consortium of Latin American Studies ProgramsCLASP).
Winick's work in mainstream superhero comics has received attention for storylines in which he explores gay or AIDS-oriented themes. In his first regular writing assignment on a monthly superhero book, DC Comics' Green Lantern, Winick wrote a storyline in which Terry Berg, an assistant of the title character, emerged as a gay character in Green Lantern #137 (June 2001) and in Green Lantern #154 (November 2001) the story entitled "Hate Crime" gained media recognition when Terry was brutally beaten in a homophobic attack. Winick was interviewed on Phil Donahue's show on MSNBC for that storyline on August 15, 2002, and received two more GLAAD awards for his Green Lantern work.
In 2003, Judd Winick left Green Lantern for another DC book, Green Arrow, beginning with issue #26 of that title (July 2003). He gained more media recognition for Green Arrow #43 (December 2004) in which he revealed that Green Arrow's 17-year-old ward, a former runaway-turned prostitute named Mia Dearden, was HIV-positive. In issue #45 (February 2005), Winick had Dearden take on the identity of Speedy, the second such Green Arrow sidekick to bear that name, making her the most prominent HIV-positive superhero to star in an ongoing comic book, a decision for which Winick was interviewed on CNN.
Winick's other comic book work includes Batman, The Outsiders, and Marvel's Exiles. Winick was also responsible for bringing Jason Todd, the second character known as Batman's sidekick Robin, back from the dead, and making him the new Red Hood, the second such Batman villain by that name. Winick also wrote a five-issue miniseries for DC's Vertigo imprint called Blood & Water, about a young man with terminal illness whose two friends reveal to him that they are vampires, and that they wish to save his life by turning him into a vampire himself. Between September 2005 and March 2006, Winick wrote the four-issue Captain Marvel/Superman limited series, Superman/Shazam: First Thunder with art by Josh Middleton. Currently, Winick continued his work with the Marvel Family in a 12-issue limited series called The Trials Of Shazam!, and continued his Green Arrow work with 2007's Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Special, which led to the ongoing series Green Arrow and Black Canary, the first 14 issues of which Winick wrote. He is currently the writer of Titans. In November 2007, DC also released a Teen Titans East special (a prequel for Titans), which was also scripted by Winick. Following the "Battle for the Cowl" storyline, Winick took over the writing on Batman for four issues. He will be co-writing a 26-issue biweekly Justice League: Generation Lost with Keith Giffen, a title which alternates with Brightest Day. In addition he will also be taking over the regular writing duties on the monthly Power Girl series.