A gift for Gail.
Gail no longer being involved on any book featuring any of the original Birds of Prey is the end of an era (or at least a decade.) To many of us Gail was Barbara Gordon, she encapsulated the character so well and really ‘got’ what Babs was about. In Birds of Prey, Gail cultivated some of the most moving friendships I’ve ever read in comics. Not having her involved in the stories of any of these ladies is saddening, but we can only hope for the best in the future. For Gail, and for the Birds and Barbara Gordon.
Gail has been inspiration to me over the years, I always wanted to one day end up drawing an issue of her Birds of Prey. …and it nearly happened.
Years ago Gail got me my first comic pencilling gig - it was an unpaid job for indy anthology ‘The Gathering' illustrating one of her short stories. For someone who was still a noob to comic art I was blown away. The fact that one of my favourite comic authors of all time entrusted me to illustrate one of her scripts was astonishing and daunting. There are people who have been working in the industry for years that have not had the honor of working with a comic great Gail Simone.
Gail gave me so much advice and helpful critiques while I was working on the script, I was so lucky and she was so supportive. She really went above and beyond to nurture my work and push me to my limits.
After the book had come out Gail was looking to get me more work, and a foot in at DC. Gail had original planned to have me draw a Birds of Prey book by illustrating one of the stories to be featured in a Birds of Prey annual that would occur a ways down the road; I was to draw a story featuring Misfit.
Then the reboot happened, creative teams were swapped around, books were scrapped and any plans that were being made pre-reboot went out of the window and the mad scramble was on to make new books.
So my foot in the door at DC didn’t happen back then which is a shame, but Gail has always gone above and beyond to show my work around and support me. If I ever mention to her that I’ve sent a portfolio in to a certain publisher or to an author she’ll always be the first to email the person looking at my work and put in a good word for me.
Gail Simone is and always will be one of my favourite authors, best friends, a driving force behind my career and an inspiration to all of my future endevours and of course - Barbara Gordon.