Judd Winick was an aspiring cartoonist when he got his first claim to fame after he was picked to be one of the houseguests on the MTV reality show "Real World: San Francisco". It was during his time on the show that he met two people who would play big roles in his life and career. The first would be Pam Ling, who he would fall in love with and marry. The second was his roommate, Pedro Zamora. In Pedro, Judd found a man who refused to be seen as someone dying from AIDS, but rather someone who persevered and lived with the AIDS virus. Judd would be so moved from his experiences with Pedro, who died from complications related to AIDS on November 11, 1994, to create a graphic novel that chronicled the life and inspiration that was Pedro. It would be called Pedro and Me and would be a major success.
While working on Pedro and Me, Winick produced other independent comic work. His most notable creation was the character of Barry Ween, a boy genius, who was featured in three limited series by Winick for Image Comics and then Oni Press.
Noticed for his successful independent work, Winick was hired by Marvel Comics in 2001 to develop and launch the Exiles series. Winick also wrote the Blink limited series to precede the launch of Exiles. When Exiles did launch, it was a success and critically acclaimed for its strong focus on the characters.
Winick would later sign an exclusive agreement with DC Comics, but it was said that he was so far ahead on his Exiles scripts that he could fulfill his two-year contract with DC and resume his Exiles work without missing a beat. Chuck Austen wrote some fill-in work on Exiles, seemingly padding things out to facilitate Winick's return.
However, this ended up not happening. Exiles was given to a new regular writer, Tony Bedard, and Winick remained with DC.
Shortly after Winick was picked up by Marvel to write Exiles, he was also picked up by DC Comics to be the new regular writer on Green Lantern, then starring Kyle Rayner. His run on the series saw the creation of Ion, the return of John Stewart as an active Green Lantern and the further development of the relationship between Kyle and Jade. He also wrote a backup feature in several issues of Detective Comics.
Within a couple years, Winick was signed to an exclusive contract with DC and his career grew. He traded the writing chores of Green Lantern for Green Arrow, where he had his longest run of any comic to date. He and Geoff Johns took the lead on the Graduation Day mini-event in 2003 that saw Titans and Young Justice be replaced by new Outsiders and Teen Titans series. This move was a major success for DC, and Winick was made the regular writer of Outsiders. Winick was rewarded with a run on Batman that quickly became known for the resurrection of Jason Todd and the development of the character into the anti-hero Red Hood. Soon after, he was considered one of the definitive writers of the character.
Aside from his mainstream work at the time, Winick also continued to produce independent work such as Caper published by DC and Blood and Water published by Vertigo.
One Year Later brought an end to Winick's run on Batman, and he moved on to Trials of Shazam!, a maxi-series that attempted to revamp the Marvel Family and how they fit into the DC Universe.
By this time, Winick had developed a very polarizing reputation for dealing with controversial matters in his work. One of the things his Green Lantern run was most remembered for was the two issue story where Terry Berg, a supporting character, was brutally beaten for being homosexual. In his Green Arrow run, he revealed that Mia Dearden, who he also turned into the new Speedy, was HIV-positive. A story arc in Outsiders had the team take on a child prostitution ring. An issue of Exiles left it very open to the interpretation that Nocturne had an abortion. Winick received a lot of attention, both positive and negative, for this.
Shortly after leaving Outsiders, Winick was ironically the writer of the Titans relaunch in 2008. The relaunch was not well received by readers, and he did not stay on the book for long. Green Arrow ended and relaunched itself as Green Arrow/Black Canary with Winick still writing. This relaunch was met with mixed reactions, and Winick ended his long run writing Green Arrow a year later.
Winick took a short break from comics to focus on animation, including Under the Red Hood the animated adaptation of his Batman run.
Returning strong to comics in 2010, Winick did some more Batman work including the Red Hood: the Lost Days limited series that told Jason Todd's origin as the Red Hood. He became the new regular writer of Power Girl. He was also one of the co-writers of Justice League: Generation Lost with Keith Giffen but quickly became the sole writer of the twice-a-month series when Giffen left to focus on other work. This new wave of work from Winick was generally well received by readers.
With DC's line wide relaunch in September 2011, Winick was brought on to write two series. The first being a new on-going starring Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, and the second being Batwing, a Batman Incorporated member from Africa.