Brian Azzarello was the Wizard: The Comics Magazine's pick for "Best Writer" of 2001. The prolific writer just signed (April 2002) an exclusive, two-year contract for his services with DC Comics.

"I'll be honest: this was not an easy decision to make," says Azzarello. "I'm not entirely comfortable with the concept of exclusivity, but after sitting down and really listening to the level of commitment DC was offering me and the types of projects I was interested in doing, it just made sense."

Azzarello is the hotshot writer of such comics as:

I, Paparazzi
Hellblazer
Cage
100 Bullets
Batman/Deathblow: After The Fire
Banner
Jonny Double

Based in Chicago, Azzarelo┬┤s work has earned widespread acclaim from fans, fellow professionals, and critics alike. The 100 Bullets storyline "Hang Up on the Hang Low," illustrated by Eduardo Risso for Vertigo, won an Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story in 2001. Azzarello also is developing a Batman graphic novel.

Karen Berger,Vertigo┬┤s Executive Editor, says, "Brian's the real deal. From his very first work for Vertigo, his powerful, spare writing stood out across a crowded room. Like the best modern crime fiction writers, his gripping, hardboiled stories have an unerring sense of realism and pack an understated yet deep impact. And without a doubt, Brian writes the best street-cred dialogue in comics."