Interview conducted at Scoop.DiamondGalleries.com
Beneath the streets of modern day Berlin, archaeologists accidentally activate a left-over weapon from the last days of World War II. Known as the Omega Bomb, it was Adolf Hitler’s ultimate doomsday weapon, a device designed to wipe out the human race. A group of specialists equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and equipment must travel one day back through time to stop the bomb from ever going off. However, they, accidentally, are thrown into the midst of a war-torn Germany. Against that backdrop, the team must race to save humanity and themselves.
Time Bomb, the new three-part graphic novel from Radical Publishing, teams up writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray (Jonah Hex, Power Girl) with artist Paul Gulacy (Master of Kung-Fu, Six From Sirius). Time Bomb #1 is is listed in the May 2010 edition of Previews from Diamond Comic Distributors, and it’s set to go on sale in July 2010. The 56-page comic will retail for $4.99.
Scoop talked with Jimmy Palmiotti about the project.
Scoop: How did you come up with this story?
Jimmy Palmiotti (JP): When I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, my parents would rent a bungalow for the summer in Rockland County, what we considered the “country.” We were there for two months at a time. Every Saturday night would be movie night and they would have a 16mm projector that would show movies for the kids and adults against a big white wall that was the back of the pool area. They only owned a dozen films and one of my all time favorites was Where Eagles Dare, a movie based on an Alistair MacLean story made in 1969 starring Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Ingrid Pitt and Mary Ure. Allied agents stage a daring raid on a castle where Nazis are holding an American general hostage.
This movie was the bomb for me and I just loved the general idea of the film, and when I was older, worked a concept around a different type of story and had that in my head for years. When Justin and I started working together, I told him all about this idea and we sat on it for years, till the right publisher, Radical Comics, came around, loved it and gave us everything we wanted to put it together into this three-volume, 50 page [per issue] graphic novel format.
Scoop: The story and scope sounds epic-sized, but one of the things we’ve generally enjoyed about your work is the characters. Do we get to know any of them in Time Bomb or are they pretty much swept along by the whirlwind of events?
JP: Why would anyone care to read a book that is just about events in a row? Getting to know the crew is really the heart of the book and caring for them along the way makes the action and excitement even more meaningful. Everything we do is character driven and Time Bomb is no exception.
Each of the main four leads has a very distinctive character and way they look at things. Making Peggy and Christian ex-lovers is also another dimension to them that comes through in key moments, and so on. There is a lot of character development.
Scoop: What sort of readers do you think this one might appeal to?
JP: A pretty broad audience! Anyone who likes war stories, science fiction, action and drama, pretty women, Nazis and gun play will find something to enjoy. As well, science fiction fans will get the concept and love the set up and delivery. The only thing we don’t have in this series is men in spandex hitting each other… and that’s a good thing.
Scoop: You guys seem at home in many different genres. You’re just ending a superhero run on Power Girl, you have had a terrific and lengthy run on the western Jonah Hex, and now here’s a sci-fi-action-adventure-war story. Do you deliberately move into a particular genre or just go where the stories seem to take you?
JP: We do two things: We follow the work that is offered us and we pitch the hell out of a lot of different genres. The last thing we want is to be pigeon-holed into a genre and not be able to fully expand out of line. Good stories are good stories, no matter what the backdrop is, and we will continue to push the envelope everywhere we can. What I would really like to do is a violent romance book next, so the hunt for a publisher continues.
Scoop: You seem to bounce back and forth between comics that are purely designed to be comics and others that are wide open for interpretation in other media. Radical’s material is typically very film-oriented, for instance. Do you approach the writing differently for those kinds of projects or do you handle them all the same way?
JP: At the core of every story is a basic exploration of themes, ideas and a road we put the characters through. And, when writing comics, we tend to cater to the reader and not worry so much if it’s going to cross into film and so on. At its core, the story has to be engaging and interesting and take the reader someplace they have never been before. The stories are always treated the same, no matter what media they are in. They have to stay true to character, move the story and reveal along the way.
Scoop: What makes a particular story the kind of story you want to write? Despite the different genres and styles, what common threads might we find in your different work?
JP: I am a romantic, so there is always a sexual tension and personal growth involved with the characters. These common threads are in Jonah Hex, Power Girl and Time Bomb. We meet people that have to step up and do things that are bigger than they ever imagined… and this theme is a constant.
Scoop: You’ve worked with Paul Gulacy before. What made him the right fit for this story?
JP: One look at the cover and pages and you are seeing what we saw: a guy that understands storytelling, loves the genre and can draw the hell out of the book. This is a perfect book for anyone that misses him from Master of Kung-Fu and Six from Sirius days. This is his best work ever.
Scoop: What else are you working on now?
JP: More Jonah Hex, some animation work, a screenplay, and a new series for Marvel and DC. Nothing I can give a name to at the moment… but one project is revisiting something I worked on 10 years ago.
Read the full interview at ComicScoop.com