Interview conducted by Kitty’s Pryde
Thanks to the folks at Radical Comics, the Pryde got a chance to chat with Jimmy Palmiotti via e-mail.
Thanks for taking the time to ‘chat’ with us. We really appreciate it.
Been following your career for awhile, when you were one of the top inkers in the business and then when you and Joe Quesada started writing together, and now that you’re collaborating with Justin Gray.
First question is, how did that collaboration come about? You’ve been working together for a long time now, starting on 21 Down and Resistance for Wildstorm and now with Time Bomb and Jonah Hex and Freedom Fighters for DC. How do you keep the relationship fresh and not become stale after working together for so long? How does the collaboration work, do you both brainstorm and script?
We are best friends, and if you have ever worked with a good friend, you understand that it doesn’t seem like work anymore… it’s two people doing what they love and that’s it in a nutshell. I met Justin when he was a Marvel Knights intern, we became friends and we just clicked on so many levels, it seemed the natural thing to do. We do not compete with each other, we just try to do the best work we can and we brainstorm together whenever we can. We both have different styles of storytelling, but together it’s a pretty interesting mash-up that everyone seems to enjoy.
How do you guys develop ideas? How does a story go from idea to finished product for P&G?
It’s easy, we both talk about what we would like to see the characters handle, how we would like to see them grow within a series/story and we talk over how to get to these points. It’s a lot of discussion, back and forth and note taking, but we usually find a middle point where we both agree on and then we run with the idea from there. If you were filming our jam sessions, you would probably be laughing most of the time because we both have pretty outrageous imaginations.
Where did the idea for Time Bomb come from? How were the personalities of the characters developed? Why make Christian and Peggy a couple on the outs, for example? How long was Time Bomb in development before pen was laid to page? What was it like working with Paul Gulacy? Did you seek him out to work on the book, or did Radical come to you with, “Want to work with Gulacy?” And how did Time Bomb end up at Radical? Was it your choice to do it as a 3 issue bi-monthly prestige format book or Radical’s?
That is an interview packed into a question… [...] Time Bomb was an idea I had as a kid inspired by a ’60s movie called WHERE EAGLES DARE that I loved. The idea is totally different with the sci-fi angle, but at its core, the idea was action and adventure and like classic stories, we follow a group of people on a seemingly impossible mission. Justin and I spoke about this, tweaked what I had and we made the rounds with the idea and no one seemed interested and we put it aside. There was even a time when John Singleton got me a meeting at Sony about it and they passed because it would cost too much to make (before CGI). Timing is everything in this business.
I met with Barry Levine, the main man at Radical, and we spoke about us working with him on something and I did a verbal pitch of 3 ideas to him, and he fell in love with Time Bomb. He literally had a contract in our hands right away, discussed the page count (3 fifty page books) and the price point and who would be the dream artist. We told him Paul Gulacy would be it and he nailed it. After that, we wrote the book and worked with Paul, as we have many times before, and got the best work of his career in the process.
Looking back on the whole process, Radical has been a dream for us on so many levels. We currently have a new series in the works with them that is a crime story and hope to continue working with them. Nothing would make me happier than to be doing 3 titles with them at all times. They understand that comics are not all just superheroes.
As far as the Time Bomb characters, it was important that we have people from different races represent the future, as well as having modern problems like a divorce and such. We tried to make them likable on some level and, like all heroes, feel for them when things go wrong. Those four are real people to us… and, as you know… if we ever did another Time Bomb story, we could only feature 3 of them.
With the better technology in movies today, what are the chances of seeing Time Bomb on the big screen? Since you’ve gotten close with it before, would you like to see it in the theatres?
Now that we are done with the book, nothing would make me happier to see how it would translate to the big screen. Time Bomb franchise in every sense of the word… so I leave it to the guys at Radical see if they can make that happen.
Can you tell us anything about the upcoming book you have with Radical? Who will the artist be?
I cannot tell you that since we are the stage in the process of finding the right style to match the story… which is the most important thing, I have learned. The wrong artist, no matter how good the story might be, can destroy a project, while the right artist can elevate the work on all ends.
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