One of our star US guests, Jimmy Palmiotti, is a writer, an artist and a man who has been at the helm of countless successful Kickstarter campaigns. We all like reading Q and As with talent so here he is answering just a few of our questions …
- Which comic lit the torch for your interest in the medium?
JIMMY: As a kid growing up in Brooklyn in the 60’s-70’s, my two older brothers had comic books all over the house and my uncle owned a barber shop, so I had a ton of comics at my disposal. It wasn’t just one that got me into the medium, it was all of them-the common thread of telling fantastic stories and showcasing amazing art. I will say that Superheroes were not my main interest as is reflected with the bulk of my current work. It was Horror, Science Fiction and westerns that probably did it for me.
- What was the key moment that made you want to be a professional?
JIMMY: I fell in love with reading comics, then I fell in love making my own since I felt I had so many stories to tell, and it wasn’t till many years later getting professional work that I thought maybe this is what I want to do for a living. I will say my first check helped with all of this. The idea that I could be paid for working on something so fun was a big moment but it took me quite a while to break in. Not giving up has always been a key to the success I have had over the years.
- What was your first professional work and were you happy with it?
JIMMY: Well, I did a lot of ghosting for other artists when I was in High School and college, but my first professional work where I was credited was on some books for Eternity comics in the late 80’s and I was paid terribly. It wasn’t until the early 90’s that I got some decent paying gigs after being Mark Texeria’s background guy for a bit. Until then I was spending years working on pencil and ink samples and sending copies everywhere. It took me a long while to actually break in and I swore if and when it happened, I would work my ass off to never lose the job. As far as being happy with my work, well, when I was inking there were times I feel I nailed a panel or page, but overall, I was never fully satisfied. I am still striving to do better work, 30 years later. You will learn the artists that sit back and think they are great have stopped growing.
- What was the first work you did where you the main attraction?
JIMMY: I have yet to do that since I work with others on everything. I don’t consider myself the main attraction most of the time. It’s usually the artist or character first. In my house and most places outside, my wife Amanda is the main attraction. I am fine being part of the team, but when I self-publish with Paperfilms, I understand I have to step up to that role because it is expected of me and the company.
- Who has been your creative partner over the years and why?
JIMMY: The person I share my life with, Amanda Conner is my partner in everything. She is one of the best storytellers in the business and understands how to not only tell a story, but to keep people entertained. She is my everything in so many ways. Her work is constantly growing and she is starting to discover her own voice in her writing and it is exciting to see. I adore her.
- What is the work you are most proud of and why ?
JIMMY: Anything I publish with Paperfilms is what I am most proud of. It is my company and the books are always my choice in what they are going to be. I have characters that I have created and co-created that I love like Painkiller jane, Monolith, G-I-Zombie and so many others. Each have roots in some reality to me. Things that happened in my life to influence their creation and it is that connection that breathe life into the characters. The wok I am now doing with Zest world is really coming out great.
- Do you still nurse any ambitions for the future and if so what?
JIMMY: I would like to keep publishing, illustrate and write more, and work on more films. I got the bug working on the Painkiller Jane TV series, and show running a project I did in Canada. I enjoy working with other creators and being surrounded by those very people. Honestly, one of my main focuses these days is looking at how technology can help artists and creators and to continue turning down work from places that have transparency issues with their accounting and profit sharing. I have spent a lot of time converting my past books to digital reads and digging in on my Paperfilms.com site to offer more and more affordable comic downloads. There really is a lot to be excited about these days and less and less of it is coming from the big two.
- Who is your biggest influence in comics ?
JIMMY: There is no single person I can name. I have a village worth of influences. My parents were the first, friends and family encouragement add to the overall picture as well. Teachers had a big effect on me and eventually the people I admired in all of the arts influence me daily. I know you are looking for that single person, so I will say someone like Joe Kubert has had a gigantic effect on me. He was a creator that worked for everyone, created his own characters, told stories about his personal life and that reflected on the times and continued to inspire and help people learn the craft. I adored him and I am very happy to consider his sons my friends.
- What would you like to change the most about the comics industry?
JIMMY: I would love to see big corporations taken out of the mix, or at the very least them treat the creators with the respect and transparency creators deserve. The entire medium needs to have more respect for themselves. I would love to see the art form celebrated more by bigger venues. Right now, there are corners of the art world that look at graphic storytelling as a disposable art form, yet so much of the media getting attention is based on the work. Respect for the creator, their work and for the people that love the medium. Our fans are the smartest, brightest and most creative peace loving people.
- And what are you looking forward to the most about the Tripwire presents Bristol Comic Con ?
JIMMY: Amanda and have never visited Bristol, so really looking forward to get to meet the people, explore the area and the history around us and interact with the fans during the convention. There is nothing more fun than meeting people for the first time and sharing conversation. Amanda and I love to engage everyone of all ages. We are also looking forward to some fun panels, a highlight of a show each and every time.
Meet Jimmy and fellow comics artist, his partner Amanda Conner, at Tripwire presents Bristol in September and check out his workshops as well as panels too