Jimmy Palmiotti: From The Brush To The Keyboard
Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Jimmy Palmiotti is multi-award winning comic book creator, who has worked on numerous fan favorite books, such as Jonah Hex, Deadpool, Daredevil, Harley Quinn and The Monolith.
In 1998, along with Joe Quesada, he helped form "Marvel Knights". they came to Marvel after having success at their own company, Event Comics, where they created "Ash" and "Painkiller Jane. An imprint that produced some of the best Marvel books of all time, such as the Daredevil arc, "Guardian Devil", written by Kevin Smith and drawn by Quesada and himself. What he and Quesada did completely changed the face of comics, forever.
Over the past few years, along with his wife Amanda Conner, he wrote an amazing run on "Harley Quinn" that was consistently one of DC's highest sellers. It was one of the funniest books on the shelves and always a personal favorite of mine. Jimmy and Amanda helped make Harley one of DC's best characters, and one of the most unique books in the DCU.
He's currently working on his creator owned book, Painkiller Jane, along with other projects as well. If you see his name on it though, you can be sure you're in for a great story. I can't wait to see what he and Amanda cook up next.
Comic Lounge: You've done writing and art duties before, which do you prefer?
Jimmy Palmiotti: There was a time all I wanted to do was the art end of the business and I did for at least 15 years, but as I was co-creating and editing, I realized my real strength was in the writing end of the business and have been doing that ever since. I still help Amanda once in a while with a tight deadline and design a cover or two along the way, but my love now is for the written word. I do feel a change is coming in the future though. I don’t believe anyone should just do one thing for their entire life.
Comic Lounge: The Marvel Knights initiative you did with Joe Quesada was one of the most successful imprints
to ever come out of Marvel. How was it being handed the keys to those characters? Why do you think it was so successful?
Jimmy: I think the key to its success was Joe and I took the Marvel Knights deal as a personal challenge for us to make some comics better than Marvel was at the time and push what can be done in comics in the process. We looked at it from many angles and decided that the brand also needed a face to it so Joe and I spent a lot of time off the board and pushing the line in multimedia places like TV and festivals and such and that was something that hasn’t been done much before that. You have to remember when we launched it, computers were just coming into peoples homes and the internet was in its infant stage so we had to do a lot of publicity through TV and print. The other thing we did was simple and should be done each and every day and that is matching up the right talent to the right characters. Nothing magical there, but it’s shocking how it’s not done at times. In the end, we had a great group of talent, a great group behind the scenes at Marvel and we launched at a time where the industry needed a major boost. These days, fans have a better sense of corporate activities and understand most launches are about sales and more money. Back then, the only concern for us was that the books were the best they could be.
Comic Lounge: You've done long runs on characters such as Jonah Hex and Harley Quinn, are there any characters you want to do an extended run on?
Jimmy: No. I am actually done killing myself for other people and other peoples creations. I love working on mini-series and one shots, and enjoy my time at the big two having fun with their characters, but the idea of spending any more time killing myself on a series for years and getting next to nothing off all the licenses and other platforms my work appears in, are over. The big companies are broken in this respect, and by excluding the creators from better benefits and for some, failing to acknowledge the work we do that makes the leap to other media, well…there is a price to pay for that and for me, branding myself over the years, my future is all about my creations and pushing my characters. Its why I have a site at Paperfilms.com to show my work and sell my books.
Comic Lounge: Your run-on Harley Quinn is my favorite series of that character, what was your favorite part about writing her?
Jimmy: My favorite part about writing Harley these past
years is getting to work closely with my wife, Amanda Conner. We have a blast coming up with some fun stories and work and rework each issue we did up till the last minute to make sure we are both happy with it. I have learned a lot from Amanda, who has a fantastic ear for dialogue and humor. Honestly, I just want to keep working together on other things with her from now on and I am.
Comic Lounge: You've worked on creator owned comics and characters for Marvel and DC, which do you like doing the best?
Jimmy: Always my own. No rules , no expectations and in the long run, I own the characters and can revisit them any time I like and in some cases, they have a life outside the printed page. If I w
as to pick some from each company, I would say Harley, Jonah Hex, Punisher, Daughters of the Dragon, Monolith and G.I.Zombie.
Comic Lounge: Do you have any books you're working on that haven't been announced yet that you can tease?
Jimmy: I am working on a Painkiller Jane book right now. A graphic novel. I am also working on my next Kickstarter, Sex and Violence 3…and still working on Wonder Woman for the Walmart DC 100 page JLA book with Amanda and Chad Hardin each month. The 3rd part comes out this week.
Comic Lounge: What kind of advice can you give to someone trying to break in to the comic book industry?
Jimmy: Draw every day, write every day, take life drawing classes, read novels, take film classes for storytelling and do not give up. It’s a long road to any success, so you have to be strong. Get your work in print any way you can and on all your social media platforms, keep the negative language away, be a positive influencer and engage in like minds and share your time and talent. Be present, slow things down and have integrity in all you do.