JIMMY PALMIOTTI: Let me get this out of the way…I need a name for my blog. Palmiotti’s Playhouse sounds too pasta/twisted and Jimmy’s Box, well, Amanda took offense to that. Post your ideas and if I use one, I will load up a box of comics and anything I can find in my house and send it to you. I guarantee it will have some cool crap…and some total head scratches as well…but nothing is more fun than getting a mystery box in the mail…unless you are a politician.
Just got back from a week in Los Angeles that was interesting and funny and as usual, loaded with a lot of quick visits, meetings during meals and strange going on. I usually take a trip to L.A. around five times a year for one reason or another and this trip was no different. I always have fun, get to see some old friends and attend at least one movie event and some otherworld party. Amanda tells me I am lucky to have more than five people I like living in that town…she knows more about that place because she was born there. Anyway…
THE PUNISHER WAR ZONE: Saw it with Noah Danby, a great friend of mine I met on the Painkiller show that played Conner King. Noah and I share a very deep love of comics and he is also married to the lovely Kristanna Loken. Anyway, we met up and caught an early show of the Punisher move. Simply put, it was exciting to see the Marvel Knights logo Joe and I were so proud of displayed on the big screen and it went downhill from there. Rather than pick on the movie, which has many flaws, I just want to say that it wasn’t what I was hoping for. Of all the Marvel properties, this one is so deeply grounded in reality, but every time they shoot a new one it gets more and move over the top. Anyone that saw this knows what I am talking about. Long story short, its opening weekend was a disaster, but the character lives on in comics each and every month. At the very least, Noah and I had a good laugh and went for a few beers after to discuss what we would have done.
THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS: Well, my friend Brandon said it looks too depressing and Amanda didn’t really want to see something so sad and at the end of the day, I NEEDED to see it for a couple of reasons, one being Justin and I are writing something that deals with the exact subject matter, German concentration camps. Anyway, it was worlds above the crap I have seen this week, beautifully done and in the end, heartbreaking as hell. I went by myself and was kind of glad I did. This was a story told about a soldier’s family and how the war and the horrors of it were taking the family apart. Anyway, without giving up too much, it was wonderful and I recommend it if you need to have a good cry.
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL: We saw this in IMAX, which means it saddened me twice as much. OK, going in to see this, I thought the screenwriters were going to make a respectable argument to why an alien race shouldn’t wipe us all out and start again. Disappointed again. Didn’t work for me…and no amount of special effects could save it. Sure, there are a few decent scenes here and there, but as a movie, it was a one-time watch. I do recommend that Will Smith’s kid should only take parts where he isn’t annoying as hell. If you saw this, you will understand that comment.
HENSON STUDIOS: While in town I had lunch with two business friends of mine outside on the picnic tables located in the Henson studios. It’s a cool place where each building is a treasure trove of Hollywood history and at the same time working studios where they are filming and doing sound work. Both meetings were not really about work, but catch up lunches where we discussed movies, comics and what I was in town for. Its part of the Hollywood magic, being in places like this.
PHIL NOTO: The man is magic and one of my favorite people on Earth and we got to hang out for a bit in Hollywood and even grabbed some hot dogs at Pink’s after our signing at Golden Apple with Ryan Lebowitz, and my close friends Kim and Phil. Good hot dogs, but Nathan’s in Coney Island is better. Sorry. At least the line was small.
BLAIR BUTLER: Justin and I are big fans of this funny cool gal. If you watch G4, you know who she is already and for those not in the know; she covers comics for the news show and is a staple at any of the bigger cons. Anyway, I stopped in Golden Apple to pick up some books and there she was, shopping away. We got to talking, exchange war stories and really — it’s so nice to talk to someone who really understands the art form we are all so invested in. Yes, she is as cool as she seems on TV.
IN-N-OUT BURGER: While we are talking crap food… best fast food burger in L.A. is the In-N-Out Burger franchise. I make it my business to go there when I get off the plane and once more before leaving. I wish to God they would sell me a franchise for the East Coast. I just know it would make millions.
CRYPTIC MESSAGE OF THE WEEK: My contract was one page long, you miserable no talent, and thinking you could hide up north, well, not a good idea. It’s bad karma to mess with people, especially flag wavers that supported you during their run, and all the failures you are having lately are a part of that. I look forward to seeing you humbled very soon. And no, this has nothing to do with comics folks. Back to business…
I READ A TRADE: I get a giant DC comp box every month. It’s an amazing gift for us freelancers. So, out of the DC box comes the trade book Northlanders: Book One: Sven the Returned. Great art first off, beautiful colors and clear storytelling…it’s partly why I grabbed this to read. Understand I have no time, so when I do read something to completion, I pick it for a reason. Now, the story: well, I love Brian Wood’s work and there are some really cool things about this book…but I just didn’t like the main character that much. A problem for me, especially since a part of me liked the HAKKAR character much more and well… maybe that what this was about and what Brian was putting forth. Maybe we weren’t suppose to love the main character so much but understand what he had to get done. That all said, I still recommend this because on many levels because it really captured a time and place very well and again, better than most books out there.
BLU-RAY: It all looks better in this format. Topless Jamie Lee in Trading Places looks 30% better in Blu-Ray. Deadspace: Downfall looked bloodier and eyes wide shut looked sexier. I picked up the Godfather collection for 44 bucks at Best Buy on sale and man, what a difference from my old copies. I think this format is around to stay. We play laser disc frisbee around here now because of it. The future is amazingly clear.
KATHIE OLIVAS AND BRANDT PETERS:
Once in a while I get an unexpected surprise. I was introduced to this wonderfully talented couple over a gallery /dinner invite from my Jonah Hex colorist Rob Schwager. Those not in the know, Rob is a multi-talented artist and he is one of the “in” crowd people here in Florida who was part of a multi-artist gallery show which featured T-shirt designs. Anyway, he introduced me to his friends Kathie and Brandt at the gallery and we all left for dinner in the town where the show was, St. Pete. This was no ordinary couple…they’re elegant, charming and I soon learned, super-mega-talented painters and designers. They were kind enough to give me a signed copy of their book MARTYRS AND GHOSTS. Both of these spectacular hipsters are major parts of the “lowbrow” art movement; something I always enjoyed but didn’t realize it had a name. Check out their work here. Brandt’s work is there as well…and they have a show going on in Los Angeles as we speak. Moody, cool and creepy at the same time, their work is the work that has a hundred imitators out there trying to cash in on their creativity. I am the proud owner of a few of Kathie’s limited edition vinyl figures as well. I was glad I got out of my house that day.
WHY I AM NOT INKING ANYTHING RIGHT NOW:
The simple reasons are two. First, all the ink jobs I have been offered in the past six months are inking over artists I can either illustrate better than or I simply have no desire to have to go in and fix every single panel presented to me. I would love to ink something, but honestly, I got this far in my career…I don’t want to be Mr. Fix It anymore. That said I got a chance to ink a Darwyn Cooke cover and I jumped at it. See…someone whose work I enjoy.
The other reason as you may have guessed is the writing has seemed to take off pretty well and I am trying to make ach and every single thing I touch as good as humanly possible… which is not an easy chore when you have people hiring you that think they know better than you. Left to my own devices I can usually put together something fun and different and working on something with Justin, it’s always a bit better I think.
That said, if the editor fairies were to ask me who I would like to work with, I would love to ink me some JRJR, Jordi Bernet, Joe Kubert, Ryan Sook, Art Adams, more Darwyn Cooke and a bunch more. That’s my easy wish list right there.
I’m sitting here writing this when I hear a ton of sirens. Went out to check it out and the condos at the end of my street were on fire… looked like two of them. What a horrible thing to happen this time of year, or any time for that matter. They think a guy smoking caused it, but not sure. There is no better way to meet your neighbors than to watch someone’s home burn, I just learned… met an insurance agent, a hotel manager and a home repair dude and two gals that were just there to “ watch” the fire. It was eerie to see the fire burning and all the X-mas lights still on at the same time. Everyone got out OK, thank God, but all this reminded me I have to dig my New Year’s fire pit a little deeper this year. Anyway, the smoke was making it hard to breathe so I came back in and continued the brain spill.
JONAH HEX: THE MOVIE: I know so much about what is going on with this movie and yet I really can’t say a single thing, except that…I know for a fact that some of the top directors out there are looking at the property and it’s in good hands with a producer that happens to be an old friend of mine and Joe’s from the Event Comics days, Andy Lazar. What I can say is Andy is a fan of our comic and gets it every month and understands how important a project like this is. For Justin and I this is really exciting because we have a chance of maybe picking up a few new readers when the movie comes out. I am being realistic here and saying that even if a thousand new readers came along, it would make a major impact on the title. Anyway, more to come on Hex, but for now, know it’s in good hands.
And last, a tease page from the book Justin and I are working on called THE LAST RESORT for our good friends at I.D.W. The artist is named Giancarlo Caracuzzo and we think he is a brilliant storyteller. It should ship this summer and at its most basic, it’s about a bunch of people from all walks of life dealing with a biological accident on a tropical island. Please excuse that it’s a low res scan, the originals are bright and tighter, but for now, just a tease. These are set up pages where we get to know the characters. Every book needs them.
Jimmy Palmiotti 12/16