Published on November 26th, 2015 | by Richard Boom
Talking Superzeroes with Jimmy Palmiotti
There is no denying that superheroes are the new modern ´thing´ to follow, as you can notice in cinema with blockbusters, on the TV with special series appealing to even non-comicfans or even more, and the merchandise is sold as high-end to low-end wherever you turn.
The evolution of comics as a medium as well as the evolution of the concept of superheroes and its growing impact on society marks also the evolution of superhero stories and for creators Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, their superheroes have always been testing the waters, with Garth Ennis on THE PRO, and with the anti-hero Painkiller Jane or with Noto on Beautiful Killer.
And even the big companies know they need to feed off the brain of Palmiotti, Conner and let us not forget about Justin Gray. With their runs on Supergirl, Powergirl, Starfire and Harley Quinn they sure made their mark, mixing insane and intense characterizations with action and dynamic dialogues, resulting in just great comics… which comics should be: just great really!
Their newest comic series “Superzero” is illustrated by artist Rafael de Latorre and published by AfterShock Comics and it will tell the tale of Dru Dragowski, a nineteen-year-old, comic book obsessed, high school senior who wants to recreate the origins of her favorite comic characters.. and then really become that superhero. Combined with the (ab)normal traits of the artistic team, this surely will mean a lot of insanity and awkward situations will be encountered in abundancy.
COMICSFORSINNERS: So here we have Dru. What is she all about? Does she really get superpowers?
JIMMY PALMIOTTI: Well, the core of the series is that she believes she can get them if she follows what pop culture is putting out there and she goes through some pretty extensive situations to help her get them. Does she achieve what she sets out to do? I do not want to ruin it for you, but in the end, be careful what you wish for.
C4S: Where did the concept of Dru come from?
JP: The idea of the title, the character and the idea came about 6-8 years ago when Amanda and I were talking about maybe doing some creator owned books someday. We have been pushing the idea back and forth over the years and felt with the success of Harley Quinn and Starfire the time might be right to unleash her upon the world.
JP: Well, if you are talking about female characters I have worked on, there are a few more but those are the core of them for sure. I have always been drawn to strong women in my life like my mother and my wife and beyond that, women who have no fear and push the envelope. I have never seen women as the weaker anything and I think this shows in my work. With Dru in Superzero, we have created another character that walks to her own beat and stands out from most of the other characters in fiction mainly because she embraces who she is and makes no excuses while she pursues her dreams of becoming something she isn’t.
C4S: So with the focus on setting up so many ladies in new series, I did notice the overall tendency of ‘boobs and dialogue’ meaning the focus on ladies as well as the more dialogue-driven characterization of your creations. Correct?
JP: Do you mean I try to focus on them past their physical qualities? Well, always, but I also try to embrace who they are, make the characters own the body they were given and make sure they are never just about what we see on the surface. I think this might go without saying if you read my work.
C4S: How is Superzero set up? As mini-series for 4 issues or as one-shot? What is your plan?
JP: We are looking at the first story being 6 issues and if they want more, we are ready. This is all in the audiences hands. The book itself was very under ordered which means we will have a sell out or a lot of retailers will not have the book at their disposal.
C4S: If I say teen-drama and humor, I think I dabble with two elements of your story. What more can you tell me?
JP: I think exploration, discovery and psychological storylines. Nothing appears to be what it looks like on the surface of the book and it is always easy to assume things just by covers and not reading, but there is a lot going on in this series that I think will catch people off guard. I already know the people that are fans of Harley Quinn and Starfire will see some similarities and this will be a good thing.
C4S: Without art, comics are useless! So who is Rafael de Latorre and how did you choose him?
JP: we were offered the portfolios of a few dozen artists and when we saw that Rafael could draw younger people and his storytelling skills, it was a no brainer on all levels. We fell in love with his work right away. At this point we cant see anyone else drawing the character.
C4S: Without a publisher, comics will not reach an audience as easy. With your Kickstarter-initiatives, your previous work published by Image Comic and your mainstreaming at DC Comics, how did you came to be partners in crime/comics with AfterShock?
JP: We wanted to just write the book and do less on the selling end, as far as to retailers and the public and to do this we had to find the right partner. After Shock was new and exciting and made us a great offer and we felt it was the right place for Superzero. That said we will be offering a variant of the cover that is exclusive to Paperfilms.com and Emerald city comics that will have a blank word balloon where Amanda and I will write whatever you like and both sign the book. We will have it posted right after Thanksgiving and be taking preorders since its very limited. It’s a fun thing no one has done before and we will write just about anything, so you can give it as a gift, tell someone you love/hate them and so on. Its all up to you, which makes each and every single one unique.
C4S: So what would be your advise for folks aiming their arrows at publishing comics themselves?
JP: Find your audience then make your book the best you possibly can. Go the extra mile to stand out from the rest and understand you will fail a few times out of the gate, and that’s normal. Never give up your dreams.
Thanks for that, Jimmy and HAPPY Thanksgiving!
So here you have it folks!
Now get to the stores and say THANKS and instead of a turkey, make sure to get this comic in re-order and pre-order!
(W) Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti (A) Rafael de Latorre (CA) Amanda Conner
With great power comes a bit of insanity, anxiety, and a dash of social alienation! Have you ever fantasized about being a super hero? Well Dru Dragowski does; that’s all this nineteen-year-old, comic book obsessed, high school senior thinks about. She needs to escape the normalcy of suburban life! Her plan? To become a real-life superhero by recreating the origins of her favorite comic characters! Hopefully then, she can become a hero not only for herself – but to protect everyone around her! If only that plan went just the slightest bit right… This fun, teen-agnst filled monthly series is created by the sensational writing duo that brings you Harley Quinn and Starfire – Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner.
With a 1:10 Darwyn Cooke variant cover.
In stores Dec 16 and if not found in stores, you forgot to pre-order!!
If it is not in stores, talk to the owner and make sure they get it asap!