Friday, July 13, 2007
05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
New York, NY 10003
Stop by and say hi! I wish I could be there, but i will be happily ensconced at some bar in Venice.
If you're like me and can't make it, then be sure to read this new interview with Jimmy and Justin Gray that was posted by the fine folks over at BROKEN FRONTIER:
"The seemingly perennial writing duo of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray recently released their first non-DC work in some time, the graphic novel The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning, for Fox Atomic Comics. We spoke…
BROKEN FRONTIER: The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning is basically the story behind the story in that it goes back to the early days of the townspeople in the New Mexico desert while at the same time bridging the gap between the two Hills films. How did you make that work structurally?
JUSTIN GRAY: It was relatively easy given the wealth of material to work with.
JIMMY PALMIOTTI: It was just a matter of digging into a time line based on events happening in the real world and making them work in the context of the story. If we were going to do a book like this we wanted to give the actual story a bit more of a background and establish a telling of the story from both sides.BF: Was it hard to find your "writer’s voice" for the real stars of the book, seeing that they’re, well… mutated freaks?
JUSTIN: Mutated freaks are my people! Actually, when you approach the characters from a point where you accept them as human beings it makes it much easier to see their side of the story. We’re looking at the genesis of transforming simple rural people into carnivorous monsters.
JIMMY: And for this story to work on any level, you really needed to see and understand what they are going through and what drove them to do what they do. I think once a person reads this book they will have a bit if empathy for their situation… But really, at the end of the day they are still eating people, so some things don’t change.
BF: Has your involvement in this project opened any doors when it comes to working on Fox Atomic properties in other media, mainly film?
JUSTIN: Hopefully yes when the DC contract expires. I’d love to work with them again, the quality of the books combined with the extremely open-minded and creative editorial staff made for a great working relationship.
JIMMY: What Justin said! And, we hope if they make another film they actually go to this book and try to adapt it. I think it will give the fans what they really want on a lot of levels from a Hills movie. If I was at Fox, I would just hand over their next project to us and let us take a shot at it… wink wink!
BF: Palmiotti the Pitcher! [Laughs] Did it cost you more sweat to tell this story as a graphic novel, as opposed to the periodical format you’re more accustomed to?
JUSTIN: We tend to enjoy working on all-inclusive material and delivering a complete story in one sitting, be it comics, film or TV. The transition is relatively simple to expand outward into a Graphic Novel format.
JIMMY: I would much rather always work in this format any day than the 22 page limited format that monthly comics are. Give me a graphic novel every time. There is no comparison.
BF: Jimmy, you’re also the line editor for all of Fox Atomic’s graphic novel releases. Was this an opportunity you jumped at, especially considering the professional atmosphere you’d be working in, with FA being part of the HarperCollins group and all?
JIMMY: I was only the start-up editor. When I signed the DC deal I had to move on, but what I did while there was try to establish with Eric Lieb the format, page count and look of the books and how they should be approached. I think 2 books out of the gate and they are doing well. My good friend Heidi MacDonald is now the editor.
And yes, working with professionals like Fox and Harper Collins are always a plus for me since I work with a lot of people who have no clue what they are doing on a daily basis. You know who you are… [Laughs]
BF: Was it also your call to bring in John Higgins to handle the art? Did it take much persuading?
JIMMY: Well, I was showing Eric a lot of people’s work, but the guy I was always pushing for was John… and we got him. John is a classic storyteller and we really needed someone that understood that this was a story about emotionally driven people put in unusual situations and I knew John was our man. Just look at the level of quality presented in these pages.
John and Dennis knocked it out of the park on this one. I would work with John again in a heartbeat, and actually am on another project to be announced soon.
BF: Since the two of you hardly go anywhere without each other, what other projects do you have coming through FA?
JUSTIN: Right now you’ll have to be content with the Hills Have Eyes. Perhaps in a year or so we’ll have the opportunity to work with them again.
JIMMY: we are hoping to land something as soon as possible. They have such a wealth of characters.
The Hills Have Eyes: The Beginning went on sale last week through Fox Atomic Comics.Later