Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jimmy Palmiotti Talks Wednesday Comics

Jimmy Palmiotti was interviewed about his Supergirl Wednesday Comics strip over on Comic Book Resources last week ( ). He had a lot of interesting things to say so definitely read the whole thing. Here are some of the things which stuck out to me.

Is the format of “Wednesday Comics” a different creative experience than developing a regular 22-page comic?

It’s a totally different thing because on one hand, you want each single page strip to be interesting and stand on its own, and on the other hand, you know its part of a 12-week strip that all fits together, so it was a bit difficult to get my head wrapped around the idea. But by the third strip it all started to work for me and I was able to have some fun with it.

The average big format page had around 12 panels, so even though its only 12 weeks, it felt like I wrote an entire extra large issue of a one shot. I hope that makes some kind of sense.

So I think the beginning part of this answer is interesting. One of the complaints I am hearing about Wednesday Comics is that people want more story now, that getting only one page isn't enough.

I think the creators are faced with the daunting task of making each page be worthy of standing alone and being part of a bigger story. Some do that by picking up the story immediately where it was left the prior week (Deadman, Sgt Rock, Strange Adventures). Others leap forward in time (Batman, Superman). It doesn't sound easy.

And then to tell a complete story in 12 pages (albeit over-sized pages) is also probably difficult. I did like that Palmiotti gives some inkling to how his story would measure up in standard format (an extra-long one shot). But that probably won't hold true for Gaiman (already used last week for a splash page), Sgt Rock (more like a standard comic page), or Wonder Woman (seems like 5 pages stuffed onto one).

What about your subject matter? Have you been eager to work with Kara since you, co-writer Justin Gray and Amanda Conner filled in on “Supergirl” #12?

Well, yes, in a way. To be honest, Mark liked what we did with Kara and thought Amanda and I could do something fun. Amanda, a year before, did a print of Supergirl with Krypto and Streaky people seemed to love, so when Mark suggested Supergirl, I spoke to Amanda and we both decided we wanted to do a strip that was both fun and at the same time adorable because we knew we were surrounded by a lot of heavy hitters. We knew going in that our strip was probably the quickest read of the bunch , but Amanda did such amazing work on them, I think a lot of people are really gonna fall in love with it.

Well this is certainly a very very different Supergirl than the one in Supergirl #12 and more in line with the print seen above.
I like that the decision was made to make this a fun and adorable strip. Much of Wednesday Comics is relatively heavy with kidnap victims being murdered, demonic serial killings, and terrorists flung from flying planes. Not that I am against heavier material. But the Supergirl strip is like a breath of fresh air. The supergirls at home love it and really marvel at the size of the art so I am glad I can share it with them.

Like Power Girl, Supergirl really seems to be right in Conner’s wheelhouse.

Amanda is one of the few artists in our industry that understands how to not only draw female characters that actually look their age, but her acting skills in the characters she takes on are some of the best anywhere. As well, she can also draw just about any animal and give it instant personality and we have a lot of fun with this, especially when a certain water-based character shows up later in the story with their buddies in tow.
It is true that you can look at Conner's Supergirl, Power Girl, and The Pro and get a sense of age and life experience. And their expressions are really spot on and priceless.
And now maybe Aquaman is going to show up in the strip? Didn't he have a pet walrus or squid at some point?

Speaking of Power Girl, you are also working on her ongoing series right now. What are the major differences between her and Supergirl?

Supergirl is a young girl and Power Girl is a young woman. They view the world differently, their posture and attitude are completely different and they have both experienced separate crucial events that have shaped their lives. The obvious thing is visually they are built different, but it doesn’t stop there. When writing them, I hear a completely different voice and with Supergirl, I hear a young girl’s voice that is full with questions.

That said, they are both powerful personalities and on that level and in the superpower department, they have a lot in common. I like to look at Power Girl as a brilliant woman with a temper and I look at Supergirl as a super-powered schoolgirl finding her way. Some can argue this, but this is the way I see the characters.
I completely agree with all of that. As I have said before, one of my draws to the character of Supergirl is that she still is becoming a hero ... that she needs to make mistakes, find her way, and come up with her own code. So I think it is great to hear Palmiotti say she is 'full of questions' and she is 'finding her way'.
That is pretty far away from Power Girl.

But the Supergirl of “Wednesday Comics” is totally removed from DC Universe continuity, of course.

Totally. I wouldn’t want to alienate new readers and because of how this is presented, it just wouldn’t make any sense to do that. This is classic Supergirl, classic super pets and the few guest stars we have in the strip are classic representations of the characters. You want continuity? Go buy a few dozen of the regular books. You want to have fun and enjoy your favorite characters weekly, stick around for this.

What else can you tell us about the story you are going to tell in “Wednesday Comics?”

Real simple: Streaky and Krypto are acting a bit weird and taking the city along for the ride and Supergirl is not only trying to clean up their mess, but at the same time worried about them and trying to find the answer to their problem. We did this in the most fun way possible.

It has read like a Warner Brothers cartoon so far with some over the top silly 'violence'. And it has been a lot of fun.

What others heroes/supporting characters will be featured in the story?

Well, I hinted at one of them earlier and the other is a character we have seen in two other series Amanda has drawn. Want more clues? Well, I suggest you pick up “Wednesday Comics” to find out. I am one of those people that doesn’t want the whole story laid out for me in a movie trailer and I like to think that most people like a surprise in their reading these days.

A character Conner has drawn in two other comics ... Terra? Any other guesses?

Who’s the villain?

That is an interesting question because it is not a “who” but a “what.”
I initially thought Scarecrow fear gas because I thought this was set in Gotham. Now that it looks like it's in Metropolis and since it is very classic DCU could it be red kryptonite?
I have really enjoyed Wednesday Comics as a whole. But this strip is one of the ones that really stands out.


Nikki said...

I thought that the superpets are wreaking havoc everywhere because of their super speed. I wouldn't be surprised if next issue is in keystone city or coast city. actually someone of newsarama said that Palmiotti told him aquaman would appear so even atlantis

Gene said...

I'm guessing that our water based character will be Jero the Mer-Boy.

I wonder if Supergirl will guest star in Power Girl's series in the future?

TalOs said...

Gene, I've had the extreme privilege to communicate with Jimmy up at Facebook on and off for some time now (man he's a really cool dude) and when asked if there was any chance of seeing Supergirl making a cameo in Power Girl's title he told me it's possible but it'd have to coincide with Geoff and co's own plans though. :/

Anj, if you remember watching Superfriends opening credits Aquaman has a pet sea-horse that he rode. ;)

Oh, and I think the 2 yet to appear guest stars in Wed Comics Supergirl will be Aquaman and Power Girl by the sounds of it. :)

Anj said...

I'm guessing that our water based character will be Jero the Mer-Boy.

Thanks for the post and the great idea.

Jerro makes way more sense then Aquaman! I bet you're right.

Gene said...

Thanks for the tidbit Talos!

Anj said...

I'm guessing that our water based character will be Jero the Mer-Boy.

Over on Newsarama, Didio confirms it is Aquaman who is in Supergirl's Wednesday Comics strip.