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Interview: Jimmy Palmiotti's 'Tattered Man' Tackles Horror and the Spirit of Vengeance

How the creative team behind Time Bomb and Jonah Hex bring a new take on horror comics.

If you're into horror comics, and have been searching for a completely self-contained new story to scare your pants off, you'll want to check out Jimmy Palmiotti's 'The Tattered Man' which hits comic stores tomorrow, May 25th, 2011. Published by Image Comics, 'The Tattered Man' is a chilling comic written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray--the creative team that brought us Time Bomb and Jonah Hex. We recently caught up with Jimmy to find out more about this creator-owned project, what the story is about, whether or not he likes to scare Justin during their writing sessions! We also have the first seven pages of the book below, so be sure to read them to get a feel for the tone of ' The Tattered Man'!

Comic Vine: Your latest project, 'Tattered Man' is a horror comic--what is the story about?

Jimmy Palmiotti: Its about the horrors that people can commit when they go to the dark place, the monster it can conjure. We follow a few horrible people that take advantage of a seemingly defenseless older man. Unknowingly, they unleash the spirit of vengeance and have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

 == TEASER ==

CV: Where did you draw your inspiration for 'Tattered Man'? How did you come up with the concept?

JP: Justin and I were bouncing around a few different ideas and we started to see how they could fit together into one bigger story. One [idea] started during World War Two and had connections to what's going on in the world right now. We have always been fans of horror tales with a sense of history involved and when we worked out the time table of the story, we were able to get the story we wanted to tell in a place where we were able to go out and start looking for the right artist for the project. We were really lucky to finally find Norberto [Fernandez].

CV: Which of the characters in 'Tattered Man' was the most interesting for you to write?

JP: The actual tattered man himself. To me, he is a character that is driven, surreal and horrific at the same time. He is a monster...a brutal killer, and at the same time an entity that has a purpose to exist. In a way, his job is an endless one, and his character a mysterious one as well. He attacks those that deserve it and cares not for any laws that mankind has set into place.

CV: What was it like for you working with both Norberto Fernandez, and why did you ask him to sign on to the book?

JP: We were looking for the right artist for this project for quite a while and when we were shown Norberto Fernandez's work, we asked him to do some samples. You can find these samples in the back of the book--one look at them and you will understand why we grabbed him up. He understood the story, the dark look of the flashbacks, and above all else he is a very clear storyteller. We got really lucky.

CV: 'Tattered Man' is a creator owned book being published through IMAGE, and if I had to guess it was probably a labor of love. Can you walk me through the process of trying to get the book published? How long did it take to get this project off the ground?

JP: The book took a bit over a year to put together. Justin and I put our own money into the book and Norberto did the book in-between much better paying jobs...something we really appreciate. The first draft of the book was much shorter than the book that's coming out and we went back and felt we needed to build on the story. We did this twice, actually. In the end, we have the book we wanted and since there was no actual deadline, we were able to give it the tender loving care it needed.

After everything was done and Bill had finished lettering the book, we sent it to Eric at Image Comics to see if it was something they would be interested in. They liked what they read and we moved on from there. Now the book is out and available on Comixology as well this week. Image has been a dream to deal with on all levels. They know what works, understand that new ideas and concepts need a home, and on the production end they have been awesome with us, from printing to publishing. It's a great relationship that makes it easy to continue to bring projects to them.

CV: Any chance you'll try taking 'Tattered Man' to Hollywood as either a movie or television series?

JP: As I learned, Hollywood comes to you if they want something. The book will go out there this week and they know where to find us if they want to. Honestly, all we care about is that the comic finds it's audience; that other stuff is just icing on the cake. Would it make a good TV show or film? In the right hands, sure, anything is possible. We leave that to our agents at ICM to figure out.

CV: Both you and Justin Gray have experience writing comics for a variety of genres--which is your favorite?

JP: I like any story where the reader feels there is a real connection to the main characters. We both love so many genres and we honestly feel we need to keep exploring any genre that is being neglected in comics. We know it's not a popular road to take, but as long as the story is smart and fun, we know we will eventually find an audience. Off the top of my head though, I would like to do more crime, romance and science fiction. The one comics ignore the most is comedy, but our next project with Amanda Conner will take care of that.

CV: What is it like writing a horror comic with Justin? Do you spook one another? How do you prepare?

JP: We scare each other every single day with the crap that comes out of our brains. OK, maybe not scare, but we do laugh a lot at how insane some of our ideas seem to one another. When we write together, we have so many different influences and interests that the final product is always an interesting amalgam of ideas. Overall, working with Justin is just plain fun and as long as it stays that way, there will always be a certain twisted joy in every book we do.

Check out the first seven interior pages below and let us know if 'The Tattered Man' is something you might pick up!

32 Comments Refresh
Posted by TheCheeseStabber

thought this was about Ghost Rider D;

Posted by NightFang
@TheCheeseStabber: Sounds like it.

interest peaked. i like the girl in the devil costume.

Posted by GoonFan_12

I WILL be grabbing this tomorrow and I WILL be writing a review if anyone wants an unsolicited opinion.  looks fantastic.

Posted by effletterhead

i kind of like it...

Posted by doordoor123

Seems interesting. I think you put too many pages in this article. Youre pretty much spoiling most of the comic.
If Palmiotti is writing it, ill have to pick it up.

Edited by No_Name_
@doordoor123 said:

Seems interesting. I think you put too many pages in this article. Youre pretty much spoiling most of the comic. If Palmiotti is writing it, ill have to pick it up.

The comic is like...50 pages long...Previews of single issues are generally 7 pages.
Edited by doordoor123
@Babs said:

@doordoor123 said:

Seems interesting. I think you put too many pages in this article. Youre pretty much spoiling most of the comic. If Palmiotti is writing it, ill have to pick it up.
The comic is like...50 pages long...Previews of single issues are generally 7 pages. 
Haha okay. Sorry. My bad.
Do you know how much money im going to have to pay for this?
Posted by GoonFan_12
@doordoor123 and @Babs: oh, there were pages in this article?  I was sold after I got to "if you're into horror comics" and I just stopped reading.  I guess I'll take a look at the preview.
Posted by cyberninja

Amazing, thank you so much comicvine.

Posted by carnivalofsins00

Maybe if I knew the price. It does look really good. :)

Posted by DarkShadows

Hm. Seems real interesting.

Posted by spystreak
a ghostrider in the 1940s would be awesome maybe they'll have that as Ghostrider Noir hell I'll write one myself got nothing better to do anyway lifes pretty free when you have no girlfriend or Job
Posted by Jackson_Hartley

 "An if I get a fix soon... I'll friggin die?"...

Shouldn't that be "And if I don't get a fix"?... I'm not really a grammar Nazi, it's just a tiny thing that my brain keeps coming back to. It's only a minor thing really, but I hope there aren't too many mistakes like that.

Not saying mistakes will make it a bad read, I just focus on little things that seem outta place; like realizing Whoopi Goldberg didn't have eyebrows in almost all of her movies or that Reba Mcentire has no upper lip. Once ya know it's there, ya can't help but notice it over and over.

Posted by Supachicken

I love it!!! Also a big fan of Horrors set in history, the art and feel works perfectly not to mention the obvious labor of love these artist have put into it!!! Can't wait to check it out :)

Posted by scarFromAguitar

why do I have the feeling this story will borrow a lot of aspects from the books (group of ppl dressed in halloween costumes) & (busting into old person's home to F ish up)


Posted by scarFromAguitar
@carnivalofsins00: according to comixology ... 4.99 ?
Posted by zombietag

looks kinda sweet.

WWII nazi stuff really freaks me out though, because it was real. what a tragedy.
Posted by PureKiwi
@zombietag said:
looks kinda sweet.

WWII nazi stuff really freaks me out though, because it was real. what a tragedy.

I totally agree. On one hand WWII can look great in a comics

But it's just teribble to do that. and the pages you put here are just scary...didn't like it

Posted by Eyz

I'd read/buy anything from Grey and Palmiotti!
Now, how about you guys made a mini focused around some other DC old west characters?
An El Diablo mini? The Trigger Twins?? Nope, any chance?

Posted by GiveUpNed

Looks fantastic! I only read horror comics, so this will be a great treat for me!

Posted by TDK_1997

I'm a fan of Palmiotti.
Posted by Out_of_Space

It looks good.

Posted by TheCheeseStabber
@spystreak: I love Noir be cool if there was a Hulk Noir lol
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

This sounds like the Rag man from DC

Posted by PureKiwi

OMG I just read those pages again...

On one hand those memories look so damn makes me shiver and I just feel like I don't want to keep reading [By the way, just so you'll know - I have a history final exam next month and some of the things that were written in this 7 pages were about those subjects that i have test about.]


The drawing and the story looks good [even though i'm sure that it looked much more terrible than it was done in the comics]. I don't think i'll be able to read such a thing. Maybe cause the drawing is done too real...

Posted by The Impersonator

The white-faced guy looks like Eric Draven from The Crow.

Posted by FallenComics

I think i might pick this one up.. looks like my style..I am currently reading IZOMBIE by vertigo comics

Posted by AsMadAsAHatter

wow this sounds really good! :D This is something i'd probably read more than 5 times.
Posted by aquaduck

My first thoughts is that this is a a Rag Man story ( that they wish they could do in the DC Universe, but due to editorial constraints can not.  I hope this is not so.

Posted by aquaduck
@spiderbat87: I'm thinking the same thing.
Posted by sa5m

Not sure for me maybe I shall see