'All-Star Western' Interview with Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray

Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

If there is one series I am definitely looking forward to out of all of DC's 'new 52,' its 'All-Star Western,' written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with the breathtaking art of Moritat, which hits store shelves on September 28th. Fresh off the finale of 'Jonah Hex' which successfully saw into its 70th issue, Gray, Palmiotti and Moritat are taking the reigns of 'All-Star Western' to bring fans more stories featuring Hex set in Gotham long before the Dark Knight took residence there. While we're sure 'All-Star Western' will be chock full of saloons, murderous scoundrels and gun slinging action; we still couldn't pass up an opportunity to catch up with two of the creators behind the project below -- check out the full interview with Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti below.

Comic Vine: First, I wanted to say it was partly due to your 'Jonah Hex' series that led to my purchase of a pair of Cowgirl boots of my very own, so clearly I enjoyed the series. What is it like for both of you (Jimmy and Justin) to walk away from the series after 70 issues? Do you feel you accomplished everything you wanted to do?

Justin Gray: We were sad to leave the book and at the same time we felt blessed to have those seventy issues and to work with so many talented people in the process. Obviously we have a genuine affection for Hex and his world, but we’re able to keep working with him under the new 52 title.

Jimmy Palmiotti: I bet you make those boots look good though… [ you should include a photo of them] but yeah, we were bummed to not have the title reach 75…or even 100, but these are just numbers and we are looking at this next chapter in Jonah’s long history with a fresh perspective. Looking back, I know the 70 issues will one day make a nice series of hardcover collections and honestly, we never thought it would get past issue 13, so we have the fans to thank for that.

== TEASER ==

CV: The series (issue 70) ended on sort of a cliff hanger, is there a chance we will see a return of the young girl who appeared in that issue again, or have you closed the chapter completely on that series?

JG: It wasn’t so much a cliffhanger as a nod to the entire run. We touched on several elements from our 70 issues, the most important being tied to Tallulah Black and their child – who may or may not have been the same little girl in issue 16. The transition here is that those 70 issues are part of his mythology and therefore, because we used a non-linear style, we can use them anywhere we want.

JP: Nothing is ever closed that can explored in greater detail.

CV: The first issue of All Star Western #1 is set for release on September 28th, are you excited for the book's release?

JG: Personally I’m very excited and apprehensive at the same time. I feel like we’re staring at the mountain that was in front of us in November of 2005. Will the book have a wider appeal? Will people give it a chance even if it says “western” on the cover? Did we do a service to Arkham and Gotham City? I hope the answer is yes, but at the end of the day we collectively put together what we feel is a very solid and entertaining read.

JP: I am so excited I am doing three store signings that day in Florida at Coliseum of comics…and this is big for me because its very rare I do store signings anywhere. Just to be part of this launch is really special to us and having a first issue that I can honestly say people are going to love makes it even better.

CV: How does 'All Star Western' fit in with the rest of DC's 'New 52'?

JG: It is set more firmly in the DCU than was Jonah Hex. We’re exploring Gotham City, we’re exploring the early years of Amadeus Arkham before he founded the infamous asylum.

JP: It fits in because it’s new, exciting and a book that first time readers can instantly understand…which is really important overall for us. We wanted to create a book for fans of batman, fans of westerns and fans of great comics. We were given the opportunity to really dig in and try some new things out… and so far so good. As you can tell, I am pretty proud of the book.

CV: Will the stories in 'All Star Western' revolve around Jonah Hex, or will you branch out and focus on other characters?

JG: It is our sincere hope that we’ll have a strong enough following to allow us to bring all of our plans to fruition. We’re sitting on half a dozen concepts for reworking and rejuvenating other DCU western characters in much the same way we did with Hex. That is to say we’re keeping the core elements of those characters, what makes them interesting and blowing it open. Some of those characters are dated or never truly offered a modern explanation for their gimmicks. I’m looking at you Trigger Twins.

JP: We were approached with the idea for the title and told to run with it and the back up stories. So far we have an established character El Diablo in a 3 -part story illustrated by Jordi Bernet, and next up is something special for us, as you will soon learn. We get to work with a creator we have a history with on a character with no established history. The cool thing is we are encouraged to experiment by our editor and buddy, Joey Cavaleri. I have been working on and off with Joey since my marvel days before Marvel Knights and it’s a real pleasure to be working with him again.

CV: Do you plan on introducing new characters? Will we see appearances from other known characters like Tallulah Black?

JG: I’ve always stood by the idea that if Tallulah is used the story has to be important. We have such a love of that character and a need to protect her integrity that we don’t want to use her casually. As for other characters? Aside from the back-up stories, yes we fully intend to incorporate all of them wherever possible as long as it makes sense as a story.

JP: Honestly, I think its one of mine and Justin’s strengths-creating new characters. We have a rich history doing so on most of our past books and will not stop here. The cool thing is to look at the landscape of the world at that time and the D.C. universe and see how these characters might fit. There is so much cool stuff planned, I hope everyone gives us a chance to get it out there.

CV: Will any of what we saw in Jonah Hex resurface in this new series?

JG: There’s no reason it shouldn’t if the situation is right.

JP: Its still Jonah…so yeah, I don’t see why not.

CV: What's the coolest thing about writing a western and Hex, in your opinion?

JG: It is cathartic and creatively liberating because you have this unique set of rules that are grounded in realism and yet you can still develop very complex and relatable character interactions. Plus the sex and violence is fun.

JP: Jonah is character that we all can relate to…he has no super powers, has a bit of a temper, has a strong understanding of what is right and what is wrong, has some family problems and in certain light, he can look good and at other times he can look bad.I relate to him and have always been fascinated with stories of the this time period.

CV: Will All Star Western be confined to "old west" Gotham, or do you have plans to expand the universe?

JG: The funny thing is that we originally had a plan where Hex would be the shovel that dug up the family lineage of certain DCU heroes; the ancestors of well-known modern characters would surface in the book. Some concepts that feuds or similarities between heroes and villains could have started in the 19th century. At one point we discussed the idea of the Jordan’s and the Hammond’s in a sort of OK Corral scenario. Something along the lines of the great Ostrander and Truman series The Kents, but with a larger canvas. Right now we’re doing that to a certain degree with Arkham and Gotham.

JP: The book will evolve…and never be confined.

CV: What is it like working with Moritat? Can you explain your interaction/ how do you work together?

JG: His work is inspirational. He’s so dedicated to perfection in not only what you see, but also what you don’t see at first glance. His storytelling is spot on, his eye for detail and research for grounding the reality of the story is fantastic. We talk, we email, we send research imagery and ideas back and forth.

JP: I have always been a fan of his work and when he started to draw the Spirit, I fell in love with his art even more. When he was first spoken about for the book, we told Joey we love him as a choice…but didn’t know what we were in for. The first pages came in and we were blown away with the attention to detail and the mood he set up. I got to talk to him more at San Diego con and he is so cool and nice, I am hoping this is a long time relationship with Jonah and us. I will be buying some of these original art pages from him, given the chance.

Need more convincing? Take a look at images from the book as well as a promotional video below.

Source: Some interior pages courtesy of Newsarama

#1 Posted by Benzo (621 posts) - - Show Bio

My most anticipated book of the relaunch!!!!!

#2 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33050 posts) - - Show Bio

The art is amazing, huge fan of Hex and I'v been really looking forward to this

#3 Posted by shawn87 (2095 posts) - - Show Bio

Love that picture of old Gotham

#4 Posted by The Stegman (23952 posts) - - Show Bio

i'm going to pass, nothing against Hex, but i just really, really hate westerns

#5 Posted by sj_esposito (457 posts) - - Show Bio

I really can't wait to read this.. It looks so amazing.

#6 Posted by longbowhunter (7047 posts) - - Show Bio

This looks GREAT!! Definitely the book I'm most looking forward to buying Wednesday.
#7 Posted by CrimsonTempest (307 posts) - - Show Bio

Hmm... Palmiotti and Gray just convinced me. I'm buying it.

#8 Posted by mikeclark1982 (424 posts) - - Show Bio

the pink glowy lady... can not wait to see where she will pop up!

#9 Posted by badaboop (137 posts) - - Show Bio

This looks good, going to get it on Wednesday. The 28th's actually a big day now that I recheck the list of comics coming out that day.

#10 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Hot damn this looks so freaking good! Palmiotti, Gray...hire me to help you with the book! I have my graduate degrees in Civil War/Reconstruction history and Western history! Hehe but seriously this title looks awesome. Darn it I would love to get it too from all the nice art I've seen. Two things you gotta love about the era: the corset (hot damn!), and the Gatling Gun. Go Hex!

#11 Posted by Renchamp (2362 posts) - - Show Bio

Hmm, I may end up buying a DC book after all.

Moderator
#12 Posted by Daveyo520 (2447 posts) - - Show Bio

Old Gotham you say? I will probably get this.

#13 Posted by Jolt92 (174 posts) - - Show Bio

This shit is on my pull list, looks amazing. Never read Jonah Hex before though.

#14 Posted by NightFang (9983 posts) - - Show Bio

Good interview and the art is amazing.

#15 Posted by TheOptimist (713 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope that people give this book a chance. I hope it deserves that given chance. I hope it maintains the quality of the previous series, as well as the loyalty of its fanbase. So clearly I have a lot of hopes for this series.

I read some the Jonah Hex books. I read issue #1 when it came out, I read issues #50 and the finale when they came out, along with a host in between, but I never added it to my pull list, a fact that I now see as a bit of a mistake. With the new start, I plan to avoid making this mistake again.

And on the cowboy boots, I concur with JP... PPOR. :-p

#16 Posted by JonesDeini (3620 posts) - - Show Bio

@Benzo said:

My most anticipated book of the relaunch!!!!!

If this wasn't 3.99 I'd be all over it. Hopefully Hex won't stay in Gotham too long, because I'll get more than enough of that locale in like 12 other books. I really want to see Hex out west.

#17 Posted by Knight Train (113 posts) - - Show Bio

Looks great, i hope not all the woman are prostitutes, people tend to forget that woman did more during the wild west than selling their bodies

#18 Posted by Graanvlokkie (4 posts) - - Show Bio

I am going to add this to my list of DC books to pull every month, which is a big decision for me.

Before Batman #1 I had never read or thought about reading a DC comic, never mind actually paying money for one, and I only bought Batman #1 because I enjoyed Snyders writing in his Severed series.

This, though, seems very different from DC's normal superhero universe, which I am not a fan of, so I hope they dont make it too "DC superhero'y" (for the lack of a better word). I will give this a try. If they have changed the premise too much I might just drop it and look at getting the previous series.

#19 Posted by fitchy101 (205 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Westerns, I like Gotham... Hmmm might be picking this up.

#20 Posted by Green ankh (998 posts) - - Show Bio

I was only thinking of picking this up this week. But now i am all hell ya....Hex and Aquaman cant wait for 28

#21 Posted by gangly (107 posts) - - Show Bio

@Knight Train said:

Looks great, i hope not all the woman are prostitutes, people tend to forget that woman did more during the wild west than selling their bodies

Damn straight. They had babies too! Hey-o!!!

Seriously though, you're completely right. And if there's anything I can rely on Gray and Palmiotti for, it's creating strong, compelling women. Let's hope it transfers into this book too.

#22 Posted by The Impersonator (5383 posts) - - Show Bio

"Plus the sex and violence is fun." YEE-HAW!

#23 Posted by MetropolisKid41 (515 posts) - - Show Bio

THis looks fantastic, at first I wasn't sure on it, but now its a definite pick up for me. I'm loving all of the new #1's. that I've read so far, I haven't been disappointed by one yet.  
 
I'm pumped for tomorrow. If 3 months ago you would have told me that I'd be pumped for a book starring Deadman or book called I, Vampire I would have told you you're full of crap, but now I can't wait! 
 
It'll be interesting to see the sales numbers for September
#24 Posted by Jzalcatraz (9 posts) - - Show Bio

has no one noticed that this book is a "western" set in the "old west" about cowboys and saloons etc yet it takes place in Gotham city which is on the EAST COAST. am I the only person that noticed this? if it was called jonah hex again instead of all star western then i could have accepted it as a cowboy guy traveling to the east coast with the big cities and stuff but i think its just kind of stupid to have a series called all star western and not have it take place actually in the WEST

#25 Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jzalcatraz said:

has no one noticed that this book is a "western" set in the "old west" about cowboys and saloons etc yet it takes place in Gotham city which is on the EAST COAST. am I the only person that noticed this? if it was called jonah hex again instead of all star western then i could have accepted it as a cowboy guy traveling to the east coast with the big cities and stuff but i think its just kind of stupid to have a series called all star western and not have it take place actually in the WEST

I always associated Gotham with Chicago -- Mid West.

#26 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33050 posts) - - Show Bio
@Babs said:

@Jzalcatraz said:

has no one noticed that this book is a "western" set in the "old west" about cowboys and saloons etc yet it takes place in Gotham city which is on the EAST COAST. am I the only person that noticed this? if it was called jonah hex again instead of all star western then i could have accepted it as a cowboy guy traveling to the east coast with the big cities and stuff but i think its just kind of stupid to have a series called all star western and not have it take place actually in the WEST

I always associated Gotham with Chicago -- Mid West.

I always thought of it as Detroit 
#27 Posted by Jzalcatraz (9 posts) - - Show Bio

according to the wiki "the Atlas of the DC Universe states that Gotham is located in New Jersey, across the Delaware Bay from Metropolis, which would place it on the southern coast of New Jersey." and "Historically, "Gotham" has been a nickname for New York City" to be fair though it also says that Gotham has a lot of inspiration from Chicago

#28 Posted by Jzalcatraz (9 posts) - - Show Bio

and even if gotham was in the midwest like Chicago or detroit that still doesnt count as the "Old West". there were no cowboys and saloons and stuff in the Mid-west. The Old West in the sense that everyone knows it specifically refers to the SOUTH west meaning California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. If they wanted a DC city durring the Old west time period with cowboys the only qualifying city would be Coast City (Green Lantern) since its in CA. I know its just a comic book and i shouldnt care but i just thought i would point this out since no one seemed to notice

#29 Posted by gangly (107 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jzalcatraz said:

has no one noticed that this book is a "western" set in the "old west" about cowboys and saloons etc yet it takes place in Gotham city which is on the EAST COAST.

I consider the term "Western" to simply be a genre description, just like "Horror" or "Comedy". It implies that the story takes place during The U.S.'s time of westward expansion, but doesn't necessarily take place in the west. It can even more broadly describe a story that focuses on that time's pioneer life. Like Firefly can be rightfully called a western, even though it's removed geographically and temporally from what you're talking about.

Basically, it's just a state of mind, man! ;)

@Babs said:

I always associated Gotham with Chicago -- Mid West.

@spiderbat87 said:

I always thought of it as Detroit

Hmmm. I clearly saw it as an east cost local, but maybe that's because I'm from the east coast, so I'm biased. ;) Really though, even though the city changes depending on who's writing it, Gotham Harbor is a constant, and it seems big enough that it must have been a major port city back in ye olde tymes. Even the art for All-Star Western shows some pretty tall ships behind the buildings.

Also, I've read that the map from No Man's Land is vaguely considered canon. Sort of.

#30 Posted by Jzalcatraz (9 posts) - - Show Bio

@gangly said:

@Jzalcatraz said:

has no one noticed that this book is a "western" set in the "old west" about cowboys and saloons etc yet it takes place in Gotham city which is on the EAST COAST.

I consider the term "Western" to simply be a genre description, just like "Horror" or "Comedy". It implies that the story takes place during The U.S.'s time of westward expansion, but doesn't necessarily take place in the west. It can even more broadly describe a story that focuses on that time's pioneer life. Like Firefly can be rightfully called a western, even though it's removed geographically and temporally from what you're talking about.

Basically, it's just a state of mind, man! ;)

I can understand that. thats a good point. I love firefly and never thought about all star western that way. i suppose that makes sense.

#31 Posted by gangly (107 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jzalcatraz: Nice. The points you made are good ones too, though. Especially about Coast City. Which makes me extra excited that Gray and Palmiotti are considering some kind of old time feud between the Jordan and Hammond families in this book!

I really hope they take us all around North America for this one. From a well established, actual "City" like Gotham. To Coast City, which at the time could have been more like 2 saloons, a trading post, and a barber. I'd REALLY love to see some stories from the Native American's POV too. Or at least incorporating them heavily into the plots. (not sure if they did this at all in their previous Hex run) Fingers Crossed!

#32 Posted by Billy Batson (57957 posts) - - Show Bio

Can not wait.
BB

#33 Posted by dr.x (553 posts) - - Show Bio
@gangly said:

@Jzalcatraz said:

has no one noticed that this book is a "western" set in the "old west" about cowboys and saloons etc yet it takes place in Gotham city which is on the EAST COAST.

I consider the term "Western" to simply be a genre description, just like "Horror" or "Comedy". It implies that the story takes place during The U.S.'s time of westward expansion, but doesn't necessarily take place in the west. It can even more broadly describe a story that focuses on that time's pioneer life. Like Firefly can be rightfully called a western, even though it's removed geographically and temporally from what you're talking about.

Basically, it's just a state of mind, man! ;)

@Babs said:

I always associated Gotham with Chicago -- Mid West.

@spiderbat87 said:

I always thought of it as Detroit

Hmmm. I clearly saw it as an east cost local, but maybe that's because I'm from the east coast, so I'm biased. ;) Really though, even though the city changes depending on who's writing it, Gotham Harbor is a constant, and it seems big enough that it must have been a major port city back in ye olde tymes. Even the art for All-Star Western shows some pretty tall ships behind the buildings.

Also, I've read that the map from No Man's Land is vaguely considered canon. Sort of.

 

Yes Gotham is  on the East Coast, but that does not mean  it was any differtain then any  late 1800's from  where this time line is set in though so it fits .
#34 Posted by CODYSF (2053 posts) - - Show Bio

Jonah Hex is a pimp

#35 Posted by Michiel76 (182 posts) - - Show Bio

How cool would it be if hex wanders into the batcave has a fight and loses his gun there, and then in the future batman finds this gun in one of his books?

#36 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

I was such a huge fan of Jonas Hex's previous modern series... I hope this holds well. Also, I still want them to explore the Trigger Twins at some point!

I love the old west-era DCU! So many fun and original concepts and characters!

Though I'll continue following this one through TPBs as the past series. Lots of people I know who don't like or hate american comics books liked Jonah Hex! (looong before the dread-awful movie)

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