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Creator Owned Heroes: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray Discuss Their Creator Team-Up Comic

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Just this week Jimmy Palmiotti announced that Junue will see the start of Creator Owned Heroes, a new venture featuring work by the likes of Steve Niles, Phil Noto and more. BF dropped by the Paperfilm crew to ask them a bunch of burning questions.

BROKEN FRONTIER: What is the concept of Creator Owned Heroes?

JIMMY PALMIOTTI: The most basic concept is a monthly book featuring mine, Steve Niles and Justin Grays characters in a revolving door kind of way- 3-4 part stories that feature wild concepts and ideas from us and showcasing some of the best art in comics. As well, we are setting up the back of the book in a magazine format to feature everything we can that has to do with creator owned properties and showcasing the things we love about comics, such as cosplay, meeting the fans, highlighting web sites, books and interviews. The first issue features a great interview with the coolest guy in and out of comics, Neil Gaiman.

We are experimenting with this book and having it hit your local stores on a monthly basis. Creator Owned Heroes is a celebration of creators pooling their efforts together and taking it out to the street. Another thing about COH is that we were getting frustrated as consumers spending their money on comic books that are 4 minute reads…the idea of spending $3-4 dollars on a 22 page action sequence that gets flipped thru in minutes is something we never want to do. Creating content beyond the initial two stories demands that the reader get involved and spend some time with us and in this day and age, I think its really important for us to make a connection to the retailer and fans.

JUSTIN GRAY: One of the things that appealed to me with comics was that you could get material in that medium unlike anything in the other mediums. What was once a very experimental art form that not only told stories with art and words, but also pushed concepts into new areas seems to be locked in a rigid set of genres. Comics were something of a forbidden fruit in that you could get mature and cultural themes presented in so many different ways.
 
BF: What made you decide to go this route?

PALMIOTTI: We have been talking for Bears about doing something monthly that we would be able to have some fun with and experiment with different genres. Steve and I, at a con, were comparing audiences for our creator work and found that a lot of them were different groups of consumers and thought mixing our work on a steady, on –time monthly title would help the retailers and as well, hopefully get the orders up better.

GRAY: Reading comics in my teens was a much different experience because you didn't have major networks and studios exploiting them, a lot of the material that is mainstream now was looked at as pulp or garbage. I don't think we get enough experimentation and genre bending because there's also the sense of a "tv show" in the making that goes along with concepts.
 
BF: Who is working on this book other than you guys and the creators you already spoke of?

PALMIOTTI: Besides me, Justin and Steve, we have two fantastic artists on the first arc: Kevin Mellon and Phil Noto. Our main go-to guy will be Bill tortolini, who has been our designer for the past few years and we even feature some of his work in the back of the first issue. It’s a story how we got to the actual cover design… which was more difficult than most people think.
 
BF: Your own title within COH is called 'Triggergirl6' with the aforementioned Phil Noto on art. What can you tell us about it at this point?

PALMIOTTI: Sure. TRIGGERGIRL 6 is a 4 part sci-fi story set in the future United States featuring an assassin created in a lab and sent on a one-way mission to assassinate a very important person. With Phil on the visuals, Justin and I got to write to Phil’s strengths and the work is just stunning. The story itself is a cool mix of action adventure with a beautiful hero leading the reader into what will eventually be something no one will see coming. We have been working on this for a few years and Phil is finishing the last chapters and its evolution is simply stunning.

GRAY: It also embraces that idea of telling stories that don't fit neatly into a specific category.
 
BF: Will each issue feature one fully developed story or not?

PALMIOTTI: The first few issues feature 4-part stories and as we get into the year, there will be some multi-part stories as well as fully developed one shots. We have all th books being worked on right now and we have a couple of guest stars coming that no one will expect to see within the pages. As well, we have lined up a pretty interesting list of eclectic interviews and articles for the back that will keep the readers head in the book long past the initial two stories.

GRAY: One of the many things we learned from writing nearly six years of single issue stories is how to compress stories, characters and ideas into a smaller number of pages. With that in mind we will be telling as many varied stories in varied genres as possible.


"Creator Owned Heroes" is a new comic coming from Image Comics this June.
The book will feature two ongoing strips - 'American Muscle', written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Kevin Mellon, and 'TriggerGirl 6', written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Phil Noto. The book will be priced at $3.99 and will come with two covers.

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