Back to Brooklyn With Jimmy Palmiotti

Palmiotti on Back to Brooklyn

Two brothers in the mob. One turns on the other.

Begin the shooting.

That’s basically the gist of Garth Ennis and jimmy Palmiotti’s Back to Brooklyn, a five-issue miniseries starting at Image in September. We spoke with Palmiotti for more about the story and the miniseries.

Click on the arrows at right to view a five page preview of issue #1

Newsarama: First off Jimmy, where did Back to Brooklyn come from?

Jimmy Palmiotti: It’s pretty much an idea that started a couple of years ago when Garth and I were sitting around saying, “Why don’t they make a fourth Die Hard movie?” So we came up with this idea that we thought would make a cool Die Hard movie in a bar.

NRAMA: The crucible of creativity. That’s where The Pro got started, correct?

JP: Right [laughs]. But Amanda [Conner] was there for that one. This time, it was me and Garth. He’d moved to New York by then, and we were talking about the way that Brooklyn is laid out – you’ve got the Russians in Brighton Beach, the Italians in Bay Ridge, downtown is the Jamacians – all these different mobs spaced out over the area.

So we did a lot of “what if” scenarios along the lines of “If Bruce Willis had to kill these mob guys, how would he do it?” Well, he’d probably start in Coney Island, and then work his way to Brighton and kill all the Russians there, and keep moving. We started writing this story and it kept building and building, and eventually we decided that it was something that we wanted to do.

NRAMA: Did you pitch it at DC or especially Marvel, given that it sounds like it could be a Punisher story of sorts?

JP: No – for what we had in mind, we couldn’t do it with a Marvel or a DC character, because it’s excessively violent. Look – it’s Garth Ennis, so with every comic from him you get seven gallons of blood anyway.

So we started working things out, and we worked a spine to the story – two brothers, both in the mob, one’s the leader, and the other is the button man for his brother. Something happens that is so over the top horrible that one brother wants to turn in the other. It’s something that happens that makes him say, “I just can’t do this anymore.” Even with all the killing he’s done and the things he’s seen, he just can’t take it anymore. He then goes to the FBI to turn in his brother, because it’s just too horrible.

That’s the first couple of pages.

NRAMA: And then the shooting starts?

JP: And then the shooting starts.

Of course, the brother finds out the other went to the FBI, and pretty much sics half of Brooklyn on him to kill him at that point. The perfect accompanying music would be the Run Lola Run soundtrack.

NRAMA: What can you tell us about the artist, Mihailio Vukelic?

JP: I can’t say his name. But he’s painting the book and it’s just beautiful. I met him at a convention three or four years ago in Philly. He showed me his work, and he’s never drawn a comic book before, so it’s taken him a little while to get it done.

We’re also doing it with Kickstart – they kind of helped us out and paid our way to do the book.

NRAMA: How does that work?

JP: We kind of partnered up with them. While the book is being worked on or even coming out, Jason Netter and his group, can shop it around to people who might be interested in it. That’s part of the deal, and that’s fine with us. Garth and I, along with the artist have to be paid for our work, and with Image, you have to bring the book to them finished. Garth has very expensive habits [laughs] and so do I, so we did this deal with Kickstart. We approached them, and they were totally for it. They’ll now go out and shop the book for us, while we can worry about making it as good as it can be.

NRAMA: So they have a piece of the pie of Back to Brooklyn?

JP: Yeah. At the end of the day, we really don’t care what Kickstart does with it, because the book exists on its own. What they do with it is what they do with it. If they find someone who’s interested in it, they’ll call us and tell us, If they don’t, we still got to work together to create a great book. It’s a win-win for us.

I’ve found that in a lot of instances, and especially in this business, the chance to work with someone on something that started off as a “Wouldn’t it be cool…?” are so rare, so we just had to make this one work.

NRAMA: Any last thoughts?

JP: Only to add that Garth is writing the full script on it. Phil Noto is doing an alternate cover, because he owes me money. If you love the Punisher, you’ll like it. This is like Punisher times 10 or maybe 50. There are no rules telling us that we can’t do things.

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