(May 11, 2020) Dark Planet Comics has debuted the cover and an all new preview sequence from Stephan Frank’s highly anticipated PALOMINO, the first part of a planned four-part graphic novel series that captures Los Angeles’ spirit, with hardboiled dialogue, honkytonk music, and details from the city’s weird and forgotten history. Dark Planet Comics is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund PALOMINO, which ends this Wednesday at 9:10 AM PT.
The year is 1981. The American Century is running on fumes, but the end isn’t anywhere in sight. The cowboy is still America’s most central symbol—and from movies, to music, to the President himself, it all hails from Southern California. Welcome to PALOMINO, cartoonist Stephan Franck’s all new neo noir graphic novel series, set in the lost culture of Los Angeles’ country music clubs.
The age of urban cowboys is in full swing. Cowboy hats and rhinestone suits are all the rage. Kenny Rogers “Lady” is Billboard’s number three song of the year. Dolly Parton is a national icon. And across LA, six nights a week, working musicians, TV actors, stuntmen, cops, hustlers, and broken souls all play their part in the cultural myth making. Most of them are just trying to survive—on the B-side of the City of Angels.
This is PALOMINO — where Farrah Fawcett hair reigns supreme, where Ronald Reagan is beginning his first term as President, and where LA’s hottest music spot is North Hollywood’s historic Palomino Club.
Stephan Franck is an award-nominated animator, writer, and director who has worked on some of the most beloved animated films of all time, including Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Iron Giant. For the last five years, Franck has been writing, illustrating and publishing SILVER, a graphic novel series that mashes up the world of Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula with action, adventure, humor, pulp storytelling, and modern sensibilities.
Here is what people are saying about Stephan Franck’s PALOMINO:
“Mulholland Drive, with a country twang.” —NEWSARAMA
“Well hot damn. To quote the great Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing, ‘AHAHH!!’ What makes a great and engaging narrative for me is frequently the synergy of character and place, of mise en scene…and to be blunt, Stephan Franck, in his new book, PALOMINO, delivers on those fronts in spades. His people, populating a beautifully depicted, too rarely examined piece of real estate in 1980s Los Angeles, are familiar and real, without ever becoming archetypes. To be clear, it’s been at least a decade since I’ve taken such unalloyed pleasure in reading a comic book. Trust me on this.”
—Howard Chaykin, legendary creator of American Flagg
“The Wild West lives on in an unexpected new form, with Stephan Franck’s new graphic novel series Palomino bringing cowboys and noir face to face in the least likely of settings: 1981 Los Angeles.”
—THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“This is f-----g awesome.”—Tod Goldberg, New York Times bestselling author of Gangsterland
“If you’re going to read JUST ONE dark graphic novel about North Hollywood’s ’80s country music scene (!!!), make it this one.”—LAist
“With page one, Stephan Franck hooked me with his noir-styled use of line and shadow. As the story unfolded, I found myself transported to a seedy world full of jaded yet funny, colorful characters all out for something and willing to use violence to get it. Oh, and did I mention PALOMINO is set in L.A.? More please.”—Shawn Martinbrough, artist of Thief of Thieves, author of How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling
“A unique premise that combines the largely-forgotten California country rock music scene of the early 1980s with a neo-noir LA crime story”—COMICS BEAT
“Franck’s latest neo-noir graphic-novel PALOMINO reads like a free-flowing gust of pure creativity, all the while unfolding with implacable structure.”—Elsa Charretier (November, Harley Quinn)
“Compelling.”—MONKEYS FIGHT ROBOTS
“Fans of the Coen Brothers will dig what Franck does in PALOMINO–he’s created a gritty noir in a corner of time and space that some would overlook as inconsequential. Instead Franck draws and writes characters that leap off the page–you can almost smell the beer and denim.”
—Marco Finnegan, writer/artist of the forthcoming Lizard in a Zoot Suit and artist of CROSSROAD BLUES: A NICK TRAVERS Graphic Novel
“A noir-styled exploration of the lost subculture of LA’s country western music scene of the ’80s, the myths the era created, and the people who believed in the promises the lifestyle offered.”— WOMEN WRITE ABOUT COMICS
“A dark, moody piece that’s rife with colorful characters and a killer setting, Stephan Franck’s PALOMINO is the rare noir that nods to all of the genre’s recognizable tropes but also crafts something new, memorable, and chilling. Enjoy the ride.” —Alex Segura, acclaimed author of The Black Ghost, and the Pete Fernandez Miami Mystery novels
“Creator Stephan Franck, known in comics circles as the man behind SILVER, the comic that chronicled a heist at Dracula’s castle, is back with a brand new title.”—COMICON.COM
“Strap on your western belt buckle for this ride through the other side of Los Angeles. Stephan Franck’s knowledge of place and well-wrought characters echo long after the last page turn. Like in all great noir, the ghosts are knocking, and Franck’s surefire world building is a whiskey-soaked, Honky Tonk tune of longing for an unreachable past.”—Jonathan Lang, acclaimed author of Meyer
“Franck’s storytelling is chock full of emotion and depth and this story sounds like he is going to hit it out of the park again.”—FANGIRL NATION
“PALOMINO reads like Spielberg took a cowboy story and wrapped it in noir. Jagged dialogue and sharp art take the reader into a story about dangerous people, high schoolers, and a world weary PI. A great, fun read.”—Dave White, author of the Shamus Award Nominated Jackson Donne series
“Deftly intertwine the noir and western genres with Los Angeles as the backdrop.”— FANBASE PRESS
If funded through Kickstarter, pledges will be delivered to backers this summer. The PALOMINO Kickstarter campaign is live as of Monday, April 13th and runs for 30 days, here: https://www.kickstarter.com/
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!