As of April 13th, independent publisher Dark Planet Comics has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Stephan Franck’s new graphic novel, Palomino. The first in a four-part series, Palomino is described as a neo-noir graphic novel set in the culture of Los Angeles’ country music clubs. If that sounds a bit strange to you, it may be because most of these clubs died off in the 80’s, right around the same time period in which Palomino takes place.
From the Kickstarter: 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. The age of urban cowboys is in full swing. Cowboy hats and rhinestone suits are all the rage. Kenny Rogers’s “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.
The series comes from the mind of Stephan Franck, who is not only the author but also the founder of Dark Planet Comics. Franck credits the remnants of the L.A. country music scene as a formative artistic influence and says that this will be his most personal graphic novel to date. His previous works include Silver and Rosalynd, both of which are also available through the Palomino Kickstarter as higher-level backer rewards. You can find those bundles here along with more information about the project and a slew of intriguing art and finished panels, just in case you weren’t already sold on the concept. I’d also take a minute to look over the Dark Planet Comics merch– they’ve got a few cool shirt designs up for grabs.
Rough copies of the first part of Palomino are already being circulated for early feedback, which is overwhelmingly positive. Here are a few standout reviews:
“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)
“Fans of the Coen Brothers will dig what Franck does in Palomino…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
At the time of writing Palomino is already well over sixty percent of the way to fully funded and is expected to ship in the summer. Despite concerns involving the COVID-19 pandemic, Stephan Franck seems confident about adhering to that delivery period and is an advocate of projects like this, which allow for direct patronage of the industry and its key vendors. You can find more information on Dark Planet Comics HERE and don’t forget to check out the Palomino Kickstarter HERE to preorder your copy and take a look at the company’s available back catalog.