In recognition of Father’s Day this weekend, THE SOURCE has reached out to a number of our books’ creators to talk about what this day means to them. How have their parents or being a parent impacted how they read comics? Up first is Jimmy Palmiotti, the co-writer of JONAH HEX and the writer of POWER GIRL and UNCLE SAM AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS.
“My dad has been gone now for over 20 years now and it still feels like yesterday to me. My memories of him and my mom together still comfort me till this day. My dad was a strong man in every way, the kind of strong that isn’t so easy to find anymore. He was a father to four boys, owned his own business and answered the call to arms in the Second World War. He and my mother stuck together till the day he died and after that day, my mother was never the same till the day she passed a few years back.
One of my fondest memories was that my father would, in his own way, support and involve himself in every single stupid interest we had as kids. He would go “all in” with anything that temporally caught our fancy and would always help us out to investigate whatever it was we were enjoying...and trust me, the interests went from movie making all the way to model building. When my brother Peter and I started to seriously collect comics, he would, on his single day off a week, take us into Manhattan from Brooklyn to go to a comic convention. This was a big deal for us since we were too young to go by ourselves into the city and as well, he would be missing whatever sport he would be enjoying on his day off…a bigger sacrifice then I imagined as a kid.
At one particular Phil Sueling comic show, which was in a hotel basement by the way, I had my eyes set on picking up CONAN #1 by Barry Smith in mint condition and had saved some money to find the best copy I could. I managed to get a mint copy for $20 bucks and went to show my father, who was walking around with my younger brother at the time. My dad looked at the book, looked at me and asked again how much it cost. He then asked me which vendor I had gotten it from, and told me to wait while he talks to the guy. I watch my dad go over, tell the guy he has some nerve charging a poor kid that had to earn his money shoveling snow after school a full $20 bucks for the book. Two minutes later he came back with a ten-dollar bill. My dad had become a superhero himself to me that day...ten bucks was like 200 bucks now…and I got to see my dad in action. He literally charmed the guy into not only giving some money back, but they smiled, laughed and shook hands. This, to me was a better super power than flying! I swore I would learn how to do what he just did and one day become as smooth as he was.
Now years later, I see how he influenced me, my work, my love for comics and my way of appreciating and respecting people while still getting something I want. It will always be sad to me that he has never seen me successful in comics, but I know he is out there, somewhere, getting a kick out of how I make my living and I just know he is over my shoulder watching me write this and thinking he probably could have gotten me a few more dollars off that comic.” – Jimmy Palmiotti