Country Music and L.A. Crime Collide in
Stephan Franck’s Graphic Novel Series PALOMINO!
The Neo-Noir Graphic Novel Series Returns to Kickstarter
With Two New Volumes Set In The Lost Culture of Los Angeles’ Country Music Clubs
Acclaimed cartoonist and award-nominated animator, writer, and director Stephan Franck has worked with some of the most popular characters of all time—including Spider-Man and the Smurfs — and has contributed to classic contemporary animation projects, including Despicable Me, How to Train Your Dragon, The Iron Giant, and Marvel Studios’ What If…? as head of animation and director. This spring, the LA-based creator is returning to a passion project: writing and drawing the graphic novel series Palomino, a neo-noir graphic novel series set in the lost culture of Los Angeles’ country music clubs. Franck and his company, Dark Planet Comics, are returning to Kickstarter to crowdfund volumes 2 and 3 of the planned 4-volume graphic novel series. Palomino Volumes 2 & 3 is now live on Kickstarter!
“Palomino follows the neo-noir, slice-of-life adventures of a man on thin ice,” said Franck. “Eddie Lang is a former Burbank PD detective, who’s a private investigator by day and a working musician by night. In the new volumes, Eddie dives deeper into the murder case of a former TV actress and quickly finds himself uncovering too many deadly truths. Meanwhile, his old-soul teenage daughter Lisette just might be even more hard-boiled than her father. Lisette’s frustrated by her father’s refusal to reopen her mother’s cold case and she decides to begin her own investigation. What could possibly go wrong?”
Stephan Franck’s PALOMINO Volumes 2 & 3
Set in Los Angeles in the year 1981, Palomino is perfect for fans of mysteries, hard boiled dialogue, music, lived-in slice-of-life, and Los Angeles’ weird and forgotten history. 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. 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.
Back in 2020, nearly 700 Kickstarter backers
supported Palomino on Kickstarter.
The series has received widespread accolades:
“Palomino sits alongside Sin City, Stray Bullets and other hard-boiled classics while singing with an original, uniquely authentic voice. Lived-in, brutal, mature…this is comic book noir at its best.”
— Zeb Wells (Amazing Spiderman, Hellions, Robot Chicken)
“Stephan Franck has the unusual gift of being a great writer and an even better artist. When I read Palomino, I did it in one sitting and then went back to read it again, this time taking my time enjoying the simple graphic beauty of this amazing collection. It’s simply a thing of beauty.”
— Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn; Starfire; Painkiller Jane)
“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
“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 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 Secret identity,
The Black Ghost, and the Pete Fernandez Miami Mystery novels
“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
“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
“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
“From the first panel, Palomino is a full-immersion buffet for the eyes, the soul, and yes, even the ears. You can hear the music rising up from the page. A propulsive mystery wrapped in a unique 1980’s noir Los Angeles that I never wanted to leave, Palomino is a masterwork of comics. It really is that good.”
— David M. Booher (GLAAD-Nominated writer of Canto, Firefly,
Killer Queens, and Dungeons & Dragons)
To support the project, head to Kickstarter.
For updates, follow Stephan Franck and Dark Planet Comics online.
About Stephan Franck:
Stephan Franck is an award-nominated animator/writer/director/comic book creator, who supervised the animation of MARVEL STUDIO’s “WHAT IF…?” season 1, and is currently directing new episodes of the series. He was a supervising animator on the cult classic THE IRON GIANT, and contributed story to DESPICABLE ME. He co-created the animated TV series CORNEIL & BERNIE (Nicktoons – Hub Network), received an Annie Award nomination for Best Director In a TV Program for the featurette SMURFS: THE LEGEND OF SMURFY HOLLOW. Equally active in comics, Stephan founded the comic-book publishing company DARK PLANET COMICS, and his graphic novel debut SILVER earned a nomination for the prestigious Russ Manning Award at San Diego Comic Con’s Eisner Awards. SILVER was followed by its prequel ROSALYND, and L.A. crime series PALOMINO. A new hardcover edition of SILVER is currently published by Abrams ComicArts.
About Dark Planet Comics:
Founded in 2014, Dark Planet Comics is an independent comic book imprint created by animator and graphic novelist Stephan Franck (The Iron Giant; Marvel’s “What If…?”). Our graphic novel debut series SILVER (4 volumes to date) made a splash with a nomination for the prestigious Russ Manning Award for Best Newcomer to the Field of Comics at San Diego Comic Con’s Eisner Awards, soon becoming an indy sensation. As of Fall 2022, Silver continues building on its amazing grassroots success as it joins Abrams’ ComicArts imprint.
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