One of the best parts of this gig is connecting with people whose work you admire and getting a chance to see what makes them tick. In the case of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, I find it’s doubly compelling because they’re a couple.
My wife and I have been together for close to 20 years and we’re in the same field. It’s really a joy to be able to talk to someone who understands the work, who has ideas, who understands the pains and the pleasures of the world in which you spend so much of your time, energy, anxiety and excitement. I consider myself really lucky.
I don’t know Conner and Palmiotti on a personal level but they just seem like a couple of cool cats who happen to do something I really, really dig. And they just got married this summer after about 18 years of being together.
When I started cooking up my old blog, I made a short list of people I wanted to talk to sooner rather than later. Conner and Palmiotti were on that list. They were incredibly gracious with their time and when all was said and done, I found we had enough material for not just one, or two, but three separate interviews.
Anyway, if you want to know all about Amanda, read this. If you want to know all about Jimmy, read this. And if you want to know all about the two of them together and how they navigate and weave their worlds as a couple, read this:
How did you meet?
Jimmy: We met when an editor friend of ours brought us together to work on a book. I was called into Marvel Comics to ink some Gargoyles covers over Amanda. We met and became good friends. It wasn’t till years later we started dating. We … have been together now for (about) 18 awesome years. This has been the healthiest and happiest relationship in my life and my hope is that it never ends. I got super lucky.
Amanda : Yeah, I tried very hard not to go out with Jimmy, but I couldn’t resist. He’s just too charming and fun. We became engaged thirteen years ago. … I’m so crazy about him. He makes me laugh every day.
Jimmy: See? Perfect woman.
What’s it like to collaborate? What happens when you’re bickering?
Jimmy: We bicker now and again when working together because we see the same thing differently and are both passionate about the work we do. Most of the time it’s something very stupid and we never let it stay with us for very long. When we fight it’s usually quick, painless and ends with a good laugh. It’s tough being right all the time.
Amanda: We hardly ever fight, but when we do, it almost always involves work. And it’s not really a scary fight, it’s usually one of those silly fights that you see in movies or sitcoms. Once we were driving around L.A. with Justin (Gray) in the car, and I think we frightened him a little, and five minutes later we ended up giggling and then poor Justin was just confused. We usually realize how goofy we sound by the end. Y’know, it’s tough being right all the time.
Do you share the same workspace or have separate offices/studios?
Jimmy: We have separate workspaces because I mostly listen to music and she watches/listens to TV. We do different jobs and sharing the same place would drive us insane.
Amanda: I have a studio upstairs, and he has a studio downstairs. It works out perfectly. It’s almost like we go to work at two different companies, and occasionally we’ll meet up for lunch. Having separate studios is probably why we’re both still alive.
What’s the best time you’ve had together working on a project? The worst?
Jimmy: The best is always something we both had a hand in creating. Right now it’s Captain Brooklyn. We are having a blast with that.
Amanda: I always have fun working with Jimmy. He knows how to write to my strengths. I’m really enjoying Captain Brooklyn right now, and I absolutely LOVED working on Power Girl and Terra. As far as the worst project? Hmmm… Probably deciding on what we want to do with the backyard.
Jimmy: The backyard is a zoo. Honest. There is so much wildlife in our yard. At night it sounds like a Tarzan movie.
When will you do more Power Girl?
Jimmy: I brought up that we would love to do a Power Girl/Terra hardcover if they were interested. We would like to consider it issue 13 because we ended on issue 12. No big response yet, but we are patient. I am glad they are reprinting the entire run into one book next year.
Does Justin Gray, if he really exists, live in the attic? Chained up?
Jimmy: Justin is the Houdini of comics. You can never really chain him up. The thing about him is he is a brilliant writer, but has limited time to make noise and get himself out there as I do. I do that job for the both of us and I think he is totally fine with it. I wait for the day he has all the time in the world and will do an “ I exist” tour with me.
Amanda: I think we should build an attic so that we CAN keep Justin up there.
Jimmy: Florida is the sixth borough of New York, didn’t you know that? Florida was a place that I always went on vacation to and each and every time I was down in the Gulf of Mexico or the Keys I used to think that one day, I would figure out a way to live there.
When my mother passed years ago, I knew I needed some different surroundings and we bought a beautiful home on the Gulf and we just love it. The area we are in, well, I found good pizza, good Chinese take-out and has a ton of baseball and nightlife. The only thing missing is a good bagel store. I like living where others vacation. Gives me a lot of time to work.
Amanda: There is a long story to how we wound up here. A story involving a diabetic, incontinent cat, and how she ended up finding this incredible place we live in now. I very much miss my friends up in New York, but the good thing is since we live in Florida, they always wanna come visit!
What’s it like to be the First Couple of Comics? Come on! You are!
Jimmy: I think of the Simonsons when you say that. I also think of Sarah Dyer and Evan Dorkin. I am glad you think that though. I think we are a good example of what works in a relationship. In the end it’s all about respect for each other’s craft.
Amanda: I thought Superman and Lois Lane were the first couple of comics. Or Peter Parker and Mary Jane. No?
A version of this story first ran at Parallel Worlds.