The following is an interview with Palle Schmidt on the upcoming release of the crime noir comic book series, Stiletto, from Lion Forge. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Schmidt about the inspiration behind the series, his creative process in working with Lion Forge to expand the original story, what readers can anticipate from the series, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your crime noir series, Stiletto, through Lion Forge! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series’ premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Palle Schmidt: STILETTO is a 3-part, gritty neo-noir full of twists and turns, corruption, betrayal, and greed. The brutal slaying of two police officers guarding a material witness pin detectives Alphonse and Maynard against their toughest adversary yet. But as they get further into their investigation, they uncover a leak inside the police department known only as “Stiletto”…
While the book is heavily influenced by police dramas of the ’60s and ’70s like Bullitt, French Connection, Serpico, I wanted to do my unique take on the dirty cop genre. I was also inspired to take a look at the role of the modern man and the pressure of juggling between a stressful job and having a home life, having taken on way too many obligations. I’m sure some of the readers can relate!
BD: The release from Lion Forge will be a translation and expansion of your original Pingprisen Award-nominated series. What can you share with us about your creative process in working with Lion Forge for this update to the project?
PS: Well, first off the Lion Forge version is a bit longer than the original. It was great to be able to revisit my work and add some extra texture and clarity to the story. I worked closely with a great editor, Greg Tumbarello, who helped me really sharpen the storytelling. I also had the chance to draw three new covers, as the Danish book was one volume.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
PS: Other than pure entertainment, I always aim to tackle what it means to be human somehow. But I hope that anyone fans of the crime noir genre will feel STILETTO takes it new and unexpected ways. Hopefully, the roller coaster will take some turns and dips you don’t see coming!
BD: Do you have plans to expand the Stilleto world into additional graphic novels or an ongoing comic book series following this 3-issue series?
PS: There are no plans as of yet. But for people left wanting more, they can find The Devil’s Concubine from IDW which STILETTO is sort of a spin-off of more than a sequel. Both books are self-contained, finished arcs, very different in style and tone, but some of the characters and themes overlap.
BD: If given the opportunity to expand your series into other entertainment mediums, in what format do you hope to see it adapted?
PS: I’ve had talks with movie people both about STILETTO and The Devil’s Concubine, none of which has resulted in a movie. But since my approach to comics is very cinematic, I certainly wouldn’t mind to see some of my stories told in that medium. I took a 1-year master class in screenwriting at the Danish Film School, but so far only one of my scripts was used for an animation short and this was years ago. I just want to tell stories and care less about the medium. I’ve written fiction, short stories, YA novels, comics, role-playing games… Wherever I can get my ideas out into the world!
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
PS: I’m currently writing a series of crime novels for the Danish market that I’m really enjoying. For the English-speaking reader, I might have an announcement in a month or two, but I can’t really divulge anything at this point.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Stiletto?
PS: The best thing they can do is pre-order it at their local comics store. We need to keep those little havens going! But I’ve put together some sample art and info on a page on my site.