Friday, October 16, 2015

On the move: NYCC 2015

Having spent almost all summer in New York it was sort of like coming home to return for this year's NYCC (New York Comic Con) at the Javits Center. I've attended twice before and even though I didn't have a lot to do there, it was great to catch up with friends and peers in the industry, mainly in Artist's Alley. A bunch of Danes there this year as well but apart from a dinner on my first night in the city, we didn't really get to hang much.

Fighting a cold I brought with me from Denmark and bar conversations where we all had to yell to be heard over loud rock music, I pretty much lost my voice for a day or two. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I had brought some work with me. Holed up in the hotel room I was able to do a rewrite of a recently accepted YA novel, following my editor's notes. With no interruptions and spotty wifi ensuring I couldn't really get online to procrastinate, I managed about a week's worth of editing work in two days.

I seem to be spending less and less time at the actual show (one of the reasons being the thousands of people pictured above), focusing my networking endeavors on after hours events, dinner with friends and meet-ups in terrible bars. As always when in NYC, my friend and collaborator Chris Miskiewicz was my tour guide, introducing me to people and taking me to the cool spots, like a speakeasy bar over a burger joint that you wouldn't find unless someone told you about it.

Among other highlights of the trip was a random run-in with the guys from Pete's Basement podcast, who absolutely loved Thomas Alsop. As a little nod I decided to put them in the comic, so you can find them kicking Thomas' ass in issue #7. With the web and social media it's possible to connect with people all over the world and it's always fun to run in to online friends in the flesh.

The con was burdened by absent friends as well. Seth Kushner, who passed earlier this year, was a good friend and a big part of my entry into the US comics scene. According to Chris, Seth is the one who introduced us at MoCCA back in 2011, and his portraits of comics creators were certainly the reason I knew what anybody looked like. I'd stumbled over his site Graphic NYC, when I was researching for my trip. We never worked together except for Trip City, where Seth was the one who introduced me as "Danish noir artist" - a title I'm very proud of, as I think I'm probably the first person in history to be called that. As Seth said: "You've cornered the market!"

We've lost a great photographer and a great friend, nipped in the bud by cancer just when his writing career was beginning to take off.

It's a weird time for the industry with a lot of change going on. Editors laid off or changing companies, DC's big move to Burbank, the move from books to digital. Our editor, BOOM! didn't have a booth at the show and neither did DC. What this all means to the future of Thomas Alsop or myself is in the wind. But new contacts were made and people seemed to know who I was. Or at least they knew of the book. Regardless of what people may believe, breaking into comics is not an over night thing but more like a constant climb on a hill of pebbles. Luckily I have more than enough on my plate right now with projects in Denmark but I look forward to making a splash in the US again some time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

On the move: NEW YORK, NEW YORK

I am back in Brooklyn this summer, working on a big graphic novel project I can't really talk about. Not because I'm trying to be coy but because I signed a non-disclosure agreement. And it's all for specific in-house use and there won't be much of an announcement. The deadline for this project made me skip Comic Con in San Diego this year but going to the US in the summer has become such a habit at this point, both for me and the family.

The great thing is that in certain phases of the comics making process, I can work from pretty much anywhere. I've of course picked the hottest time of the year to work in New York because I'm clever that way. So my work clothes contains pretty much of a pair of boxers.

Most weekdays I get up and have breakfast with the family and help get the kids ready. When they're dressed and smothered in sunscreen, my wife takes them on a day trip somewhere - a park, a museum, a shopping spree - and after doing the dishes, I settle in with a cup of coffee at my computer. I listen to podcasts or audiobooks to drown out the noise from the fan and the construction site right outside the bedroom window while I'm coloring in Photoshop. Sometimes I take my lunch up to the roof to take in the breathtaking view of Manhattan. But mostly I just stay put and get red eyes from staring at a screen all day.

I wouldn't say it's hard work but it requires a certain amount of discipline to stay at my desk while the sun is baking down over the city and my wife and kids are out there having fun. But this is the way we could make our vacation work and be away a lot longer than if I had to go back to work in Denmark. My work/life balance is a pretty blurry line and so is my social life. I've been hanging out quite a bit with my friend and collaborator Chris Miskiewicz, talking about future projects and the comics industry as well as networking with new people - often involving a lot of beers. I've also managed to visit a few Thomas Alsop locations, like the 9/11 memorial and Trinity Church.

One particularly magical evening when I walked into Forbidden Planet comics in Manhattan 20 minutes before they close (at midnight) only to be approached by one of their staff: "You're Palle, right?" Turns out it was the owner, Nick, who's a friend of Chris' and a fan of Thomas Alsop. He recognized me because he follows me on Instagram.

So however futile all this social media, blogging and networking sometimes seems, there is the opportunity to connect and to meet new friends in unexpected places. And you never know what that might turn into. As I like to say: If you don't turn up to the party, you're never going to be asked to dance.

Right now my Wacom pen is dancing over the board and colors are spread across the pages on the screen while the deadline approaches like last rounds at the bar. Back to work!

Monday, June 8, 2015


What a fun weekend! The biggest, semi-annual Danish con, Copenhagen Comics was held this weekend in Øksnehallen and I was happy to be able to bring my friend and collaborator, Chris Miskiewicz, writer of Thomas Alsop to the event. Books litterally flew over the counter and it was hard to keep up with the signings and panels. Good show!

Our first signing at Fantask, oldest comics store in Europe, went really well. The staff told us they had ordered a bunch of US edition because they were unsure the Danish edition would be there for the show. The Danish book DID arrive and their worry of bringing too many books was brought to shame when they sold out the US editions on the first day. Boom!

After another signing later at Fahrenheit, publisher of both my books Blodets Konkubine (The Devil's Concubine in the US), STILETTO and the new Danish edition of Thomas Alsop, I rushed off to do a talk I had prepared called Creative Career Bootcamp. The room was PACKED and people seemed to get a lot out of my talk about creating a freelance career in comics and/or other artforms. I could have gone on for days about this topic (as people who follow my blog at will surely testify) but I think it went great for an hour talk. A lot of people taking notes and asking questions - and I could actually answer all of them!

Chris did a panel on webcomics and digital vs. print with my pal David Lloyd, known for V for Vendetta and his newest venture into on screen comics Aces Weekly who went on quite a few rants regarding people's addiction to paper. "You need to get yourselves into rehab!" he said with a grin, prompting the audience to reconsider the need for chopping down trees and installing more shelves in their apartments in order to enjoy comics. "We live in the 21st century and the distribution system is in place. We don't need printers, we don't need publishers, we don't need paper".

Lloyd's viewpoint was refreshing and I agree completely that if we can pay a lower price, save some trees AND pay our money directly to the creator, why not? I still love the feel and smell of a book fresh off the print though... If you want to support Lloyd's cause and get while it's hot, go subscribe to Aces Weekly, their great comics collective for original comics on screen.

I won't talk about the many, many fantastic people we met and the many, many drinks we had... Let me just say THANK YOU to Copenhagen Comics and the Ping Awards for another great show. Team Alsop salutes you!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


The long awaited vol. 1 of Thomas Alsop: The Hand of the Island is out TODAY! It collects the first 4 of 8 issues and is a glorious looking book. Kudos to BOOM! Studios for assigning a killer art team.

While my partner Chris Miskiewicz is signing at Forbidden Planet NYC tonight, I'm stuck with work and kids here in Copenhagen. BUT now I have a nice trade paperback to keep me warm!

The first review of the trade called it "excellent" and I'll be hard pressed to disagree. Now I am looking forward to seeing the first draft of the Danish edition which should be out later this Spring...

Friday, March 27, 2015


After a few false starts and close cigars, my 120-page crime noir graphic novel STILETTO is now available for English speaking readers. The first of three chapters is up on the online publishing platform Thrillbent and it's FREE. Go check it out here.

The insane cliffhanger at the end of the first chapter is sure to have people coming back for more, even though the next two action-packed chapters will be part of Thrillbent's paid subscription. But it's only $3.99 a month. Dirt cheap!

Thanks to Mark Waid for accepting the book on his site and to Patrick Yurick for establishing the connection. I owe you one, buddy!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Thomas Alsop FTW!

While we wait for the first trade of Thomas Alsop to hit the stores April 29, why not recap some of the amazing reviews we got:
This book is as much a story about Thomas Alsop’s personal awakening, as it was a personal awakening for me to see what a comic can truly do as an art form.
— Drunk on Comics Podcast

It’s incredible storytelling from both the writer and the artist and by far one of the best things being published by any company at the moment. Do yourself a favor and check out Thomas Alsop, the only thing you’ll regret is that it took you this long to read it.
— Comic Bastards

With Chris Miskiewicz keeping me on my toes story wise and Palle Schmidt continuing to blow me away with such a gorgeous art style, the team has me on the ride that is Thomas Alsop… It’s not every day that one finds such a great combination of original story and artwork.
— Fangirl Nation

Schmidt’s storytelling is superb and he uses both shading and especially coloring to great effect. Each moment has its own distinct feel and he manages to pull the reader immediately into different times and realms with deceptive ease.
— Bleeding Cool

USA Today called it Best Mini-Series of 2014 and I will be hard pressed to disagree. I haven’t read anything this good in a while…
— Pete’s Basement Podcast

Thomas Alsop has been my one of my favorite reads this year, and should be considered as one of 2014’s best new comics so far. Of course, this is highly recommended and a must pull must read series for all.
— Geek Sushi

This has been one of the most satisfying story arcs in comics that I’ve encountered in a really long time. Fun, funny, crazy, bold, edgy, fantastic, honest, human, tragic… I could go on. Thomas Alsop has become a very real person in just eight issues, and I’m sad to see it end. Score: 5/5
— This Podcast Sucks

Chris Miskiewicz has created a character that I can’t help rooting for, no matter how much of a jerk Alsop can be at times. The artwork by Palle Schmidt is spot on for this kind of tale, setting the right eerie tone without going too far. 10/10
— TMStash

One of the best horror comics on the shelves right now. Seek it out.
— Travelling Man

 If this doesn't convince you, I don't know.. Hey, did I mention that USA Today called it "Best Mini-Series of 2014"?

You can preorder the book from Amazon right here.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014


Last day here at Periscope Studio in Portland, where I spent most of my weekdays the past weeks since SDCC. I've been working on the penultimate issue of Thomas Alsop, arc 1, and rough sketching the finale. It's powerful stuff, I can tell you. But that's ALL I can tell you...

It's been great working here, in this very cool creative environment, people coming and going. New faces every day, but all friendly and welcoming.

Not a terrible amount of chatting, hardly any music ever, mostly it's an athmosphere of quiet concentration, interrupted by the odd photo reference shoot involving gun replicas and studio members posing in groups, on chairs, on the floors. Studio members have excellent phone habits, going in the hallway to take calls and speaking softly as not to disturb the workflow.

I've learned a lot and made a lot of new friends here, and I even managed to record a few interviews for the Comics for Beginners podcast. I talked to Steve Lieber about Periscope and the advantages of joining a studio. Listen to the episode here.

All in all it's been a great experience working alongside the talented people of Periscope. Now I'm looking forward to a bit of road trip with my family along the Oregon coast before driving up to Seattle, where I have a signing on the 20th at Zanadu Comics downtown. If you're in town, drop by! The signing is from 3-7pm.

So long, Portland - And THANK YOU PERISCOPE!