DRAWN & QUARTERED
"High Moon," by David Gallaher and Steve Ellis, won a spot for a year on Zuda Comics' Web site in a monthly contest. Zuda is a subsidiary of DC Comics.
Horror on the Web
The online comic "High Moon" combines genres as it wins over fans
With thousands of online comic "books" and strips available on the Internet, regular corporate and independent publishers are using the World Wide Web to cross-market their printed comics on their sites. At DC Comics, they're taking it one step further by offering a subsidiary of exclusive comics on the Web.
Go to Zudacomics.com to see how DC does it. Each month, fans and fellow creators vote for one of 10 comics to continue as a regular Web offering on the site. A previous winner includes a writer with some Hawaii ties.
Writer David Gallaher and illustrator Steve Ellis have created the horror-Western "High Moon." A gruff bounty hunter investigates a series of strange goings-on in a hard-scrabble Texas town -- trials include werewolves that appear during hot summer nights, plus the secrets of his own past, which include witchcraft and the supernatural. It makes for lively reading, and is perfect for fans of fellow horror-adventure comics creator Dan Brereton's work.
Using a 4:3 aspect ratio to fit a computer screen, Zuda Comics are hoping, with this ongoing competition, that it will discover the next hot comics talent.
Gallaher, now living in New York, grew up as part of an Army family. "I was born at Tripler and my family and I lived on Schofield Barracks for a while," he said via e-mail. "These days, my parents head back to Oahu several times a year; it is almost like a second home to them. But I was certainly a military brat, and we moved around quite a bit, with stints in all sorts of colorful towns."
"As far as my serious career choice to write comics," he said, "I think it first came out of all the exposure I had to comics and superheroes when I was growing up. Between the 'Superman' films, 'The Incredible Hulk,' and the 'Super Friends' (TV shows), my imagination was saturated with these awesome heroes. I didn't start reading comic books seriously until I was in my teens.
"After high school, I went to Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt., where I decided to essentially major in comics, studying the history, theory and production of the medium. I was able to parlay that into an internship, and later freelance work, at Marvel Comics. Since then, I have developed several advertising campaigns for clients like CitiBank and the NYPD. Now, I'm writing for DC Comics, and I couldn't be happier," said Gallaher.
Some hopefuls for March include, clockwise from top left, "The Litterbox Chronicles," "The Black Cherry Bombshells," "Day of Prey" and "Laura's Bazaar."
GALLAHER SAID he's known Ellis professionally for several years, "but it was only when I saw him at the New York Comic Con last year that that we decided to work together on this project. I had always liked his work, particularly on 'Crimson Dynamo' (for Marvel's Epic Comics line) and 'The Silencers' (for Moonstone Books), but I think his work on 'High Moon' is really pitch perfect. He really is an amazing talent."
Gallaher and Ellis won Zuda's November competition, which means their comic continues on a regular basis for a year's time on the site. "The contract we have signed with DC lets us get paid for the work, while earning a portion of the profits from merchandising rights and media options," Gallaher said.
The next installment of "High Moon" can be seen at zudacomics.com/high_moon starting Tuesday.
Other previous winning comics on the Zuda Comics site include "Pray for Death" (by Nicholas Doan and Daniele Serra), "Supertron" (Sheldon Vella) and "Road" (Eddie Sharam and James Woodhead).
And you can help determine this month's winner. This month's 10 comics include fantasy ("Among the Silver Stars," "Laura's Bazaar," "Rojo Fernandez: Son of Wind" and "Yuletide"), humor (the zombie-fighting "The Black Cherry Bombshells," "Day of Fish," "The Litterbox Chronicles"), whimsical all-ages ("Little Inventor"), "manga-inspired modern-day mythology" in "Sam & Lilah," and something called "Tiempo," described as "the last work of a great watchmaker before dying."
And, what do you know, not a superhero between them all ...