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David Gallaher on the Return of 'High Moon'

Russ Burlingame


Today is Halloween, so there are few better days to talk about horror comics -- which is part of why David Gallaher and Steve Ellis are out there pounding the pavement this week in support of the relaunched and remastered High Moon, their werewolf western originally published as part of DC's Zuda Comics digital imprint.

Papercutz is reviving David Gallaher and Steve Ellis's beloved comic series complete with an all-new conclusion, in 2017. You can see pages, and order physical copies of the book, at the comic's website.

Gallaher joined to discuss High Moon's revival and what's next for the beloved series.

Years after the auspicious debut, how does it feel to get High Moon back in the hands of new readers for the first time?

Steve Ellis and I have been champing at the bit to bring High Moon back. During its hiatus, we put a lot of our creative energies into The Only Living Boy, and with the final volume of that series releasing this month, we’re thrilled to give High Moon our fullest attention.

It’s a real treat to work with Papercutz’ Super Genius imprint and have these definitive editions available for bookstores and comic shops. Steve and I love this world we first created years ago, and are so enjoying going back into it together, and to share it with new and existing readers alike.

When this deal came together, was it a matter of new material driving the reprints, or the other way around?

When High Moon was first published in print, it contained three stories. A fourth story was written, illustrated and published online, but never made it to print.

That was a problem we wanted to solve for our fans and for ourselves. We’re equally excited about re-presenting the old material and creating new stories, but the completist in me is waiting for that unpublished story to make it’s print debut in the second volume, debuting next year. And then a whole new third volume after that.

What can you tease about the new 'High Moon' and how the process or product has changed since the old days?

Fans of High Moon will see the return of some fan favorite characters as we explore the life and legacy of Matthew Macgregor. In the spirit of the previous stories, we’ll have some pretty awesome and grotesque monsters to boot.

I’m not sure the process of creating the new stories has changed all that much—Steve and I still work together the same way. The stories are chockfull of history. I’m still fairly meticulous about the clothing, architecture, armaments, and such, which is always fun.

As far as the product goes, Super Genius made this new edition of High Moon significantly larger than the previous volumes, which gives the book a cinematic feeling that is really compelling. To make it more bookshelf friendly, High Moon is presented in a slipcase that allows it to be stored perfectly on a bookshelf or comic rack. It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s a definitive tome that includes some stunning new material for fans.

Was it tempting to go in and George Lucas the early volumes?

We’ve made a few minor alterations in these newer volumes of High Moon, including re-lettering the entire book, making minor color corrections, adding a few captions and clarifying the storytelling. The goal wasn’t to change the story or alter our fan’s interpretations of the characters. We had the time think about how we wanted the story to look and feel and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to make a ‘Director’s Cut,’ so to speak. We’ve added four pages of bonus material that I think will really enhance our readers’ enjoyment of High Moon.

If there was one thing you could tell readers who did not already know what High Moon was and why it's special, what would that be?

High Moon is a werewolf western that started as a webcomic, transformed into an award-winning, digitally pioneering adventure series, and is now available in a beautiful print edition. It’s the story of a stubborn son of a gun bounty hunter who hates watching the world change around him — and does everything in his power to prevent it.

During the course of events, he finds himself forced to make a decision to live like a beast or die like a man. That choice has deep ramifications for the future of the American frontier. If that’s not enough, it features cowboys wrestling werewolves, steam-engine golems, and giant sea rats.

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