What are the great collaborations of our time? Simon and Garfunkel. Laurel and Hardy. Gallaher and Ellis? Okay, maybe not yet on the last one, but writer David Gallaher and artist Steve Ellis have slowly been carving out a niche for themselves in the comic book world, turning in fan-favorite cult runs on creator owned titles like High Moon and Box 13, as well as work on Marvel books like Winter Guard.
We recently caught up with the pair on the eve of the release of the last issue of Box 13: The Pandora Process, a sequel to their previous, wildly successful online experiment to talk about all their projects, including a unique one-shot as part of Deadlands, a comic book adaptation of the weird western RPG from Image Comics:
MTV Geek: Let’s first talk about conventions… You guys were at C2E2, and sold out of your books almost immediately. How has hitting the convention circuit helped build your fan base?
David Gallaher: Steve and I are pretty passionate creators. When we are at conventions, I think that passion really shines through -- and I have to say, based on my experience, our fans are equally passionate. Passion is contagious.
Steve Ellis: Sitting in your studio for many hours in the day requires you to sit alone and work with your own passion and excitement to fuel you. Going to conventions recharges you and it's an infectious feeling. It is a great release to be surrounded by similar people who share your enthusiasm. It is a personal relationship between us and the fans -- and gives them investment in the projects too.
Geek: There’s a ton of fan support for High Moon, it seems… What is it about your supernatural western that’s so resonated with people?
DG: I think there is a real hunger out there for new, interesting and compelling material. I like to think that readers get hooked on watching cowboys wrestle with werewolves -- you know the spectacle of it all -- and stay for the storytelling and worlds we've created.
SE: I think that people respond well to projects that come out of genuine place of inspiration, time, and effort. We take the time to back up the fun stuff with a real story, and a sense of history. There's a breadth and depth to what we've created. It's a double punch of flashy images and strong storytelling. We work hard to play to all of those elements in our stories -- and give our fans value with their reading experience.
Geek: Looking back, do you feel – for both of you – that your style has changed over the course of making High Moon?
DG: Hmmmmm ... Good question. I hope it has improved, and that we've only gotten better. Along the way, Steve and I took the opportunity to experiment and try different techniques of collaboration and story telling and I hope that has paid off in the long run.
SE: I think it has refined itself. I started experimenting with High Moon right off the bat -- but as I went along, I think it found its style and a solid visual voice. As fans know, each chapter has its own feel. Chapter Three, for instance, is different contextually than Chapter 4. The art reflects that. Read More...