Barbra J. Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: Last year, you were very kind to chat with me regarding the launch of your creative studio, Bottled Lightning, Inc., as well as the upcoming release of The Only Living Boy. What can readers anticipate from the printed version of this high-adventure story, and how do you feel that the story has evolved throughout the past eight years?
David Gallaher: When we started The Only Living Boy, the initial concept was this grim I Am Legend riff. We debuted a two-page mini comic of it in 2009 during the San Diego Comic-Con, but nothing much came of it. Over the ensuing years, we toyed with the series idea — going back and forth on the kind of story we wanted to tell. We removed vampires and the undead and focused more on unique characters, exotic settings, damaged heroes, and unrelenting antagonists. It’s been a fun journey.
BD: The Only Living Boy is a long-time collaboration with artist Steve Ellis. How would you describe your creative process in working together?
DG: Steve and I brainstorm a lot. Often for hours on end. Usually, one of us will have an idea. I’ll jot it down and flesh it out, run it by Steve, get some notes, and we’ll start building out a story. After the story is in place, we’ll work on laying out the whole thing and visualizing the world where these characters live. I’ll write a script, share it with Steve — and we’ll build everything from there. There’s a lot of back and forth — making sure we get everything to serve the story, but it is an incredibly immersive creative experience every time.
BD: Do you feel that your previous experience in teaching special education has provided a varied perspective or an additional set of tools that has aided you in creating this project?
DG: Absolutely. Teaching gave me the experiences to understand how children react to things, how they explore their environments, and how they adapt to new challenges. One of the interesting elements in The Only Living Boy is that we’re dealing with pre-teens just on the cusp of puberty. What they understand about themselves and who they are now — well — it could radically change as they grow up. It’s fun to watch these characters grow and evolve before my eyes.
BD: Given that The Only Living Boy is an all-ages series, what kinds of events will you be participating in this year to further encourage new readers?
DG: Over the next few months, Steve Ellis and I will be touring the country, giving #makecomics workshops for adults, children, teenagers, and seniors. Literally, readers of all ages. The workshops are designed to enhance the understanding and comprehension of comics as a visual language. Of course, we’re not just talking about how to read comics, we’re giving everybody the tools and resources to make their own. We’ve run the workshops several times, and the reception has really been tremendous.
BD: As Bottled Lightning continues, are there any exciting updates or plans that you would like to share with our readers?
DG: Outside of The Only Living Boy, we’re looking to bring out some more High Moon stories. High Moon was our first collaborative project, and it is fun thinking about that world and the universe. We’ll also continue conducting workshops and lectures throughout the country, empowering others to make their own comics.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about The Only Living Boy your work with Bottled Lightning?
DG: Well, this book is the first in a series — with future volumes to follow from Papercutz in summer and fall this year.
We also recommend than fans check out our website to get the latest about what’s happening with our studio. We also update The Only Living Boy website every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And, you can follow on Twitter at @olbcomic and like us on Facebook. If you’re a fan of high adventure, mischief-making, and roguish charm, I think you’re going to love what we’ve got planned.