Comics made by local creators – a great way to spend break (part 1)

This and the next two articles are one part of my final project for my Online Journalism class.  They were written for a collaborative project on a different site, but I thought I’d share them here.  As both articles written for the final are over 1,200 words long, I decided to break them into 3 posts each.  Enjoy!

Erik Farrell wakes up after an attack by creatures called the Alku
Erik Farrell wakes up after an attack by creatures called the Alku

With winter break just around the corner, many students are looking forward to time off from school and enjoying the holidays. For any comic book lover, it’s also the time of year to settle in and read. This year, instead of reading something from the same few publishers, try something new and check out a few comics made by area locals.

“The Only Living Boy” is a comic about a young boy named Erik Farrell who runs away from home, somehow loses his memory, and ends up in a fantastical new world populated by creatures from out of a person’s wildest dreams. Writer David Gallaher is not only an ex Frederick resident, but he also attended Hood College. He and artist Steve Ellis bring this incredible story to life, mixing fantasy with various real-life issues such as school practices, childhood development, loss, stress, grief, identity, and many more.

“We call The Only Living Boy a cross between ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘The Island of Doctor Moreau,’” Gallaher said. “We believe it appeals to readers of ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ and a ‘Wrinkle in Time’ as much as it appeals to traditional comic book fans and younger readers.”

Gallaher credits his inspiration for the comic to an event that took place while he was working with the New York City Police Department. As he was leaving work for the day, the movie “I am Legend” was being filmed on the same block, which got him thinking.

Erik Farrell is in over his head in The Only Living Boy
Erik Farrell is in over his head in The Only Living Boy

“I wondered how much of a threat vampires would be to Will Smith. I mean, did you see him in ‘Independence Day’ or ‘Enemy of the State’ or ‘Ali?’ Dude is a bad ass. What would REALLY be something is if you had a 12 year old, pale gangly kid – without any skills or experience to speak of – battling monsters. That would be something,” Gallaher explained.

These ideas meshed with the song on the radio at the time – “The Only Living Boy in New York” by Simon and Garfunkel – and from that mixture, Gallaher had the idea.

“The Only Living Boy” has received three Harvey Award nominations, as well as acknowledgements from noted comic writers Mark Waid (Daredevil) and Ron Marz (Green Lantern). It is available to read on Tapastic (along with Gallaher’s and Ellis’ other work) and the comic’s website. It is also available for sale on the website, comixology, and for pre-order Amazon.

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