Review: ‘High Moon’ Volume One
Dave Gallaher & Steve Ellis
DC Comics, 192 pages, $14.99
DC’s online imprint, Zuda Comics, has certainly been a hit or miss affair but when it hits, there’s a pleasure in discovering new talent or new concepts. While [[[Bayou]]] was a breakout hit, the most consistent entry remains [[[High Moon]]], written by former ComicMix contributor Dave Gallaher, illustrated by Steve Ellis and lettered by Scott O. Brown.
Gallaher had this notion for years but managed to earn one of the inaugural slots when Zuda went live in late 2007 and the strip won the first reader contest. It has since received plaudits from around the field and now DC is releasing the first three stories in a trade paperback.
The three stories comprising the first volume mix the western and horror genres with a dash of steampunk and overly, it’s a breezy, entertaining read. The focal point surrounds the Macgregor family, a line of detectives, currently working as a branch of the famed Pinkertons. Matthew Macgregor takes center stage in the first story while brother Tristan arrives for the second tale and then Tristan and Fergus deal with demons in the final tale. Linking all three, though, is Eddie Conroy a werewolf with a haunted past.
Each tale takes place in a different locale, starting with the drought-stricken Blest, Texas, then moving on to Ragged Rock, OK before concluding in South Dakota.
Across these stories are vampires, werewolves, demons, sexy Indians and a lot of atmosphere. We are given details in drips so reading the three stories in one sitting helps build the world of High Moon and it’s a nice place to visit. Gallaher’s dialogue is spare and distinct while Ellis works wonders with the static format of the Zuda reader, playing with page design when the action demands it. His use of color goes a long way towards giving the strip a nice atmosphere.
We could use a little more grounding in the time and place when these stories take place and what the ground rules are for the occult aspects but these are minor quibbles for what is a strong series which returns to the web with a fourth installment this fall.