By Kenny Mahoney
Did you ever wonder what would happen if gun-slinging lawmen turned into werewolves? How about what a suit of armor built by Nikola Tesla would look like? And what if demons, spirits, and magic played a role in pretty much everything you did? Well, if you have, then look no further than High Moon, a self-described horror/western written by David Gallaher with art by Steve Ellis.
Now here comes the part where I would normally give you a summary of the characters, the setting, and the story they’ve gotten themselves into. From what I can gather, a special group of lawmen called “Macgregors” fight evil. Seriously, that’s it. I really did read it! I swear! I even enjoyed it! But unfortunately, I have a really hard time piecing a coherent story together out of the events presented in Volume One of the series. I just don’t get a good feel for who these people are, why they’re doing what they’re doing, how it all came about, and more importantly – why I should care. Characters are introduced and killed all within the span of a few pages, save for a few, and it becomes very difficult to understand their relations to anything with so little face time. I’m not sure if this is going to progress into a complete story at the end of the series, but I thought I would feel a little bit more confident in my understanding at the end of the first volume.
What High Moon lacks in story it makes up for with absolutely fantastic artwork. Steve Ellis has worked on a number of different comic series including Green Lantern, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, as well as trading cards and video games. His character designs are some of the best I’ve seen anywhere, and his monster art is incredibly unique and downright scary. His attention to detail is stellar, using great color and penciling to bring each panel to life. What I was really impressed with was his use of lettering, you know – sound effects like “bang” and “aaah” – and weaving them into his art. Most comics just have these either in a bubble or scrawled on the side of a panel, but Ellis uses them to become part of the art, like seeing “bang” written along the trail of a bullet or “splurt” in a mist of blood.
High Moon is published by Zuda Comics, an online division of DC Comics, which plays host to a ton of original content available for free on their website. Users can then vote on a series that they like, and at the end of the month the most popular one is turned into an ongoing series. High Moon is the first winner of this competition and has been printed into a physical book. While I would definitely recommend taking a look at the comic in the flesh, there’s just no excuse for you not to read it for free. So go and give it a try, and if you enjoy blood, bullets, and demons, but can can deal with feeling a little confused then there’s no reason you won’t enjoy High Moon.