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John Gallagher: I am primarily a creator of kids comics, but in the same sense Calvin and Hobbes was a “Kid’s Comic.” I have self-published Buzzboy, a fun and funny super hero comic, for 10 years through my own Sky-Dog Press. I am getting ready to launch a web comic and simultaneous graphic novel called Zoey & Ketchup, about an imaginative little girl and her golden retriever. I also speak at schools across the country, talking about the magic and educational values of comics.
WCP: When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
JG: December 28, 1967—-same birthday as Stan Lee, just 40 years later, and with none of the fame!
WCP: Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in?
JG: I moved from rural PA to the area after college, for no other reason than my best friends from high school lived here, and that’s all that really mattered, having someone to hang with on weekends. Now, most of them have moved away, but I have stayed in the area, and maintained a high level of immaturity, living in Falls Church VA.
JG: Mostly self taught—-I went to a year of art school as part of Temple University in Philly—-but it was just too small—-when I transferred to Penn State, I was happy to be part of a very prestigious graphic design program, but was shocked to find no illustration classes. Most likely I would have gone to SVA or Kubert School, if I only knew they existed (no Internet back then!), but it turned out to be a godsend—-I now do a combination of comics and grahic design, combining many of these skills for animation and comics for corporations, and pro sports teams like the Washington Capitals, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Islanders.
WCP: Who are your influences?
JG: The first art I drew was duplicating the Alex Toth-designed DC Comics’ Super Friends characters, and it was the foreword to Jules Feiffer‘s The Great Comic Book Heroes that gave me the idea that I could create my own comics. As the years went on, Chuck Jones, Jack Kirby, Kyle Baker, Walt Kelly—-they have all had a great influence on me. Currently, Richard Thompson, Steven Pastis, and Raina Telgemeier are my faves.
JG: Buzzboy, the adventures of the world’s coolest super-sidekick.
WCP: One last note—-on the Starbridge Media site is a link to NASCAR Heroes comic books.