“It’s about a young girl surrounded by all this fantastic cosmic mentalness!” Alfie Gallagher talks EIR, Kickstarter and Ryan K Lindsay
Before the ink has barely dried on his highly successful antler noir Kickstarter,Deer Editor, Ryan K Lindsay is back into the world of crowd-funding with an all ages superhero sci-fi adventure EIR. With art from the super talented Alfie Gallagher, it’s a neon hyper colour dose of fun and adventure about a young girl with a mystic helmet, and we caught up with him to find out more bringing this unique heroine to life!
How did you and Ryan come together to work on EIR? Did Ryan pitch to you or did you develop the story together?
Alfie Gallagher: Actually we hooked up through the wonder of Twitter. I saw someone RTing Ryan looking for artists for a specific project and retweeted it myself without having the wherewithal to raise my hand myself (need to work on my go get e’m tiger Apprentice-style attitude). Ryan dug in to my own profile and came back to me saying he enjoyed taking in my work and would I be interested in an all-ages project he had. Ryan had the script pieced together at this stage so it was a case of us brick-batting character designs over and back and me visualising all these sci-fi-fantasy alien worlds and creatures within the story.
The story takes the action all over the galaxy, were there any particular challenges you had working with this epic scale? And which were your favourite characters and locations to draw?
AG: I suppose the trick was to get a balance between these fantastic landscapes and settings but retain the character of the young girl Sasha at the centre of things. She was the linchpin in the story; a young girl with equal amounts strength and vulnerability surrounded by all this fantastic cosmic mentalness. I enjoyed depicting the massive sea creature that makes an appearance, in hindsight I may have been channelling the giant that rises out of the sea in Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits, one of my favourite movies.
And were there any which you cursed Ryan for coming up with?
AG: To be honest there was nothing really that I shook my fist at in rage. As someone who’s trying to discipline and push themselves up through the gears of doing tighter and cleaner, more professional work, it was a great little project to work on as it has so many abrupt gear changes involving differing environments and characters. There’s little worm/eel creatures that make an appearance, I suppose they were a bit of a challenge due to loads of them appearing and the repetition of drawing loads of them. But if you’re not challenged, you’re not learning!
It feels like quite a different style for Ryan’s work, how does it fit in with your style? Did you have to adapt things or tweak your style to accommodate the story?
AG: I suppose there’s a big difference between this all ages project and the antler-noir of Deer Editor, but from getting to know Ryan on this project I can appreciate that he’s really inquisitive and wants to challenge himself with differing genres/tones/subject matter and even audiences. Hopefully my style compliments this project, Ryan was adamant that he didn’t want a simplified kiddie-style, though I did make a conscious decision to pare back things such as shading and cross hatching that would compliment more dark/adult stuff and ramp up a more sleek clean line style, I suppose reference points would be Paul Smith’s great work on ‘Leave It To Chance’ and also the likes of Jeff Smith.
For people who are new to your work what else should they check out?
AG: I’ve self-published three issues of my own short story-style material Charlatan Tales. This has been collected into one volume and is available through Comixology for only 99c. Only 99c! I’ve also created work for 2000AD small press fan comic Zarjaz, stories including Judge Anderson and the ABC Warriors, as well as work for FutureQuake. Last year I had a blast doing 70s cop show/Hammer Horror mash-up The Gentlemen Ghouls for the digital comic Aces Weekly with writer Martin Hayes. That can be found in Volume 21 of Aces.
The colouring is amazing, did you have much input into the colour design or did you leave it all to colourist Triona Farrell?
AG: It was a perfect fit getting Triona’s bright fizzing colours on this, really exploded my black and white linework in to space. To be honest, this project was a bit of a learning curve for me. Prior to this I was pretty much a self-publish small press one man band; script/pencils/inks/colours/lettering. So I had to reprogram myself to step back and let someone apply their own skills and outlook onto the material. Triona hit the ground running with really specific ideas of colour schemes and gear changes in colouring for different environments. It’s been great to see her become a full time colourist in the last year on projects with likes of Boom Studios on titles such as Weavers and Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York, she’s really hard working and it’s all totally deserved.
What are you working on next? And would you like to develop EIR more?
AG: I’m just wrapping up a Kickstarter sketchbook project, Latin Drawn & Quartered; a 60-page sketchbook chronicling travels around South America and Cuba during the summer. Hoping to pick things up again with The Gentlemen Ghouls with writer Martin Hayes, feel there’s great mileage in that and I’ve got a great love for the 70s scuzzy crime horror it dishes out. I think EIR works as a stand alone fable though, have great affection for the character of Sasha but think she’s ready to grow up and go off on her own adventures without two old fogeys like me and Ryan holding her back.
You can back EIR via Kickstarter here. And for more information on Alfie’s work visit his website here and purchase Charlatan Tales for £0.69 from ComiXology here