Welcome to our March pick of the month! I’d like to take this opportunity to put the spotlight on a wildly popular title (that has celebrated its first anniversary as a webcomic) from one of my favourite artist/writer tandems out there right now.
If you haven’t heard of The Only Living Boy by David Gallaher and Steve Ellis, climb out from under the rock you’ve been under and immerse yourself in the fantasy world they’ve created. Adapted from the print series into a webcomic, The Only Living Boy is published as a series of 24-48 page issues that updates 3 times a week (currently the updates are on hold while they complete some other obligations from DC, etc.)
You might be wondering – I’ve heard those names before… what else have they done? Well, the Gallaher/Ellis partnership spawned the critically acclaimed title High Moon, one of the winning entries for DC’s former webcomic service Zuda, which went on to win a Harvey Award. They were also produced one of the first non-mainstream comics available on comiXology called Box 13. This isn’t their first rodeo – they’re veterans of the scene, and produce quality comics in a variety of different genres.
Their current title: The Only Living Boy falls into the Young Adult/dystopian future genre that has really taken hold in media over the past few years. The story revolves around a 12-year old boy by the name of Erik, who runs away from home and wakes up the next day to find out that the world he once knew no longer exists. Stranded on a patchwork planet with no recollection of how he got there, Erik is thrust into an environment where everything he has become accustomed to has changed. As the only living boy left in the world, we can only watch as Erik tries to survive in this dangerous and mysterious environment.
From the opening sequence, we are treated to an action-packed and riveting adventure that is exciting to read as it unfolds. From Ellis’ dynamic artwork to Gallaher’s driving narrative, the scenes move at a lightning quick pace on every page, demonstrating the intensity of the situations Erik finds himself in.
Erik is running from… something, and when he takes a brief respite under a rock, he awakens to find that everything is very different.
He meets some new creatures along the way who give him some insight into this world he’s been thrown into.
He’s also forced to fight in order to survive – but will he live long enough to find out why he’s there and what his true purpose is?
The Only Living Boy was created primarily for kids and tweens, spawned out of necessity for more titles that catered to kids who are far more advanced in their reading tastes. Much like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, The Only Living Boy deals with themes that address issues that older children and young adults are dealing with, mixed in with an element of dark fantasy and mystery – instead of the typical children’s stories that are too rose-coloured and formulaic.
So be like Erik and climb out from under a rock to experience The Only Living Boy.
Andrés ‘ Drezz ‘ Rodriguez is an illustrator, author, and podcast personality. In addition to creating the comic book series ‘El Cuervo – the Latin Assassin,’ he provides WA readers with periodic articles (like this one) to help improve their comic process and their production.