I first really met John Gallagher in late 2012. I had met him earlier, at Baltimore Comic Con, when I took my Kidlet to the relatively young Kids Love Comics (KLC) pavilion a year or two earlier.
John was running around like a headless chicken trying to manage the pavilion, his table, and engage about a dozen kids in a “Design Your Own Superhero Cape” activity, and it amazed me he didn’t have a utility belt of flasks of coffee to keep him going.
I had a couple of John’s books already, and in late 2012, I was working late one Saturday at the comic shop I was managing. John came in just before we were about to close and had a look around before introducing himself. We ended up talking for about an hour, and he left a pile of comics and a few books for us to sell. John, smartly, liked to offer new shops copies of his work to both help the shop’s bottom line, and promote his own work.
Fast forward four years. Baltimore Comic Con is closing up for another year and creators are breaking down their tables, myself included. It was my first year exhibiting at Baltimore after my layoff at that shop, and I was debuting both Shakes’ and Stanley’s first books. One of John’s partners in KLC, Chris Mariano, comes over and says that John had been talking to Chris and the third partner, Mark Mariano about inviting me to join their group.
Joining KLC was a watershed moment for my work, but it has also allowed me an insider’s view of the hard work John has really put into his own craft over the years.
John has been working in comics for over twenty years, and is known for some wonderful characters including BuzzBoy. More recently he has created some great graphic novels both for and with his kids, including the EPIC Bros, and the Zoe and Ketchup series. John is the definition of a plugger, someone who loves the medium so much he simply cannot not be involved, he cannot not write and draw. Comics are in his blood.
I am lucky to call John a friend, luckier to have him as a mentor, and now I get to lend my voice to promote his latest work.
But it’s not just any work.
John’s next graphic novel is part of a trilogy released by Random House featuring his new character MAX MEOW, CAT CRUSADER!
Max is a video podcaster who one day comes across a radioactive meatball, and being a hungry cat, takes a bite! That bite changes Max into a supercat, and with the help of his scientific genius best friend Mindy, becomes the superheroic MAX MEOW! He even has a cool catch-phrase (“Meowza!”) It doesn’t take long before Max has to deal with evil geniuses, monsters, and ne’er-do-wells all wanting to ruin his life…and that’s just day one! MAX MEOW is a fun, engaging, and smart graphic novel that will appeal to fans of any age who enjoys animals, heroes, and the occasional pun.
Here is more about the first book, in handy video form:
Also, true to his Kids Love Comics roots, John has also created a “How To Draw Max” video to get your kids excited about Max:
This is a wonderful move for John, as he joins the ranks of Dav Pilkey, John Green, and Raina Telgemeier as a industry-published author! But, it’s pretty cutthroat out there, so this first book needs extra support!
Which means the first book, due October 6, needs lots of pre-orders! So check out the samples below, then use the link after to pre-order your own copy of the book!
(Full disclosure: I helped John with some of the coloring for the book, and I have read an early version of volume one, and while I may be biased, it’s wonderful, and would make a grrrrreat gift for your Kidlets!)