Mar 30, 2017
Gary Chaloner is an award-winning artist and writer who is currently creating and publishing the new adventures of Will Eisner’s John Law. I interviewed Chaloner via email the first time around, for my biography of Will Eisner, A Spirited Life. But that was when John Law had yet to be published. Now that it’s out and building an audience for one of Eisner’s lesser known characters, I thought it would be fun to talk to him again. He suggested we do it via Skype, the free Internet phone service; being a new technology junkie, I had to say yes. So Gary has the dubious honor of being the first person interviewed in this series via podcast. The audio quality isn't perfect; the hum/buzz you'll hear in the background is from my computer. Sorry about that, audiophiles. This interview combines the stories behind Chaloner's Eisner-related work as well as a sneak peek (below) at his upcoming work. Eisner fans will also be excited to learn how many more characters from Eisner's early work are returning to action in Chaloner's John Law series. First, let me tell you a little more about Chaloner: He’s an Australian-born creator who began his career as a publisher of his own work and the work of other Australian creators through his own imprint Cyclone Comics. Cyclone published a range of popular comic books in the 1980s and 1990s with titles as diverse as The Jackaroo, The Southern Squadron, Dark Nebula, GI Joe Australia, Flash Damingo and CCQ (Cyclone Comics Quarterly). Gary's overseas work includes US editions of The Jackaroo and The Southern Squadron; a very odd issue of The Badger with Mike Baron; the award-winning Planet of the Apes: Urchak's Folly; The Olympians, a two-issue prestige series for Marvel/Epic Comics; editorial and creative duties on Dark Horse Down Under for Dark Horse Comics — this series featured the first US appearance of Gary's creation "Morton Stone, Undertaker." His current creator-owned projects include the black comedy of Morton Stone: Undertaker; Red Kelso, a pulp-inspired adventure series; and new adventures of The Jackaroo. Chaloner worked closely with Will Eisner in the development and relaunch of Will Eisner's John Law both online and in print through IDW Publishing.
The online series recently left ModernTales.com and set up home at http://johnlaw.us.com. You can browse through the archives for free there and read more about Law and his new adventures. As a bonus, Chaloner is uploading original golden age stories featuring Lady Luck and Mr. Mystic. These stories first ran as backups in The Spirit Section and will be remastered and colored for online viewing. Hopefully, these classic stories will be collected for print at a later stage. In the 2005 Ledger Awards (Australian Comic Industry Awards), Will Eisner's John Law received several awards including "International Title of the Year" and "Single Issue or Story of the Year." Chaloner was also awarded the "Ledger of Honour" (a Hall of Fame award) and received industry awards for "Achievement of the Year," "Cover Artist of the Year" and "Inker of the Year." Chaloner also redesign and modernized the official Will Eisner web site.