This volume refers to the digital issues series. For the print collection, see High Moon.
High Moon is a horror adventure of cowboys and werewolves in the Old West. It begins with a gruff bounty hunter, Macgregor, investigating strange happenings in the dusty town of Blest, Texas. While Macgregor uncovers the town's dark secrets, he tries desperately to keep his own hidden.
High Moon was the winner of the first monthly contest at DC webcomic imprint Zuda Comics. The strip ran for four seasons, and the final arc was completed after Zuda was closed down in July 2010. The pages from the first three seasons were printed as a trade paperback in 2009. All four seasons were made available through digital distribution channel comiXology between June-October 2010, with the conclusion published in January 2011.
Writer David Gallaher began the first arc in 2004, with the intention of pitching it as an ongoing series or graphic novel, but the work was suspended due to other commitments. Work on the comic proper began when Gallaher approached penciller Steve Ellis at New York Comic Con in 2006, with the idea that Ellis would do all the artwork. Scott O. Brown came on board as letterer. The team pitched the idea to DC Comics before the Zuda imprint was even announced, and they eventually submitted the first eight pages of High Moon to the first Zuda monthly competition. The competition pages went live on October 30, and High Moon was announced as the winner at the end of the month.
The first season's regular updates began on January 23, 2008, coinciding with a full moon. The season concluded on July 8. At the 2009 Harvey Awards, High Moon was nominated for Best New Series and Best Online Comics Work, winning Best Online Comics Work for Gallaher, Ellis, and Brown.
The second season of the comic started on the day of a partial lunar eclipse, and ran on Zuda between August 16 - November 25, 2008. High Moon was nominated again at the 2010 Harvey Awards, for Best Online Comics Work, and Best Inker. Ellis won in the Best Inker category.
The third season began on the day of a lunar eclipse, Feburary 9, 2009, and ran until July 2. Aspects of Russian and Native American mythology entered the strip during this season, which set up a number story elements for the next arc.
The final season started on October 3, 2009, accompanied by the harvest moon. Zuda started to wind down its operations in 2010, until DC closed it in July. The conclusion of the final arc was published via comiXology on January 19, 2011 - a final full moon.
In interviews, both during and since the comic's run, Gallaher and Ellis have cited a range of inspirations and influences. Celtic, Norse, Russian, and Native American culture and mythology all play integral roles in the story. The atmosphere and look of the comic were influenced by to the writings of William Falkner and August Wilson, the Gunsmoke radio serial, the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. Artist Steve Ellis is on record describing the importance of historical accuracy and context to the art.
Gallaher, Ellis, and Brown all contributed to a frequently-updated production blog through 2010, and the comic garnered sufficient acclaim from critics and fans for DC to release a print edition. The first three seasons were released in trade paperback on September 30th, 2009. High Moon was the second Zuda strip to see print. The strip was published by DC again, all four seasons in digital form, between June 2010 - January 2011 on comiXology.