Women in Comics Month: Interview with Gale Galligan
Mar 07, 2018
In honor of Women in Comics Month this March, PREVIEWSworld talks with Babysitters Club artist Gale Galligan!
PREVIEWSworld: Who is your current comics employer?
Gale Galligan: Scholastic/Graphix
PREVIEWSworld: What is your primary job title? In a quick phrase or two, could you define your job’s key responsibility?
Gale Galligan: Graphic novelist. I draw comic books!
PREVIEWSworld: Could you please explain how your work helps make comics a reality? (Connect the dots for us. Where are you in the flow of getting a book into reader hands?)
Gale Galligan: This one’s pretty straightforward! I draw the part that people see. I’m infinitely grateful to my editor, colorist, and everyone involved with putting my work into readers’ hands and making it actually look good in print.
PREVIEWSworld: What’s the part of your job you enjoy the most?
Gale Galligan: Hearing from kids! Especially the ones who liked my book, haha.
PREVIEWSworld: What comic titles have you worked on?
Gale Galligan: The Babysitters Club series of graphic novels, starting with #5.
PREVIEWSworld: Talk to us about the heroic people in your comics life. Who do you admire? Who inspires you? Why?
Gale Galligan: There are too many to list! So I’ll just pick three.
Raina Telgemeier, of course. She’s opened doors for so many people, and continues to put out the most wonderful, heartfelt books—her brand of kindness is so necessary right now. Ngozi Ukazu is one of the most hardworking, funny, and ridiculously sharp-witted people I know. It’s hard not to want to make comics after hanging out with her. And Carey Pietsch is, in addition to being an incredible storyteller, just so open and welcoming. Raina, Ngozi, and Carey have all contributed so much to comics, both as an art form and a community. I’m just absolutely awed and inspired by them and their work every day.
PREVIEWSworld: Every industry professional has something they absolutely love about comics. Whether it’s a particular title or format or audience or tradition or something else, we’re all hooked. What’s special about comics for you? Would you be willing to share a treasured memory about it?
Gale Galligan: I was seven years old when the last Calvin & Hobbes strip ran. I still remember the feeling of reading it that morning, knowing it was the last time I’d read a new Calvin & Hobbes… I was really sad. I reread the collections over and over again as I grew older and kept drawing, and I was always finding new things to love about it. Watterson’s understanding of nature, his grasp of language, his appreciation of the quiet, sad moments.
Anyway, I had the opportunity to go to the Angouleme festival a few years ago, and they had a Calvin & Hobbes exhibit. There it was, on the wall, that last strip. I cried a little, because it had meant so much to me over the years for so many different reasons, and here I was seeing it in person. Imperfect, beautiful, and hopeful.
And then I went home and drew a comic about it.
PREVIEWSworld: If you had one comics-related wish—no limits—what would it be?
Gale Galligan: I would absolutely love to set up some kind of mentorship/scholarship program for aspiring cartoonists. In an ideal world, everyone would have the time and resources to hone their craft, and I would like to be in a position to help facilitate that.
PREVIEWSworld: Do you have an online presence we can link to and share with our readers?