Michael Gallagher comes from a long family line of renowned cartoonists, and he’ll be featured at the “Roam in Jerome” event at the House of Joy Gallery and Arcade on Saturday, Nov. 6, according to a news release.
The House of Joy, Gallery and Arcade, 416 Hull Ave., Jerome, will host Gallagher’s work from 5 to 8 p.m. Gallagher, a freelance cartoonist and comic book writer has lived in Jerome since 2009.
His father, John, twice won the National Cartoonists Society’s “Best Gag Cartoonist” award and his uncle, George Gately (Gallagher), created HEATHCLIFF, which is currently being carried on by Michael’s cousin, Peter. Another cousin, Joseph, is also a talented cartoonist.
It’s sort of the family business.
Gallagher has been drawing for as long as he can remember. His earliest influences include the 50’s editions of MAD Magazine, Laurel & Hardy films, cartoons on television (Popeye, Mighty Mouse, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Looney Tunes) and DC and Marvel comic books. He earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Rider College and embarked on a string of jobs in television, radio, theatre and other creative outlets, eventually settling down as a freelance cartoonist and comic book/humor writer.
Gallagher has authored (and occasionally drawn) hundreds of stories for children’s comic books. Along with his long-time collaborator, Dave Manak, they created long runs on Alf and Sabrina (The Animated Series) and are currently working on a graphic novel. Gallagher wrote the very first issues of Sonic the Hedgehog (and many more adventures later) which went on to become the longest-running children’s comic book in history. He’s created numerous original cartoon characters for various hospitals, commercial and charitable organizations.
Gallagher started painting when he and his wife, Candace, moved to Jerome in 2009. Gleaned from notebooks filled with decades of random doodles, he began putting acrylics on canvas and has maintained his glacial pace ever since. He also gets great satisfaction in creating found art pieces. Warmly welcomed by Donna Chesler and other members of Jerome’s fabled art community, Gallagher’s most prominent piece in town is the ghost that sits in the outhouse at the coin toss.
Information provided by House of Joy Gallery and Arcade.