Interview: Gary Chudleigh on Every Last One

by Benjamin Williams
25th March, 2024
4 minutes

In the vast and dynamic world of UK comics, there are creators who possess a brilliant talent for crafting compelling narratives that captivate readers on multiple levels. Gary Chudleigh is one such creator, and so with a brand-new comic coming out, Every Last One, we got the opportunity for an interview and couldn't say no.

Gary Chudleigh is an acclaimed author and screenwriter who has written over 30 LEGO comics across various brands, including Disney Princess, Jurassic World, Ninjago Legacy, Avengers, and Spider-Man. He was also the co-lead on the BOLD Superhero Universe from BHP Comics, which we absolutely loved, among other series.

Before we get to the questions and answers, you should make sure you check out Gary on social media for updates on all his comic work.

Gary Chudleigh at ACME Comic Con

What inspired the story and characters of Every Last One?

The idea came from a weird place. I was pondering one day about how every stranger going by my window has a complicated life with their own joys, sorrows and backstories. But to me, they're simply passing characters in my own story. There and gone in seconds. I then searched online and found there's a German word for this feeling: sonder.

I then wondered, well, what if someone could experience those people's lives? And then influence the decisions they make? Telepathy and mind control aren't new concepts but I arrived at telling a story about them through this weird thinking session.

I then ran the loose concept through the mill to give it shape. And the mill is usually the media that I enjoy. I was in a big crime and horror place at the time and found a way to piece it together.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing Every Last One?

The police procedural elements. I want the story to at least resemble what a real-life investigation would be like. I've mostly written fantasy and sci-fi for kids where I can kind of make things up as I go. I had to do a bit more research for this one.

What has been your favourite part of making this series?

Seeing it all come to life! I've been writing for over a decade and it's still so cool to see your words become artwork. This project has been extra rewarding as I just feel like everything is clicking together. The cover, art and design have all been top-notch and I'm so grateful for the creative team's amazing work. I believe it can be something big.

Every Last One preview one

Are there any characters in the book with whom you identify the most? If so, why?

Definitely Ronnie, the rookie detective. The old saying is 'write what you know'. People sometimes interpret this as literally writing about your own experiences. But for me, it means exploring personal issues, anxieties, viewpoints and feelings through a fictional environment far removed from real life.

Ronnie's character is all about shedding the regrets of the past to carve himself a new future. But to get to that future he needs to overcome imposter syndrome and let go of what he can't change. I've had my run-ins on the streets as a stupid teen and have felt out of place as I found my way in the world, so Ronnie's journey mimics my own.

It's a four-part mini-series. Are there any plans or dreams to expand on this in the future?

Every Last One is a one-and-done story. But the concept leaves the door wide open for new cases. I've referenced the X-Files a lot in the promotion of the comic very deliberately. I'd like to explore more weird and wonderfully horrifying cases through a Scottish lens.

Every Last One preview two

How do you hope readers will feel after finishing the comic?

I hope readers feel they've been on a hell of a journey and are satisfied with the end. I also hope they feel they are at the start of something special. Something with potential. And importantly, I want them to feel that they want more.

Do you have a timeline for releasing the whole series on Kickstarter?

We're running a fairly tight schedule to finish the series within a year. We're roughly looking at Kickstarters in October for issue 2, April 2025 for issue 3 and then October 2025 for the final chapter. I'd then be looking at Kickstarting a trade paperback or selling it to a publisher to collect in 2026.

What other comic plans do you have coming up?

I'm now in my fourth year writing for LEGO magazines, which is amazing. I'm writing more Ninjago and Jurassic World this year. I've also just signed an agent to represent me for selling an original kid's graphic novel to the traditional publishing market. I need to write the full script upfront before going to editors, so I'm quite busy charging through that!

And since I'm clearly not busy enough, I'm developing a vampire comic called A LONG TIME COMING. I've outlined the project and written issue one and hoping to share more news on that shortly!

Excited for Every Last One #1 yet? You should be. The Kickstarter launches soon and you can follow that right here. This comic will not disappoint.

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