Normally, these posts are meant to celebrate the year that just ended. However, 2020 ended up a year not really worth celebrating; instead, 2020 became a year to survive and move past. Below is a list of the things that defined Long John over this very strange and difficult year.


For as low as 2020 got, without a doubt the personal high was with the publication of Volume 4 of Long John, collecting the entirety of Chapter 4 “Dead Words” and a new, all-exclusive 10-page Hellrider Jackie story, “The Patient Feast,” which brings back Josh Tobey as artist, reprising his duties from the previous Jackie story, “Save the Bones”, in Volume 1.

What made this book stand apart from the rest is that it was incredibly fun to make the entire way through. As said before, it was certainly the fastest a new book has been made since Volume 1 and sets the bar high for the series going forward.

I also can’t ignore the videos I made for each page, cinematically presenting the chapter panel-by-panel and set to music. I don’t talk much about music on this website, but it’s been a part of my life for over twenty years, and writing music––even short, minute-long pieces––was incredibly fun and something I’ll continue to do going forward (and maybe backward!). Writing the music and editing the videos stretched a creative muscle I don’t get to use very often, and really helped express the tone of the comic and that chapter in yet another potent way.

I also tried a short-term preorder that I think worked well––offering different bundle options at different prices, borrowing a model found in crowdfunding without actually running a crowdfunding campaign. I think, if pushed even harder (and if run for longer) it could prove even more successful for future releases and will definitely be doing going forward. Thank you, again, to all who preordered!


Long John now available as eBooks on Gumroad

eBooks have long been on my mind. First, I discounted them––Long John is already a webcomic, why would anyone want an eBook version? Of course, a high resolution pdf is infinitely better than reading a book page by page on a website, waiting as every page loads in. Plus, the eBooks would have all the content found in the physical books. So, 2020 also saw the release of all the books as eBooks on Gumroad for only $5 each.

They were a challenge to make, but very rewarding when completed when you see them fill the screen on a tablet (I even slightly reworked all the covers, adding the chapter titles to them; Volume 1’s cover was the most reworked of the four).


Although this folds into the Volume 4 column a bit, this marked a banner year for seeing other people’s visions of Long John. Making this comic is a solitary venture and one that you could become precious with. So, it was an honor to allow such creative people whose talent I respect so much into the world of Long John.

I have had the pleasure of knowing John for awhile and was always impressed by his artistic flexibility and perpetual desire to try new things. He’s also one of the nicest guys in the world and I was lucky to have him ink and color a pinup for Volume 4 over my layouts as well as do some digital inks and colors over the “cover” page for the Hellrider Jackie short story in Vol. 4, “The Patient Feast” that will be made available as a print at future shows:

John’s enthusiasm and incredible eye for line and color is always inspired, even more so when he’s using those talents to bring Long John to life. In terms of art, aside from Josh Tobey, John is the only other person I’ve collaborated with artistically and it was surprisingly easy. I look forward to working with him more at some point in the future.

  • Josh Tobey

Of course, I can’t omit the fact that Josh Tobey returned to provide pencils and inks over my breakdowns for the new (and book exclusive!) Hellrider Jackie story in Volume 4, called “The Patient Feast.”

Here is a look at one of the double-page spreads from Volume 4’s short story, “The Patient Feast.” If you want to see the whole thing, you’ll have to get the book, either physically or digitally.

With the first story (from Volume 1), he lamented at not being able to fully go wild with the creepy, surreal visuals. So, this time, I did my best to let him do exactly that. I mailed him the pages with the breakdowns on them; basically all I actually drew were the figures on the page with very light guidelines for the background with instructions like, “go nuts.” What came back was some of the most exciting and wild art I’ve ever held in my hands. I’m really proud of that story for many reasons, the largest one being the vision Josh brought to this character and this world.

  • Kyrun Silva

Kyrun’s generosity and friendship is one of the things that helped me get through this pandemic (and continues to do so) both on a comicking level and on a personal one. His dedicated and prolific work with Taurus Comics is inspiring and was one of the main reasons I started working on smaller side comics in the off-time between my day job and working on Long John. Though not having (yet) collaborated on a comic, Kyrun and I have been collaborators in discourse, co-hosting the irregularly released podcast, Con Artists, with me as we talk about reading, making, and selling comics.

The irregularly released podcast about reading, making, and selling comics. Most recently, Kyrun and I have discussed being indie creators during a pandemic.

He loves comics first and foremost, and, as I’ve been saying for years, his enthusiasm is infectious and motivating and definitely gets me to think of what I can do with comics as a medium as well as just a story I’m trying to tell. He is the constant reminder that comic books are exciting, fun, and unique forms of entertainment.

Also, while not a collaboration that involved me, Kyrun was involved in a collaboration that had a profound effect on me this year. For my fortieth birthday in September, Kyrun commissioned Simon Roy to draw Long John, a gift I’m still not sure is real or not despite literally hanging on my wall (next to the drawing of Long John I commissioned from Giannis Milonnogiannis).

Simon Roy is one of the faces on Long John’s inspirational Mt. Rushmore, along with people like Darwyn Cooke, Giannis Milonnogiannis, and Jeff Lemire. A page from Roy’s run on the Prophet reboot was the first piece of original art I ever bought, because that series and those opening issues were so fundamentally important to my development as an independent comicker.

Long John by Simon Roy (a gift from Kyrun Silva)

Thank you again, Kyrun.

Despite 2020 being a banner year of misfortune and anxiety––not to mention lost income from the cancellation of comic book conventions––it ended up being a very good year for me and for Long John. A new book, new tools, new stories, and new opportunities were all a part of this year because I was forced to hunker down and just focus on the art of it all.

I’m excited for 2021 (and beyond) for a lot of reasons, but I’ll look back at 2020 with positive memories for my creativity and growth. It may be a small success overall, but still a success nonetheless.