With the start of 2023, we return to the remaining 20 pages of Long John, chapter 5!

First, I want to thank everybody who participated in the preorder in December! Shipping got delayed a few weeks after I caught and fought COVID-19. I feel pretty lucky to have avoided infection all of this time, especially since I’m a teacher who has now been back in the classroom––among students––for two semesters. However, as soon as I tested negative once again, I cleaned my office and got to work putting the preorder packages together.


This page required a lot of effort and time because it was doing two things: first––and most importantly––it was the start of the next part of this chapter’s story: Long John heads out to hunt the Hellrider. Second, it establishes the city of Bodie––something we’ve heard about a lot but have never seen. This was terrifying to approach because it becomes a debate between those two items. How much of the city do I need to show? If I linger too long on establishing shots am I slowing down the story for no good reason? Those questions, combined with 1. how difficult it is to draw cities and 2. how difficult it is to draw busy cities, caused me to fret for a long time about this page.

Ultimately, I kept it short because this scene isn’t about Bodie, it’s about Long John leaving Bodie to find Hellrider Jackie. With that in mind, I thought of this and the next few pages as a unit, a montage that shows civilization shrink with each page as Long John heads back out to the lake (spoilers, I guess). So, what this needed to capture is not Bodie as much as a busy metropolis.

In a shoulda-woulda-coulda world, though? I probably should have done an establishing shot of Rich Jack’s mansion (instead of cropping inside panel 3) and had at least one establishing shot of the city. However, in terms of accomplishing the need of the scene and story, the labor I put into thumbnailing and planning this page paid off (in my opinion, of course).

Thumbnail for this page. I spent a lot of time on this one and, as a result, the page is pretty close to what’s here. Click for a larger version.