This is the first page drawn for Chapter 5, way back in the summer of 2020 as Volume 4 was being shipped out after a successful pre-order campaign (not a Kickstarter). Though I probably jumped on drawing this chapter a bit too early, I don’t regret it. I was excited after getting Volume 4 done and with that success came a lot of motivation, so I thumbnailed out the first scene of chapter 5 kind of before I had the rest of the book written.

It wasn’t hasty––this opening scene is one of those scenes that has been around for a long time. I think the excitement came from the fact that I got to bring together the seemingly two disparate threads from chapter 4––the Bridgeport/Rook scene and Long John’s story––in a way that propelled the overarching story forward. It felt like a miniature victory, like a plan coming together. Though that plan goes awry fairly quickly (stay tuned!), it’s still a satisfying page and scene literally years later at this point.

This scene––and page––were so worked out in my head, that the thumbnail is pretty much what ended up on the page, too (if you can read my scribbles).