Montages like this closing scene aren’t something I allow myself the pleasure to do very often in this comic, and it is an absolute pleasure. There’s something about planning a scene like this, knowing that what the page shows can be more cinematic and dramatic without being beholden to a dialogue back-and-forth or needing to relay a specific piece of plot or information. It’s more about creating a tone, where the images act as a chord progression––the underpinning of a song––with the captions floating above it as melody.

These montage scenes are really fun for me. As you can see, the final page and the thumbnail layouts are basically the same.

Maybe this kind of thing is difficult, but it’s a style I’m naturally tuned to––it’s something we did at the end of every story line of the last series I did, as well––and doing it here allowed me to take my foot off the gas a little and enjoy the rest of the ride, something that was much needed after the events of “Dead Words.”

It was a conscious choice to have no caption-based narration in this series, either from Long John’s point of view or some omniscient narrator, but it was a choice that came relatively late. There were captions in early lettering phases of chapter 1, but were removed shortly before getting posted online, because I knew it made things easier for me. For one, I guess, it took weight off the shoulders of the art a bit, and I really wanted to push myself with Long John, pushing past the routines and habits I had fallen into over the last six years with my previous comic series.

At one time, Long John was going to have captions of the protagonist’s thoughts. They were quickly cut.

However, this chapter is such a tone piece built around character and conversation that I can’t help but think that this captioned montage ending is not only a relaxing exhale for me, but also for the reader. And there is the bonus of being able to actually have an explanation for the captions as well, tying it to Geoff’s letter to Long John.