Thought it has been stated in the notes for the previous page, I really like the contrast this ending creates with the middle chunk of the chapter. Like a song, it kind of returns to the timbre of the beginning, but it’s not the same. Long John is different, he’s made a decision, especially in light of the horror from the previous night.

As a chapter, I think “Dead Words” is my most complete work in terms of narrative, theme, and execution. All the pieces fit together here that gave the chapter its own voice and message while still being a part of the gestalt that is the larger Long John story. Of course, that’s how I feel about it; how you regard the chapter is completely out of my control, as it should be.

I speak more about it below, but “Dead Words” is the fastest I’ve gotten a chapter completed, believe it or not. A lot of that was, obviously, through my own motivation and eagerness to continue the project. However, it couldn’t have been completed without the continued support of my friends and family. I’d like to take the opportunity to give very thankful shout outs to everybody that has shown continued encouragement and support, especially over the course of the creation of this book. I dare not write out names due to the inevitability of leaving out someone important. With hope, you know my appreciation already; if not, I hope I let you know soon. Thank you.


Chapter 5 is where the rubber really hits the road.

We get more of Long John’s story, of course––he knows his clothes are in Bridgeport with the Rook––but we also get more of the world around him. Light spoiler alert, I guess, but we will be seeing The Rook again, as well as finally meeting the ominous Rich Jack Langstrom!

What excites me most is that Chapter 5 sets up the endgame. Long John is outlined as a 7-chapter story; so, with the conclusion of “Dead Words” we are over halfway through the series––and my shoulders get a bit lighter any time I think about that.

Even though it’s been almost two years since the last page of Chapter 3 posted (the end of September 2018), this has been the fastest I’ve completed a Long John book. I started drawing the book at the beginning of summer 2019 and had it pencilled, inked and scanned by the end of October 2019 before the day job slowed down the coloring of the book (though coloring is already a slow process); however, production officially wrapped at the beginning of March 2020.

The point is that I’m excited to get going on Chapter 5, and I hope that, after reading Chapter 4, you are as well.

I’m equally excited about getting you a copy of Chapter 4 in your hands. To that end, keep an eye on the website and store for news about preorder bundles on Monday.

And since I mentioned the store, there are a few updates to mention:

  • The new “D. Bethel Comics & Art” store is the Official Long John store: I’m migrating away from Etsy to a new website through Weebly. This has nothing to do with Etsy at all––I’ll keep that store open if you prefer to shop through that website––and more to do with consolidating my storefronts. Weebly is owned by the same company I use to as a Point of Sale (PoS) service when selling at shows and conventions. Since that service––called Square––offers online storefronts as well, I played around with it and like what I saw. So, the new Square-based store is now active and open for business. To get there, all you have to do is click the “Store” link at the top of the website.
  • eBook versions of the books are now available through GumroadI’ve been really interested in making eBook versions of the collected volumes available for awhile, but I wasn’t really sure how to do it. Furthermore, once I learned, the one detraction I have with the new Square/Weebly system is that it doesn’t allow shop owners to upload files for purchasers to download immediately upon purchase. Instead, customers would have to wait for me to send them an e-mail with a link, which is a hassle and, frankly, outdated. So, based on my research, I found Gumroad to be the easiest website to use for customers and creators, it’s safe, reliable, and quite robust (and allows customers to download files immediately). So, eBook versions of all three books (and, soon, all four books) are currently available for the low price of $5. These eBook versions come in high-resolution files and contain everything that’s in the physical versions (they’re even a bit more current; featuring some design changes that will be present in future printings of books 1-3). What’s more, if I ever decide to update the pdf, it will let previous buyers know and they can download the updated versions.

There are more changes to come––new merch and opportunities––that I’m really excited to share with you. Until then, keep your eyes on the website, the official Facebook page, Instagram feed, or sign up for notifications through the new, updated store for all future news!

Thanks again for reading and I’ll be back soon with more blog posts, art updates, and news!