A major find during my research for Long John has been the Ghost Dance legacy of Eastern California, Nevada, and beyond.

For those that don’t know, Ghost Dancing was a basically a religion and a protest rolled into one––was a bold statement about native religion, custom, and stake in the land while also being a rather genuine apocalyptic religious plea that promised the return of dead ancestors to help in the fight against westward expansion.

It caught on a little bit in the Eastern Sierra Nevada but didn’t last too long––though some sources say it was because the promise of replenished resources and an army of undead was broken; I would probably bet it had more to do with being such a remote place that didn’t really have a lot of easy avenues of communication with other tribes.

While this comic is not about westward expansion or the plight of the native Americans, the metaphor could not be overlooked, which is what made me love Lady May so much as she is a living embodiment of internalized cultural and ideological tension which is at the very heart of Long John.


In terms of being frustrating to write, this scene is right up there with the jail scene in chapter 1. A lot of important stuff needs to be said here, but––with hope––not in an obvious, didactic way. This page’s dialogue is quite laconic compared to the original scripted form (which I won’t share because it is way too on-the-nose).

That’s all I’ll say about that.


Come back next Tuesday for another page!

Don’t forget you can buy Volume 1 of Long John in the shop.

If you’re local to Sacramento, copies are available for sale (without the amenities that come with the online purchase) at Empire’s Comics Vault. A big thanks to Ben Schwartz for being willing to stock Long John, especially since it has dude-butt on the cover.