And, with a bird on a rock and a cryptic chapter title, I welcome everybody to Long John, a webcomic that takes place in California’s wild west.  To those wondering what kind of comic they may be getting themselves into, Long John is a straight-up western, which means dudes and ladies in the American frontier that have bad attitudes and point guns at each other occasionally, often at high noon.  So, that means it’s not a hybrid genre experiment: no zombies, aliens, robots, or magic.

“So,” you may ask, “why should I care?” And that’s a fair point. Over the course of this comic, I hope to make you care.

Furthermore, you may be familiar with my prior comic work on Eben07, a humor action webcomic I co-created, co-wrote, and drew from 2007-2013.  Though Long John is not as blatantly a comedy as Eben07 was, those familiar with it will clearly see my style carry through to Long John, but in new and interesting ways (with hope).

For brand new readers–perhaps you’re a fan of westerns–you’ll find in this comic an intriguing landscape populated with interesting and complex characters (both visually and narratively) and, as is my motive, a western that plays with old tropes and throws some interesting curveballs at you.

As you saw in the previous page, the story starts at Mono Lake, an extremely salty body of water in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range in California (kind of northeast of Yosemite National Park).  This is a real place and it’s equally beautiful and kind of eerie at the same time. In part one of the Long John Primer (here are parts 2, 3, and 4), I included some photos I took from my last trip out there–many photos of which were used as direct reference for drawings in the comic. I am not, however, slavish to the actual history or geography of the Eastern Sierra–telling a good story comes first. Luckily, the history of that region is just crazy enough that I don’t really have to do many significant sidesteps or revisions at all.

So, what I’m trying to say is, “Welcome to Long John! I hope you enjoy the ride!”