I really enjoy circular storytelling. Or maybe I just like call backs. It all ties back to my love of classical literature, specifically Homer’s works, The Iliad and The Odyssey, the latter of which has already wormed its way into the comic.

When it comes to writing and planning Long John, I think a lot about beginnings and endings both in terms of plot and visuals (it is a comic, after all) and how they all interact with each other: the beginning of a chapter with the end, the end of a chapter with the beginning of the next, and so on. I think the most thorough use of call backs can be found in Chapter 3 where I use a visual call back at the beginning and in the middle of the chapter, but I also call back to Chapter 1.

With that in mind, Chapter 5 is really the beginning of the end (I think of Chapter 4 as kind of an interlude), and, to that end, I think of this opening page as a sister piece to the title page of Chapter 1. I like the contrast––the natural against the constructed, the ancient and the brand new, the humble and the austere. It’s a juxtaposition that will only continue to clash as we move forward through this chapter and the end of Long John’s story as planned.

Ironically, this post is for the first page of the chapter, and it’s already talking about the end of the series. I guess I do like circular storytelling after all.

The original digital “pencils” for this page, drawn on the iPad Pro using the app, Procreate.