Over the last few months, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know another California indie creator, Scott Weldon. Through indie creator groups across social media, I had heard of his character and series––Harland Buck – Freesword––for years, but we only started chatting in the lead up to Chapter 4’s release. It’s interesting because, as we talked about our respective approaches to making comics, our approaches are rather similar, especially around the kinds of stories we want to tell.

A few weeks ago, there seemed to be a big indie creator exchange that started with folks sharing their indie collections on social media. This led to, thankfully, creators picking up books they hadn’t seen before. In a bit of kismet, Weldon picked up the 3-book bundle of Long John, and I got the first two issues of Harland Buck.


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Got a nice note from an order I put in with @weldonstudio. I’m excited to be introduced to his wandering hero, Harland Buck.

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Up to that point, we were having a back-and-forth about burdened heroes––people like his Harland Buck and my Long John––and how both our books are about exploring the taciturn, laconic loner stereotype from new angles. With Buck––and his first two issues capture this ethos completely––Weldon wants to take the framework of the heartless mercenary and give him a heart. It’s an interesting take and a fun, brisk read, one I wholeheartedly recommend if you want a fantasy take on the wandering western hero––a story about a man who wants to be the uncaring hired hand who only cares about getting paid, but can’t help but lend aid to those in need. What’s also nice and interesting (insofar as I’ve read) is that the stories are relatively self-contained. Doing that allows for some good character work and subtle world-building, but ultimately it seems to not really matter where you start in the series, which grounds this book in the line of thinking that pervaded comics in the sixties, seventies, and early eighties where the guiding thought was “every comic is somebody’s first comic.” Mixed in are some excellent standalone character pieces and great artwork (from artist Dino Agor and colorists Fredrick Allison, Jr. and Avery Ferdinand) that guarantee a story and characters well worth the investment of time and money.

Not to continue sounding like an advertisement, but with any book purchase on the Long John storefront, you get a custom Long John drawing inked on a comic book backing board. When Scott ordered his books (the 3-book bundle for a mere $20 and free shipping), I couldn’t help but give a try at drawing his Harland Buck, to pleasing and melodramatic results.

Scott Weldon’s Harland Buck. Check his work out at WeldonStudio.com.