“Sunza” was designed to do a few different things. Obviously, it was written to open up the Long John story––to introduce the character, the inciting incident, and present a choice that must be made. However, it was also designed to kind of be a stand-alone story, especially without the first ten pages he has with Hellrider Jackie. It’s a strange little story, admittedly, but one that––with hope––works as a little western anecdote.

With that in mind, this chapter––personally––stands as a kind of proof-of-concept not only for the comic but for myself as an independent, all-in-one comicker. It’s quite a sensation to realize that this story (this chapter, at least) which has been brewing for years (the first ten pages I have scripts from 2009 on my hard drive; for the Poverty Flat section, the first sketchy outline dates to January 2013; let’s not forget that iterations of the character have floated through designs and various other story attempts since 2002, as well). At the time of its inception, I knew I wanted to do something on my own, but my crippling self-doubt made it seem like it would never happen. And now that first story of Long John is done. Because I did it.

I’m not terribly self-reflective about it, for some reason. That’s usually my go-to response to anything I make. The only thing I’m really asking myself is, “What is Long John now versus what it was on June 24th? Or versus what it was a year ago? A decade ago?”

Not to sound pretentious, but that’s not a question for me to answer. To me, it’s still the same thing, though I think of it as a more complex concept, now that it’s tangible. While swirling around in my head, it was everything and had the capacity to be anything. Since putting pen to paper, however, it actually became something.

I’m glad I have something to show for Long John, and I can’t want to make more.

I hope you have enjoyed “Sunza.” Now, tell everybody about it.


A bigger, stand alone post will be posted soon about the plans for Long John. The biggest things to discuss are Josh Tobey’s Hellrider Jackie side-story (starts updating in two weeks and will update twice a week) and 2) Long John‘s return for Chapter 2 (starts updating in January 2015). In the interim, I will post more text updates––but loaded with pictures and links, as usual––that will deal with the same content and scope as the write-ups that accompanied page updates. (And, of course, you can still be entertained by D. Bethel’s musings on his weekly podcast with good friend and nerd co-dependent, Andrew Asplund, A Podcast [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes––subscribe on iTunes!) So, longjohncomic.com will continue to be quite active through this brief, scheduled hiatus. For regular notices of updates and postings, I would recommend joining the official Long John Facebook page (where I also post interesting and sometimes relevant links) or subscribe to the website’s RSS feed (the link to which is accessible at the top of the site in the menubar).

There will be more exciting news in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that!

So, for all that have been reading regularly, I extend my thanks and appreciation. So far, it’s been a blast and I can’t wait to show you Josh’s work and to show you Chapter 2 (title TBA).


-D. Bethel

October 2014