One area of concern I have with regard to starting up Long John has been the possible connection (or lack thereof) between this story and the fans of Eben07.  Long John, as I’m sure those who have followed since it started updating can confirm, is a much more serious story than Eben07, but there are pages like today’s where humor ekes through even if it is just to break the tension and help build character a little bit.

I haven’t thought a lot about comedy or comedy writing.  I focus much more on whether the writing is good or not (results may vary, of course).  This has been my modus operandi since Eben07, to be frank––for me, it was always about the veracity of characters and their relation to the story first before worrying that there was a joke in every page––I’m sure Eben would agree with me on this point.

That doesn’t mean I prefer nothing but humorless drama in my own stories.  I personally think that you can have comedy without drama but you can’t have drama without comedy.  In the case of today’s page, it’s a bit dry (and wry), but it does help (I feel) establish Long John’s character a bit––that is, a person who still hasn’t accepted that things have changed for him and that everything is going along as normal.  Think of Clint Eastwood’s “my mule don’t like people laughing” monologue at the beginning of A Fistful of Dollars; think of the dark comedy of the hungry dog in Yojimbo; think of the entirety of the Yojimbo sequel, Sanjuro; think of Mark Wahlberg’s short-but-sweet cameo in the otherwise very heavy film, The Departed, and you’ll see what I mean.  Comedy is necessary because, firstly, it’s a part of life––even in the darkest of times, we always seem to find a way to laugh; secondly, comedy helps put the audience at ease amidst a tension and gravitas that can make a reader/viewer feel on-edge because they feel they must pay close attention to everything.  It’s okay to laugh in a serious story; in fact, I hope you do.

While Long John is not an outright comedy with dramatic elements like Eben07 was, I hope you find yourself cracking a smile or laughing with the characters along the way of this otherwise serious (albeit absurd) story.