Character work is what this comic is about, from head to toe. In many ways, I feel the strain of the medium at times, thinking about how much more I could show if this were animated, for example. It comes down to a term I brought to comics from animation (though I’m definitely not the first to do this), but the “acting” is so important to me that some of the hardest cuts to make are those related to showing how the characters feel.

The last few pages have been high drama, and I’ve relied a lot on the slow-motion tactic we see in the first two panels of this page, what would basically be what are called “key frames” in animation (and again in panels four and five)––basic poses existing within the same shot. These “extreme” poses are what the supervising animator may draw, and then her staff, called in-between animators, would animate the action from one key frame to the next. Drawing comics is a lot about choosing the perfect key frame to show and relying on the reader to be the in-betweener (an actual technical term). But even then, we’re limited by the size and space of a single page and choices have to be made.

With all of that said, I worry that a lost got lost in this page. Writing it was tough and drawing it was tougher. I bounced back and forth between using layouts as the primary writing method and scripting, especially this last half of chapter 2, and while I am incredibly happy with it overall, there are bits and pieces that were suffering from edits until the very end. Both the woods scene and this scene were longer and I cut pages in order to avoid redundancies and thematic didacticism. With the themes in this chapter, I’m very happy with how those manifested. Very. In-between, however, I feel I left some character stuff too vague. I really wanted to get Long John and Jonny Mono’s relationship conveyed through this scene, which is weird because it’s a chase scene.

Mostly, and all of this anxiety is actually because of this, I still worry that people think that the gun is failing and have forgotten that it is actually out of ammo, having only been loaded with one bullet at the end of chapter 1 and never replenished (this is clarified in the book version of Chapter 2, available for purchase now).

Again, I think about this stuff too hard.