I run the risk of over-explaining the comic for the sake of talking about process. Since the end goal for these stories is print, I view these website notes more as a “director’s commentary” than a necessity. I preface with that because this page is a very explicit call-back to page 6 of the first Hellrider Jackie short story, “Save the Bones,” which is also included in the Volume 1 book. This chapter is a nexus point for the Hellrider story we’ve seen in “Save the Bones” and “The Patient Feast” (the latter is found exclusively in the Volume 4 book) as we can start to see how her story and Long John’s relate to each other.

The very rough thumbnails and instructions I sent to Josh for this page in the first Hellrider Jackie story (click for larger version).

Artistically, this was a fun page to draw because “Save the Bones” was drawn by Josh Tobey, who also provides the art for “The Patient Feast.” Even though he was working off my thumbnails (with instructions to change them to suit his tastes), what defined those stories for me is looking at this world I’m creating through the eyes (and hand) of a different artist. This is helped by the fact that Josh’s style is very different from my own.

That being said, there were a few panels and shot compositions that were important and he picked up on that, and two of those panels are in this page. In “Save the Bones”, the Hellrider has a moment with this train engine––a quiet moment between a knight and the dragon she has sworn to slay––where, despite her skewed version of the world around her, here is a thing that is real and literally represents everything she’s fighting against. Without going into themes and future story, this moment was a powerful one for me and I knew Long John would come across the scene we first saw way back in Volume 1.

This page, then, represents a very strange closing of a loop, for it’s me drawing Josh who was drawing my thumbnails, which is a neat experience to have as an artist.