I don’t know if I would say vengeance is necessarily a theme of Long John, but it is certainly a recurring motivation for its characters. Hell, it’s basically what motivated Long John from the beginning of chapter 1. Little did he know, vengeance guided Juan John and Jonny Mono to betray Long John, kicking off the events of the story in the first place.

Reflecting on how revenge keeps popping up throughout the book, the lack of its utility stands out most to me. In Long John, revenge and acts of vengeance only causes problems or makes things worse instead of fixing them (not to spoil things, but keep this in mind with the final two pages of chapter 5). Genuinely, I never intended this––and I’m not even sure I agree with that argument––but seeing elements of story and statement codifying in hindsight is one of the pleasures of working on a long-form project. While I surely believe it to an extent (I haven’t thought too much about the benefits and detriments of revenge because I haven’t needed to), the arc of the story’s progression also shaped how this idea came together. Whether it lines up with my beliefs and values, it’s true for this world, these characters. Which is too bad because they all seem to want to do revenge a lot.

Another example of a page that pretty much matches the thumbnail exactly. Though, I feel Long John’s face in the last panel was much more expressive in the thumbnail than in the final page.