I’ve been asked if I worry about these videos spoiling anything in the upcoming chapter. That had crossed my mind, but it’s not something I’m particularly worried about. A single panel shouldn’t be enough to ruin a story.

To be honest, I am being a little selective about what I show in these videos, and even though I show the full page at the end of the video, I think that the story is only fully appreciated when read in its final form, which is definitely not what is being shown here. Once so far, I have redacted images from the video, but that was more to have fun than to actually safeguard readers from any potential spoilers.

This video shows a lot of how decisions are made in the art. The pencils are usually pretty loose, allowing for decisions about adding details to be made during inking, usually. In addition to details, the choice about rendering (adding elements to indicate lighting, depth, etc.) are usually left for the inking as well. With the panel inked in the above video, I really was aiming for a specific look which I mostly hit, but the final panel is a bit messier than what I had wanted and, had I done more planning, it would look better. But, that would go against, a bit, about the creative ethos of how I create Long John. I want it to be a learning experience that will rely on my experience in making comics for ten years (TEN YEARS) now (well, in September) and to trust my talent and sensibilities to guide the art for the comic.

Such trust also allows for happy accidents, which has happened often; however, this also allows for stumbled attempts along the way. There have been a fair amount of wobbly perspective, strange anatomy, and bad compositions. With that in mind, it all still passes my own bar for clarity. As poorly drawn as a panel could be, I always ask the question, “Does this make it hard for the reader to understand the page?” If yes, I redraw the panel, usually on a separate piece of paper that I cut out and tape over the rejected one––that has happened a few times. If no, which is most often, I roll with the punches or try to improve it with coloring. The one thing I don’t do is use Photoshop to redraw, remove, or replace any art. What is on the page ends up on the screen for the reader (with some very, very slight exceptions), because that’s the comic I want to make.

At this point in my creative development, I would rather have my best efforts in the hands of the reader than a “perfect” comic. The latter would just be boring.