Today, May 2nd, is Free Comic Book Day all around the country. If you’d like to participate (that is, get free comics), then check out your participating local comic shops and have fun!

As mentioned before, a local Sacramento comic shop––the esteemed Empire’s Comics Vault––is continuing its local tradition of hosting a mini-con as well as giving away 20,000 free comics to those who show up. It’s shaping up to be quite the event, with at least 15 local comickers as well as pro wrestling, cosplay, food trucks, and more.

Most importantly, this show will be the premiere of the first Long John book!


It’s got a butt!

The books were printed by RA Comics, a local printer out of Elk Grove, CA. The last few issues of Eben07 were printed there, as well as the Long John Preview Book, so it made the most sense to go through them again for the Volume 1 printing. It collects “Sunza” and “Save the Bones,” and there are minor tweaks that have happened from what was seen on screen to what ended up on the page, but stuff that you probably wouldn’t notice if you weren’t looking for them (mostly slight dialogue tunings). A few pages of art (not comics) have been added to bookend “Sunza” with “Save the Bones”; most notably, Josh Tobey––artist for “Save the Bones”––has created a brand new “cover” image for the short, the lineart of which premiers below (if you want to see it in color, buy the book).

Josh Tobey's cover for "Save the Bones"

Josh Tobey’s cover for “Save the Bones”

It’s an amazing drawing and I’m incredibly happy he was willing to do it for the book. I have some new art in there as well as closing images to both “Sunza” and “Save the Bones.” The book itself I’m quite happy with. At 48 pages, it’s perfect bound (so, no staples) so it’ll look and feel a bit different from a normal comic book. After reading through it again (which I’m surprised I did; frankly, I’m a little exhausted with these pages by now), I’m struck again by the same feeling I had when reading the first Eben07 book back in 2009. Flipping from page to page is an entirely different experience than reading (at the time. Sorry) two pages a week. For me, the jail scene goes by so much faster for me. Some scene changes become more abrupt. This is all based on how I thought of the pages, however. If you read it in large chunks or all in one sitting, then it shouldn’t be that different of an experience. The biggest difference for anybody reading it as a book rather than online is actually having two pages next to each other, which alters the reading experience. It shouldn’t be jarring for me, since all the pages were conceived in book format, so the page order hasn’t changed since the thumbnails, but perhaps it’s the final pages lined up next to each other forces me to consider them as complete rather than as a compiled layers of process. It’s interesting and I’m glad it’s finally the book it was meant to be.

I can hear it already that you want a copy of the book. Calm down. I’ll get that set up after Free Comic Book Day through my Etsy store and I’ll let you all know about pricing and availability as soon as it happens.

However, the book is not the only thing I’ll have at Empire’s Comics Vault Free Comic Book Day Mini-Con 2015. I’ll also have some other exciting stuff; namely, prints!


Prints! (Books for scale.)

I’ll have an 11″x17″ print of the Long John Preview Book cover. Also made up––kind of last-minute decisions––8.5″x11″ prints of my Spock/Leonard Nimoy Tribute drawing and the “Doctor CthulWho” print. These were printed up beautifully by Alphagraphics in Rancho Cordova, CA, and their turnaround was astounding.

The book and the prints, again, will all be available on the Etsy store shortly, but after Free Comic Book Day. So, go out to your local comic shop and read free comics (and buy something to help support your local store).