Various preliminary sketches for chapter 1 designs. Click for larger version.

Various preliminary sketches for chapter 1 designs. Click for larger version.

A busy week (with a busy Friday) made this week’s Sketch Friday a bit tardy, but it is still here. It’s all well and good, because this week’s sketch is a bit of a copout, I’ll admit, though I hope it carries interest for some. These are some early design sketches from chapter 1 of Long John, focusing around the design of sheriff Spencer, whose development I’ve discussed before. These were done before I started drawing pages at all, but I knew the sheriff would be an important character early on, so I chipped away at his character slowly over time.

By this point, I had a pretty good handle on the style I was going to use for Long John, but I still wanted to play around with the boundaries I could push the style, hence the cartooniness of the Long John drawing.

I must have been drawing this while watching through Sanjuro, a 1962 Akira Kurosawa that was an ostensible sequel to his 1961 Yojimbo (arguably my favorite movie––I wrote about Kurosawa’s influence on the comic in the Primer.). I don’t enjoy Sanjuro as much as I do Yojimbo––it amps up the comedy quite a bit, despite having an amazing finale––but the Kurosawa kept the titular protagonist basically the same in the sequel. Both movies are interesting meditations on violence and how it’s used: as a tool, as emotion, as reaction, etc., and that’s an important aspect of Chapter 1 of Long John, I would argue.

In the interest of full disclosure, I probably wrote that line down because I wanted to steal it for the comic, which still sounds like a good idea. Keep an eye out for that in the future.


In other news, with the help of Phil “Frumph” Hofer, I was able to get the website whipped back into shape, so there are some new tweaks, but it should, overall, work and look the same.

As for new pages, they are coming along, expect an update along those lines soon. However, I’ve been blindsided by how busy work has made me and it is quite a frustrating thing trying to balance the two. But Long John is moving forward albeit with much private cussing and further apologies on the horizon. Thank you again for sticking with me.