Sketch Fridays #29 - Hellrider Jackie

Sketch Fridays #30 – Hellrider Jackie

The last half of Chapter 2––Bird’s Eye––is well underway, with new pages going up before the end of the summer.

We’ll be seeing a lot of new stuff in the second half of Chapter 2, both artistically as well as narratively, but these developments help the story and character along as well as present cool visuals for the readers.

Long John has always been touted as being a “straight” western, meaning that it is about a dude in the Eastern Sierras dealing with his existential dilemmas without the aid of literal or figurative zombies, robots, aliens, or superpowers to fight and simultaneously represent his struggle. Such blending is something that creators like to do right now, smashing disparate genres together in one book. There’s nothing wrong with doing that––check out Five GhostsGoon, or Sixth Gun for excellent examples of genre mashups––but this story, I felt, wouldn’t gain anything from a supernatural bolstering.

However, the nice thing about comic books is that they can show us things that don’t exist in life, and I will be playing with the visual metaphor a bit more as Chapter 2 rolls forward and will continue throughout the book. I won’t get specific; I’ll save that for when it happens in the story, but I do like the idea of using the comics medium as a way to show augmented reality––using the medium to enhance what’s going on in the scene. We’ll be seeing new sides of Long John in the remaining fifteen-ish pages and the emotion I want to get across can be made tangible by a little enhancement and visual metaphor.

Before, I’ve talked about using the coloring as a means of abstract and emotional expression within the comic. As Long John descends into more challenges and introspection, I feel that such representation should expand beyond how things are colored. I don’t think we’ll be seeing a wingéd Jackie at any point, though. So, I save such diversions for a Sketch Friday post. If anything, making drawings like this can help with future cover ideas, which, I feel, can more fully bend the rules of the comic since they are meant to grab the attention of passersby as well as represent what waits inside.