I gave Long John the surname “Walker” for two reasons. First, I was very much inspired by the 1967 John Boorman-directed, Lee Marvin-starring noir film, Point Blank. The movie itself was an adaptation of the Richard Stark novel, The Hunter, which kicked off his series of novels starring the hard boiled anti-hero, Parker. Many of those books were adapted into graphic novels by Canadian artist, Darwyn Cooke––a book series and an artist whose influence on my cannot be understated. While The Hunter and other Parker novels had been granted adaptation licenses, the one thing Stark (“Richard Stark” was actually just a pseudonym for novelist, Donald Westlake) wouldn’t license was the name of the character. That is, until Cooke came along. Because of that, in Point Blank they named the main character “Walker” since they didn’t have the right to use the name “Parker.”

Second, In the Mono Valley, there is a town called Walker north of Bridgeport (more of that to be seen in Chapter 5). So, there are local ties (there is also a town of Bishop south of Mono Lake, but now I’m giving away too many secrets) as well as pop culture ones.

All that being said, I had no idea there was a Marvel character named “John Walker” before I created my troubled hero. As a youth, I only read books that had an “X” in the title or were made by the founders of Image Comics, so I was woefully ignorant of 97% of comics at the time. I bring this up because the Marvel character “John Walker”––apparently also known as U.S. Agent––has appeared in the new Disney+ Marvel show, Falcon and the Winter Soldier as a trouble replacement for Captain America, and I should say I received more than a few texts after he first appeared. Currently, I don’t subscribe to Disney+ and I have only minimal interest and even less investment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so the most I know about Marvel’s John Walker is his pretty neat costume, actually.

So, in honor of great minds thinking alike (though, I guess I should have had him holding a bottle of Johnnie Walker, too, if I had been smart about it) I drew the above comic to make some of my friends laugh.