UPDATED WEEKENDS BY JOE ENGLAND

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ZEBRA GIRL
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COMMENTS FROM THE AUTHOR

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14th Oct 2017, 11:18 PM

Joe England

And I'll bet you saw that coming, too.

The last page and this one have been a little heavier for me than many. Like Zandra, this is sort of the first time I've ever "killed" anyone. Oh, there have been the occasional deaths of background characters, and fantastical suggestions of death... but nothing as explicit, and pertaining to someone we've actually gotten to know.

I never had to focus on the last words that one of my characters would ever utter as their lives came to an end, or the face they make as their last seconds of consciousness expire, or their bodies as they're irrevocably injured and cast to the wind. It's a poignant experience.

Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road.

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COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

14th Oct 2017, 10:59 PM

HiddenElephant

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15th Oct 2017, 12:01 AM

guest

I, for one, am sad to see her go. The world has far too few nihilistic hippy politicians. She was a really interesting character who I hoped would find a happy ending, and I suppose she did, in her own way. Also, death is a little subtle around here, so who knows, maybe se will open a music studio in the afterlife, or go haunt a schoolbus.

My condolences to her parent.

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14th Oct 2017, 11:02 PM

Iak Kereshna

Well, that's certainly a... creative way to kill a vampire.

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15th Oct 2017, 8:03 PM

Kaylasdad99

I saw an elf kill a dragon that way once.

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15th Oct 2017, 8:03 PM

Kaylasdad99

I saw an elf kill a dragon that way once.

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15th Oct 2017, 8:03 PM

Kaylasdad99

I saw an elf kill a dragon that way once.

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14th Oct 2017, 11:08 PM

K

I love the dialogue tying in again. Goddamn.

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14th Oct 2017, 11:35 PM

Dae

Really can't consider this a kill- Bloo has died literally and metaphorically in so many ways already, and she literally would not have gone after Zandra in a suicidal fashion until something to this effect occured.
Zandra was the blade Bloo hurled herself upon.

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15th Oct 2017, 3:24 AM

A Different Mike

Suicide by cop - queen of the monsters style.

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14th Oct 2017, 11:42 PM

Fafnir13

Vampire trump card kind of not working for her there. Bloo never had a chance and Zandra knew it. Kind of sad, but it comes with being in charge. I know the comic is slated to end soon-ish but stuff like this makes me wish it would continue. It would be interesting to see how Zandra deals with the new world that's coming into being.

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15th Oct 2017, 6:06 AM

Sylfa

Bloo knew too, just look at her dialogue before the fight, she wanted to stop the eternal dream state she was in, one way or another.

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14th Oct 2017, 11:53 PM

guest

And to top it all off, we are going to have to deal with Mike's smugness again soon...

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15th Oct 2017, 2:33 PM

SomeUnregPunk

The dude got hit with chaotic magic fire internally. Good bet he ain't coming back especially since this is the final arc for this comic.

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14th Oct 2017, 11:54 PM

J

I think Bloo knew it too. This was what she wanted.

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14th Oct 2017, 11:58 PM

jonathan wint

Bloo act of love to be Zandra's Official kill. Brutal but there not a Group of Political activists There none Humans ,Predators..And Zadra is not there President.. She there Monarch.. Anyone seeing this will think twice about breaking rules killing humans challenging her ..Even the Old Scooby Gang will think twice.. And thats Sad her Friends can see she no longer Crazy but also she no longer human and they will fear her just a bit. Everyone will and thats Sad... Joe if you close up the comic will you continue the Universe?? I for one would love to see life from say a cop that Living in a town of monsters .

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15th Oct 2017, 12:00 AM

jonathan wint

Either way I still want see her Mother and how she deals with her demon Daughter!!!

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15th Oct 2017, 6:09 AM

Sylfa

That's a good point, didn't think of that before.

I assumed Bloo meant that turning Zandra into a "true" monster by killing would be a service to her, but perhaps she meant showing that Zandra can kill if it is necessary, thus killing any doubts to if she should be the leader or not.

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15th Oct 2017, 5:25 PM

Hangover Included

Guys... aagh. Capitalization is not something you use just for emphasis. And punctuation is your friend.

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15th Oct 2017, 12:21 AM

Kwyjor

I was kind of expecting a bizarre sequence in That Magical Place Where Everything Goes After Passing Down A Vampire's Throat.

Didn't Tool kind of mostly die in ... holy crap, 165?

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view Joe England's profile

15th Oct 2017, 12:36 AM

Joe England

Yeah, I thought about doing just such a sequence, but honestly, we've been there and done that. Once you've seen Zandra floating in one inky abyss you've seen 'em all.

As for Tool, like I said.... A "fantastical suggestion of death." Way I see it, kind of mostly dying isn't the same thing as definitely totally dying.

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15th Oct 2017, 1:05 AM

Treesong

I don't think anyone ever ripped her way out of a vampire with a SSHRIPPKK sound except maybe Cal Ripken. Anyway, Zandra said 'Let there be dawn' and there was dawn, which is a great metaphor for a new era. Maybe the light will put Bob out of his noseless misery, for starters.

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15th Oct 2017, 1:32 AM

BattyBams

She looks so sad at the end, just holding a heart of smoldering ash

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15th Oct 2017, 1:55 AM

Omega

Goodbye, Ms. Sugar Mammaries

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15th Oct 2017, 3:37 AM

Peter Piers

Huh. Bloo had a heart?

I don't mean metaphorically, either. I got the impression she was just a shell. No internal organs.

Weird anatomy, these vampires.

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15th Oct 2017, 6:11 AM

Sylfa

I'd say that it was safely in the void, and that is why vampires are so durable, they need their hearts pierced for that fatal wound.

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15th Oct 2017, 6:11 AM

Sylfa

I'd say that it was safely in the void, and that is why vampires are so durable, they need their hearts pierced for that fatal wound.

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15th Oct 2017, 6:39 AM

Brett Bellmore

A very shrunken heart. An adult human heart is like twice that size.

Guess it hasn't had much blood to pump in a while.

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16th Oct 2017, 6:35 PM

Christopher

Either Atrophy, or she did not have her Grinch Storyline in a while. I hear those tend to enlarge hearts.

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15th Oct 2017, 3:51 AM

Leif

This comic is awesome, I'll be sad when it ends, unless something goes completely pear-shaped but I doubt that will happen.

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15th Oct 2017, 4:09 AM

Solion

Bloo had a heart, I think it was the very last thing she really did have at the end in her madness.

It had to have ached and burned to have looked upon crystal and seen all she had lost. And in in that fury tried to create an "act of love" out of emptiness and ashes.

I think Elton Johns - Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxuqWG-Hxgo

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15th Oct 2017, 6:05 AM

Nestor

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15th Oct 2017, 6:16 AM

Sylfa

Bloo was/is a great character, she was a nuanced villain, with an understandable reason behind her actions.

All the while being almost completely out of her mind.

Was sad seeing her go, but she got her act of love, Zandra found her heart and put her to bed so she could finally rest.


On a side note, how is poor noseless going to manage, can you stitch a vampire together again?

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15th Oct 2017, 9:31 AM

Brett Bellmore

Superglue. You use superglue.

Though, since apathy seems to be a defining characteristic of this style of vampire, maybe the lack of a nose won't be a big deal.

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15th Oct 2017, 6:49 AM

Tim van der Meij

She's gonna need some backache medicine after that.

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16th Oct 2017, 4:57 AM

Sylfa

And heartburn medicine...

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15th Oct 2017, 7:45 AM

Siansaar

Weeell...I rather thought she'd straight up explode, so I can't say I exactly saw *that* coming. It's rather aesthetic, actually. And that closeup of Bloo's firebreathing face is pure Hellboy :D

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view Destrustor's profile

15th Oct 2017, 10:34 AM

Destrustor

Well darn, now I'm kinda sad for Bloo.

Rest in whatever peace you can find, Flower Girl.

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15th Oct 2017, 10:47 AM

The riverwolf

Soooooo..... What will Black Betty do now? Will she continue to be a pet Pooka? An anti-hero? Return to being a rabbit revolutionary waiting for the rabbit messiah? Will she be let to run wild or kept on a short leash?

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15th Oct 2017, 11:17 AM

Guest

ha, yeah, did see this coming, but it's about the journey as much as the destination. Love the way these pages have come out.

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15th Oct 2017, 11:36 AM

Mr. Casual

I like the imagery of Zandra using her wings to blow away the last of Bloo on the wind. Kind of a poignant sendoff.

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15th Oct 2017, 11:37 AM

Sigurther

I guess Bloo wasn't so empty after all.

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15th Oct 2017, 12:01 PM

Kilgaen

It comes through, man. She was twisted and a bit tragic through the time we got to know her, but Bloo's last moments are a gut punch. The inevitability of it don't twist the insides any less.

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15th Oct 2017, 12:58 PM

anonymous

"Undead" they were dead already
doesn't count

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15th Oct 2017, 1:20 PM

Muse

You did good by her, Joe.

RIP.

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15th Oct 2017, 4:10 PM

Xidas

The art on this page is lovely, especially the layers of smoke and flame. The seventh (?) panel is especially striking.

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15th Oct 2017, 5:10 PM

Palrphanu

Joe, your whole take on vampirism has been just the best I've seen/read in a long time, bested only by Bram Stoker's Dracula, who Bloo seems to mirror in many ways, all while being her own, awesome character. Was Dracula (character and novel/story itself) an inspiration/basis for some of Bloo's qualities? Hrm, and the Vampire who turned her was named Boris as well, Boris Karloff of Frankenstein's Monster fame?

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15th Oct 2017, 8:57 PM

Traveller

Had to go back and check her last words. That empty speech bubble, though... Man.

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15th Oct 2017, 9:23 PM

Another Joe

When ZG started, I think Joe's ambition exceeded his skills... but over time we've watched him polish both scripting and art, and at this point he's achieving considerable subtlety in both. Practice may not make perfect yet, but it sure as heck makes better.

I'll miss this series... but I have to respect a craftsman who knows when the work is complete.

Ya done real good, Joe. Make sure folks know what your next project will be; we'll want to watch for it.

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15th Oct 2017, 9:26 PM

Pyre

My art teacher once told me that sometimes you have to destroy something to make it beautiful. Looking at the previous page after seeing this one...Bloo's face in the final page is just that, beautiful. And for Zandra, killing Bloo did destroy something in her but I think she's going to be all the more beautiful for it.

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15th Oct 2017, 11:21 PM

Shade

This reminds me very much of Mommy Fortuna's death from The Last Unicorn. Like that sequence of events, Bloo knew on some level she was destined to lose and die. But it was the fate she wanted. And like Fortuna said of the harpy that killed her, Zandra will always remember her, both for her twisted wisdom, and the final lesson she gave her as Zandra's first kill. Ironic, that it'll be a form of immortality for someone who wanted so desperately to die all along.

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15th Oct 2017, 11:35 PM

Jeffrey H Wood

I understand that you're leaving ZebraGirl and moving on to other projects. Just a word of warning; I once attempted to do the same with my own long-term character, and it was agonizing. Real grief, like a death in the family. I eventually re-invested in her. But, if you can walk away and make it stick, you're a stronger man than I.

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16th Oct 2017, 1:49 AM

Joe England

Hmm. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks, Jeffrey.

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16th Oct 2017, 2:24 AM

heckruler

I'd consider her slicing the head in twain of the professor to be a pretty big... "I'm ok with violence" moment.

I know you've mentioned it's ending soon... but I always kind of expected that mysterious mother-on-the-phone to come around. She doesn't really get mentioned, but it's one of those rock-solid ties to her old life. You can never go home, but splits are never clean.

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16th Oct 2017, 4:52 AM

Lorien Inksong

Poor Bloo. She's done some despicable things but I did really feel for her. But in a strange way seeing her painful existence definitively end was cathartic. And honestly I can't think of a better way Bloo's story could have ended.

This page painful but the peace at the end is beautiful. Thank you for it.

;; I just wish I could offer better words of comfort, to be honest, because your description of having to draw those panels sounds painful.

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16th Oct 2017, 8:17 AM

O. B. Juan

I'd call that a heartless act by Zandra, if it weren't for the fact that she's obviously holding one.

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16th Oct 2017, 9:39 AM

Hocus

Damn, now I'm all sad.
Awesome work as always, Joe.

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16th Oct 2017, 9:41 AM

John Yossarian

Kali Ma
Kali Maaaaaaaaa

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16th Oct 2017, 9:03 PM

Luposian

Exactly what I was thinking. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Ha!

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16th Oct 2017, 3:06 PM

Kemonocross

Ah yes, the moment an artist becomes cognizant of death as a reality rather then as an abstract concept is something of a telling one. To hold in your hand and mind the thought of what it means to watch someone die with every stroke of the pen, far easier to leave it to the audience's imagination and have it happen off screen then to try and immortalize their pain and anguish. For me, John Cleese said it best when he described the battle with the Black Knight in the quest for the holy grail. That the way the audience recognizes violence comes down to the way the artist portrays it, that if the Black Knight had looked at his severed arm and started vomiting, or began begging Arthur for his life, the audience would have reacted accordingly, and been thoroughly disgusted, but because he said 'tis but a scratch!' the audience was transported to a place where death was treated as a comedy, rather then a tragedy.

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16th Oct 2017, 3:43 PM

Lyn

I'm proud of you, Joe. It's a hard thing to do, killing a character. Even if the storyline demands it, even if the story you've prepared and written in your head demands it, it still feels just a little too real. Being able to go through with it despite having reservations about doing so is part of being a writer.

Plus, you didn't resort to dumbass cheesy one-liners, which is also pretty nice. Ain't the time for humor. Maybe next page.

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16th Oct 2017, 3:45 PM

Lyn

Oh, and I also thought it was a cool little touch that Bloo's face had already started to mend back together, showing I'm guessing how fast vamps can regenerate from major injury.

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