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The London bombings and todays Zwol: Nouveau Chemin strip
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losttoy
Understands reinventing


Joined: 02 Apr 2002
Posts: 429
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:51 pm    Post subject: The London bombings and todays Zwol: Nouveau Chemin strip Reply with quote

I woke up today and do what I usually do. I check my e-mail and look at a handful of websites, then go to work. I usually read the newest Zwol: Nouveau Chemin that is being posted. Then in my car I heard the news on the radio.

I think it is important to note that all of the ZNC strips were written almost a year ago. Eric illustrated the most recent ones a few months ago. We were holding off posting until we finalized details with the final scene. After some time, Greg put on these strips on an automatic posting program that updates a new strip every day.

The comic that appeared briefly today had mirrored the events that happened in such a horrifying effect that Eric and Greg made the quick decision to pull today?s regularly scheduled comic (I was unavailable, but agree and glad they did something).

To further explain, ZNC is a story about an international news reporter and his photographer, Zwol?s own Selby. After being pulled from the news in Haiti, Jonathan was assigned to cover the elections in Spain. This particular strip takes place on March 11th 2004, where the Madrid train bombing occurred. The whole plot was building up to this point in the story. Where in Greg?s Zwol comics, Kate witnessed the World Trade Center bombings on the TV, ZNC was to have Selby witness this event first hand. Without giving away the rest of the story, this event was to serve as a major plot point to Selby?s development as a character.

While the reports are still coming in, today London was attacked by a coordinated terrorism attack. Much like the Madrid train bombings last year, London?s transportation system was hit by a series of explosive devices on underground trains and a bus.

I have been rather conflicted on whether we should pull today strip or not. As Eric and Greg pointed out in an e-mail, this strip came way too close for comfort. It might be out of taste to show a bomb going off when a reader may have friends or family in London. We also have several readers who come from or live in the UK. However, there could no be a better reason to run this strip, as it is very much relevant in light of current events. Showing the comparison of Madrid and what happened today is not going to be news as Madrid is being talked about quite a bit already in the media coverage. On the other hand, I do not want to confuse readers who would think that this story is taking place today instead of last year. The debate goes on and on further in my head, however I guess all in all the best thing is to delay comic.

This is also speculation to how you, the reader, might respond to this story. We would like to hear from you on your take of our unique situation. Please tell us what you think about any of this ...

Rest assured, this story will be told. ZNC is not exactly about the Madrid train bombing, yet uses this historic event as a reference and plot point. Hopefully with some time, the similarities between of the London bombings and ZNC storyline will lighten with time to allow readers to enjoy the story without being disturbing.

I still have trouble rapping my mind about the enormousness of this event and how it effects all of us around the world. My hope is that join me in my thoughts and condolences that are with the victims of the attacks and their friends and family.

Thank you very much,
David Ano
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Greg Stephens
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Joined: 14 Apr 2001
Posts: 3861
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without going into as much detail as David, my decision to delay the comics for this week (which had been mostly posted already, from Monday to this morning) was decided by the order in which I received the news.

First I woke up and decided to check my email. I received a brief note from some friends in London reading, in essence, "we're OK." Being 9 hours behind London time and not having heard the news, I didn't know why they wouldn't be OK, so I went to Google News and saw the headlines. Four bombs in London, approximately 40 dead at the time with hundreds more injured.

Next I checked one of my other email accounts and read Eric's email that today's comic was discomforting. I checked the comic myself and agreed.

While the comics I've posted have sometimes been very timely, the coincidence of this one was a bit alarming to me, first thing in the morning.

Maybe I'll just post the comics a day late.

As David says above, any comments are welcome.
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Ray Radlein
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Joined: 29 May 2003
Posts: 25
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You all have my sympathy on this. Even having known all along where this storyline was heading, that strip was still intensely powerful when I read it late last night, just before the bombings in London.

This morning, while watching the early coverage on CNN and obsessivly checking the blogs of all of the folks I know who live around London or who might conceivably have been in London today, I kept thinking about today's ZNC, and how spectacularly unlucky the timing was.
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Eric F Myers
Understands reinventing


Joined: 03 Oct 2003
Posts: 352
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David, thank you for making that post. It was a very terrible coincidence. Today was my day off of work, and I couldn't sleep last night. This is very strange, for as my wife can tell you, on my days off I usually sleep for a good ten hours. I woke up around 3:00 am (Chicago time/9:00am London time). So I got up and sat in the dark, checking all of normal morning sites. I looked at the Zwol strip and was studying it, seeing what is good and bad about it and what I can do to improve. I then walked into the living room and turned on the TV. Some British lady was talking about "explosions in the tubes." I quickly change the channel, not wanting to start my day with bad news. I soon realize that this lady was on every channel. Once the information sunk into my head I became sick to my stomach. I woke up Candi and we sat on the couch watching the horror. When I was finally able to peel myself from the leather (a couple of hours later) I stumbled back over to the computer and sent my short email to Greg and David, I then went back to the screen of doom. I more or less have been watching CNN for the past 15 hours. I think I'm now ready to return to my own reality. Greg, I'm glad that you bumped the strip back a week, but the events of today will still be fresh in our memories, and they won't be any less horrific.
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