MONDAY AND FRIDAY BY JOE ENGLAND

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ZEBRA GIRL
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COMMENTS FROM THE AUTHOR

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1st Oct 2016, 11:41 PM

Joe England

ZEBRA NEWS BULLETIN, 10/06/16: Hey everyone. I hate to do this (I mean I hate to do this), and you KNOW how I hate to do it because I say it every time I do it, but... there'll be no new page this week. I've just released Volume Four, the script needs a bit more love and care, and obligations and changing weather are dividing my attention for now, so there's really a need for some breathing room at the moment.

And I apologize, but you might have furthermore noticed that the comic's been posted late Saturday for the past three weeks or so. I'd like to take a break to give more time to the process and get things back to a more even keel. It'll help the comic, and me, and you (because you read the comic), and ultimately, presumably, the rest of the world (in a roundabout way).

So I'll see you Saturday after next, right? Yeah, figuratively speaking. Thanks very much for your patience.

-Joe



That's heavy, Tomie. But speaking of books (or books that are speaking, but still supply an adequate segue), oh, wow. Look. No, seriously. Look at that.
Zebra Girl, Volume Four:
Sandra in the Outlands

Collecting strips from 2009 through 2013, now on sale in PDF and paperback.
Yeah, I thought I'd surprise you. Don't believe me? It's legit. We've finally made it to Volume Four. It's up for ordering in the store, along with all the others, Sandra's entire journey through dreamworld after her fall from grace.

Man. This is kind of a moment.

And not just because it's another whole book suddenly for sale, but because this sort of brings us up to date. Past this volume, there's just this storyline. Granted, it's a huge storyline, but....
Well I could talk and talk, but I think the work should speak for itself. I'm just happy it finally can. Not like Tomie does, of course. Sort of metaphorically.

As always, either buy through the dropdowns or, if you've contributed $15.00 or more through Patreon (or $35.00 for those of you who happen to be Canadian, and $40.00 for anyone who’s neither American or Canadian), just shoot me a message and request a book.

There were days when I didn't think this particular day would ever come.

-Joe

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COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

1st Oct 2016, 11:38 PM

Yoko Udoran

Sexy book
I guess it's still hard to grasp that tomie is female. I guess just guessed some of the things tomie did was maleish....huh kinda so master recognizes me ill appear with the same traits...Kinda thing

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6th Oct 2016, 1:11 PM

Christopher

After seeing her in female form, I asumed she was the "Spirit" that saved Jack on the 3rd Attempt by Broadshoulders to kill Zandra/Bannish her to hell.

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1st Oct 2016, 11:52 PM

VeryTired

Jesus, has it really been three years since this plot line started? Man how time flies. Congratulations on all your achievements, Joe! It's all well earned.

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2nd Oct 2016, 12:01 AM

Chaotik74

(paraphrased)From the Tao of David Bowie

How You changed my my world you precious thing..
You freed and redefined me

Who I have become is because of you
before that i was noone.

I waited so long
lost in the dark

This world can be so cruel
but to go back would so cruel
Oh I want to believe in you
yes I do

Want to live out in the sunlight
want to love with all my heart beasts
I...I....can't live without you..

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2nd Oct 2016, 12:03 AM

chaotik74

crack open a video of "within you" from labyrinth. come to think of it, Tomie's wardrobe is a bit reminiscent of the set from that piece.

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2nd Oct 2016, 4:06 PM

Joe England

Very nice! I'm charmed that you made such a connection. And I do love that movie.

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2nd Oct 2016, 12:07 AM

Fafnir13

Could you....fix Tomie's legs? It's in her last panel. The perspective is just off enough that all I can think about is how misaligned her butt must be.
Um...that's the only reason I'm thinking about it. Just worried about...the art. Yeah.

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view Joe England's profile

2nd Oct 2016, 1:00 AM

Joe England

Alright, I'll go by your suggestion. You might need to help me with this, I'm suffering "art blindness" a little. I'm too close to the work to accurately perceive the flaw yet, so it's difficult for me to correct. I've altered the panel slightly, can you tell me if it's improved?

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2nd Oct 2016, 2:54 AM

Guest

Yes! Amazing how the tiniest line can make such a big different.
Unless I was just imagining everything and nothing was actually changed :p
Nothing looks off to me anymore though. I hate to nitpick something so small when the HOURS of work you put everywhere else on the page is so good. It was just in the perfect place to be distracting.

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2nd Oct 2016, 3:14 AM

Joe England

Well, thanks very much for pointing it out to me! Sometimes it's hard to tell when a mistake is made until it's too late.

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2nd Oct 2016, 9:03 AM

Volkai

Looks fine to me as of 10/2 9:03am (eastern)

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2nd Oct 2016, 12:24 AM

Rborn

I kind of want to give Tommie a "don't worry it will be alright" hug.

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8th Oct 2016, 2:07 PM

morfos

Really? Cuz I kind of want to give Tomie a "yes, you're sexy" hug.

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2nd Oct 2016, 12:54 AM

StarCreator

Small nitpick: Jack seems to be talking with Tomie's font on the second to last panel.

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2nd Oct 2016, 1:03 AM

Joe England

God's sake... haven't a clue how that could possibly have happened. Just one of those comics where every fourth thing seems to go wrong. But thanks for pointing it out.

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2nd Oct 2016, 1:13 AM

Robin

Tomie asking Jack if she's sexy reminds of the time when the TARDIS told Eleven her name was Sexy

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2nd Oct 2016, 2:08 AM

Guest

Needs more skin mags Tomie needs to be introduced to ;)

I'm a little scared too -- Tomie's purpose is to be found and then lost again when "the time comes" -- full circle if she "vanishes" while at the house...

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2nd Oct 2016, 3:32 AM

Epsilon Rose

I think the scariest part of that might be that the only reason he found her was because he was board, not just the returning to nothing thing.

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2nd Oct 2016, 3:35 AM

Vazad

Ah, so she's worried he might get bored and put her back in the box. That's pretty sad I must say. I suppose when you're an intelligence that's had hundreds of masters do that to you before it could be pretty scary once you think you've found someone who cares. From her experience everyone gets bored eventually.

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2nd Oct 2016, 4:00 AM

Hangover Included

...aaand just when you thought that surely *something* really hot was about to happen, "Hey look over here! Some other thing is happening with different sexy people!"

You're a monster, Joe.
<3

can't wait for next week, as usual.

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2nd Oct 2016, 4:23 AM

Nestor

Not to be a bore but voting at the beginning of the month is when it's possible to break into the top100, vote often, vote well, vote now

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2nd Oct 2016, 4:32 AM

Joe England

Canny observation!

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view lorddarke's profile

2nd Oct 2016, 5:43 AM

lorddarke

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view CrankyCat's profile

2nd Oct 2016, 7:42 AM

CrankyCat

If Jack cuddles Tomie will she make crinkle noises?

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2nd Oct 2016, 3:15 PM

Guest

I would also like to know this.

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2nd Oct 2016, 9:35 AM

Hidden Elephant

Thus explains why Tomie has chosen to be female; she needs the attention to avoid being thrown away.

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2nd Oct 2016, 12:04 PM

Christine

It seems to me more likely that Tomie's exquisite appearance reflects Jack's opinion of her. Cast by someone who did not regard her so highly she might have looked very different, but for Jack, Tomie is beloved, at least in the philosophic sense, and that is writ large on her for the world to see.

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2nd Oct 2016, 2:22 PM

Hidden Elephant

Here's how I think this whole thing is going. We know Jack likes sexy women, see last page. He's got his friends with him again. Tomie, meanwhile, is a book. She's afraid that she'll be put back if she does not appeal to Jack because she'll mean nothing to him. It's funny, but it's like she's trying to objectify herself to stay around Jack. Tomie is wholly in control of what her shape is, I think, and she's using it as a perceived advantage.

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3rd Oct 2016, 1:31 AM

Christine

I don't read their relationship as a sick one. I see a lot of influence from certain medieval tracts which define the evolving relationship between the magus and the work. And I defy you to produce an example of a female that Jack thinks is unsexy.

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3rd Oct 2016, 9:23 AM

Hidden Elephant

...I would, but there isn't actually a major female character that Jack's met that we've spent time observing that isn't in some way idealistically beautiful. Closest we get is the Werewolf Alpha, who made Jack panic. Though I believe we should cut the conversation, lest I get into an extremely negative in-depth observation of the webcomic that leaves a sour taste in everyone's mouth.

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view Joe England's profile

3rd Oct 2016, 8:51 PM

Joe England

Go ahead and express your thoughts if you'd like. I might not disagree.

I do worry about the prevalence of idealized figures in this comic, especially lately. I'm not sure I can defend it, but I can at least say that I'm aware of it, and that it concerns me. And that it's... surprisingly difficult to keep from doing it. Which might be a cop out. But there's clearly a part of me that enjoys drawing sensual figures, and I guess the inclination has grown hard to resist as my style has progressed. And another part of me doesn't want to stifle the impulse... artists are used to obeying their muses.

But believe me, I never meant to capitalize on sex appeal, or to enforce the notion that good people are pretty and bad people aren't. I hate that trope, and the comic wasn't made to be that kind of eye candy. There's not intended to be any prejudice against people who don't fall into an aesthetic or erotic standard, and it frustrates me that I've fallen short of clarifying that within the narrative. All I can do is hope to take advantage of opportunities to rectify that impression in the future.

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3rd Oct 2016, 11:07 PM

Hidden Elephant

That, and a surprising number of web-comics I read, though not many, have either white/caucasian leads or nonhuman leads. The only two that come to mind, are Order of the Stick's Roy Greenhilt and Godslave's Edith, both of whom are black. Meanwhile, Zebragirl's diversity has come in the form of a black policewoman, Viv, and Tomie, whom I count as nonhuman. By my self-created rules, a nonhuman character cannot qualify for increasing ethnic/racial diversity in a work. It's an odd problem that I didn't think would occur in webcomic format given the independent nature of the work at large.
And, lest we forget, I must also note that villains are rarely ethically/racially diverse either. This I view as a good thing. You're not suppose to like villains, and making them of a minority would compound issues.

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view Joe England's profile

4th Oct 2016, 1:30 AM

Joe England

Well, there's Anna Galactic too. But I know what you mean. That's also been a concern for me. Believe me, it's crossed my mind before that there didn't seem to be enough ethnically diverse characters in the comic. And it's been brought up before, too.... I remember one reviewer said that it was "inexcusable."

I'm not sure I'd go that far... it seems to advocate tokenism, the idea that it comes down to filling a quota. But it's still something I'm aware of, and I've tried to mitigate the lack of diversity over the years with Lord, and Suze, and Viv, and Tomie, and Shaun. Though so far only Viv and Tomie have been more than supporting characters, and both you and the reviewer that I mentioned have said that Tomie doesn't count. Which strikes me as maybe slightly harsh, but okay.

Actually, if we're being perfectly honest, I always thought of Doyenne as non caucasian too. But shading skin was difficult and dodgy back when I only used pens. Come to think of it, that's actually kind of the primary reason why I didn't draw darker-skinned people more often throughout the formative years! And it's a dumb reason, I admit.

In any case, again, this is something I'm aware of, and something I'd like to improve in time. But this comic does move slowly, and it's difficult to introduce new cast members at this point while giving them enough time and space to come into their own as more than minor characters. And I have to let the story grow organically, along with all its pieces.

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5th Oct 2016, 12:14 AM

Guest

I hope we see Doyenne again someday. I *liked* her. Although I figure Wally would give her a piece of his fist... and his teeth, and so on.

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8th Oct 2016, 2:15 PM

morfos

Have you ever looked at historical african art, or indian art, or japanese art, and noticed the people don't look tinted? When everyone's the same color, color ceases to be an issue, and people get drawn as white because only the facial features matter.

It took cultural diversity to make it necessary to express cultural diversity.

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4th Oct 2016, 4:11 AM

Nestor

You are a beancounter, keep your quotas away from art

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5th Oct 2016, 4:59 PM

Vosla

Tomie appears to be a West Indian to me, not a non human like the crazy rabbit.

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5th Oct 2016, 9:03 PM

Hidden Elephant

True, but she's also a book. Her human form is a construct that either she or Jack made for the purposes of not weirding out everyone they meet, among other possible reasons. That's kind of what I meant by non-human. She (probably) didn't come about in the organic life-form way. She was written into existence.

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7th Oct 2016, 11:11 AM

Plutoniumboss

On the other hand, from our point of view, the point of view that can judge racial imbalances like this, they all were written into existence.

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7th Oct 2016, 2:49 PM

Draco Ex Machina

Wow, way to descriminate against Tomie just because she had a different birth and upbringing than most people.

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14th Oct 2016, 8:12 PM

JasonAW3

I don't know about the lack of racial diversity.

It seems to me that Joe has included PLENTY of racial diversity.

You've got Lepus Americans, Lupine Americans, Lamia Americans, Daemonic Americans, heck, that's only to name a few! Oddly enough, I suspect that Joe will include whatever racial types he feels is appropriate to the story.

There would be the possibility that some over sensitive types COULD misinterpret Joe's meaning, if he were to use an ethnic minority as, say, a vampire or werewolf or some such. Someone might interpret that he was trying to demonize said minority by, (in this case) literally, demonizing said minority character.

This would turn into a no win situation, and I seriously doubt that ANYONE want's to see that happen.

Well, then again, there ARE those out there who just want to see the world burn...

If so, remember... Bring plenty of marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers!

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2nd Oct 2016, 1:44 PM

Spider

*throws more money at you*

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3rd Oct 2016, 8:53 PM

Joe England

*Expresses boundless gratitude!*

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2nd Oct 2016, 1:48 PM

Vero

So curious about Jack and Tomie's relationship now. I don't think Tomie was ever "female" when they were a book. However, Tomie is now in a female body and dealing with a lot of new stuff. :( It must be so confusing.

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3rd Oct 2016, 1:14 AM

Limey Lassen

Once, I can't remember
I was, long ago, someone strange
I was innocent and wise
And full of pain
Now that I'm a woman
Everything is strange

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3rd Oct 2016, 1:41 PM

Mr. Casual

So I had an interesting thought. Does Jack's plaid shirt regenerate? It was pretty thoroughly shredded in the last encounter they had with Zandra, and now he has it back, but it seems much shorter than the robe-like thing it was at the start of the arc. Like it's growing. Seems pretty interesting to me.

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3rd Oct 2016, 2:49 PM

Nekropancser

As far as I understand the mechanism behind Jack's shirt, is that it belongs to him in a magical manner. We saw it extend, shapechange, get torn to shreds, we saw it move as if winds tore into it while in an interior. I believe that Jack's shirt is no longer a piece of clothing, but a part of his soul and a projection of that part into the material plane of existence...
Theories...

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4th Oct 2016, 12:47 AM

Mr. Casual

But he was without it for a while a few pages back. Like it had to rest, or something.

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7th Oct 2016, 7:33 PM

JasonAW3

Hmmm...

Actually, I'm of the opinion that the Shirt Of Plaid is now magick, or more precisely, it is now composed of woven magick.

The Plaid that everyone sees is its projection of itself into the minds of the observers around it, as it's true form is incomprehensible to the mortal mind.

Either that, or magick is sapient and just likes screwing with everybody's minds!

Just sayin'...

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3rd Oct 2016, 5:59 PM

Nobody of Import

Don't mind if I do!

It'll get budgeted in (I've got my own endeavors that are coming to this year's "head" (including taking a Horse to the US Arabian Nationals...)) and buy

It belongs in my collection...and...one wouldn't want to suffer spontaneous combustion...right?

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3rd Oct 2016, 11:38 PM

SomeUnregPunk

sounds like she needs a library. A gigantic public library.

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7th Oct 2016, 7:41 PM

JasonAW3

She IS a library. A gigantic private library. Probably filled mostly with porn, knowing Jack...

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7th Oct 2016, 7:39 PM

JasonAW3

Anybody ever consider that Tomie may be a physical manifestation of knowledge, projected by magick, into our reality?

When you consider that Zandra was physically cast out of reality to a place where certain concepts had physical manifestations that were both sapient and had self knowledge of what they were, it really isn't that much of a stretch of the imagination.

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8th Oct 2016, 2:05 PM

morfos

Was looking back at Jack finding Tomie and I came across this...

http://www.zebragirl.thecomicseries.com/comics/5

I think it's been a long time since you couldn't think of a way to fill a word balloon.

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view Joe England's profile

8th Oct 2016, 5:34 PM

Joe England

Yeah... long time.

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8th Oct 2016, 11:48 PM

Lucius Appaloosius

Well, at least I have Volume 4 to while away the week... 7@=e

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9th Oct 2016, 8:45 AM

CrankyCat

No comic?!? But this is the only reason I look forward to Saturday!

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view Umbral Reaver's profile

13th Oct 2016, 8:17 AM

Umbral Reaver

I finally got around to ordering all four books. Thank you for dedication to continuing this work.

I find kinship with Zandra. I have been demonised for my orientation, even seen as inhuman. Members of my family believe literal demon possession is one such cause. So it's only natural that I turn it around and see demonhood as empowering.

We don't choose to be monsters, but we can sure as hell fight for a world in which we can enjoy being different.

Is it weird to parallel the issues explored in this story with real life issues of identity? D:

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view Joe England's profile

13th Oct 2016, 4:48 PM

Joe England

Weird? Not the word I'd use. It's the ambition of artists to build bridges between imagination and real life. I'll thank you for finding such a bridge, it's the greatest comfort an artist can have.

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14th Oct 2016, 8:21 PM

JasonAW3

Joe,

Sorry it took so long, but I finally got around to buying all four books currently available.

If you ever do finish the story, you'll need to sell a collected version as one book, or rather, (done dark sunglasses) a Tomie...

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15th Oct 2016, 9:12 AM

BMCG

Y'know, I first came across this comic around 13 years ago, when I randomly googled 'zebragirl comic' after seeing it on a comic cover on a shelf of the Android's Dungeon in the background of an episode of The Simpsons.

I thought to meself "I wonder if that's an actual comic, or if maybe someone's gone and made one of it?" Maybe it'd be kinda cool.

Lo and behold, here I found myself, with something wholly unexpected and far greater.

I've read it ever since - even featured some of your work and an analysis of it (with regards to the formatting of comics online and why or how they match print formatting) in an essay for university! Properly attributed and in a recommended reading list at the end, too.

Yesterday my order of all four books arrived, which I guess prompted this comment - not something I'd usually do.

Thank you so much for writing this comic, for sticking with it, for your posts underneath (which are invariably clever and entertaining). Thank you for your ever-improving art and the story lines that become more dramatic and epic with each additional page.

Thank you for printing the archives in paperback book form - there's something about reading them on paper that's wonderful... and it makes it easier than ever to re-read everything (sometimes loading and scrolling is just so tedious, y'know?).

So, just... thank you.

Oh, and please include some extras in the next Volume! I want more! Always more!

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view Joe England's profile

15th Oct 2016, 10:17 AM

Joe England

It's my genuine pleasure to strive to deliver more. Thanks very, very much for reading and enjoying what I've put out, and for letting me know. It means more than I can describe.

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17th Oct 2016, 11:19 AM

Plutoniumboss

My wife saw this page over my shoulder and the first words out of her mouth were "She's beautiful."

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10th Nov 2016, 1:05 AM

Joe England

Aw! Thanks for that. Good to know.

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