MONDAY AND FRIDAY BY JOE ENGLAND

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ZEBRA GIRL
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COMMENTS FROM THE AUTHOR

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4th Nov 2017, 11:17 PM

Joe England

Well I'M not. I'm exhausted.

So! That brings us to a brief stopping point. Zebra Girl will now take an intermission while I, the author, prepare the very final act. How long of an intermission, you ask?

Well, look. The following scenes aren't going to be very long... more of a coda to this storyline (and the whole rest of the comic) than an entire storyline of their own... but if I went at it in my usual page-a-week fashion then it would still be a month or two before we reached the end. And the purpose of this hiatus is so that the last pages can be presented in a more rapid and rhythmically appropriate fashion, as you, the reader, deserve.

So Zebra Girl is going to take the rest of the year off. We'll be resuming service in 2018. There may be minor updates to the site in the interim, but for right now, I'm afraid you'll have to hunker down for a bit of a wait.

Usually I would apologize to you in the audience for any inconvenience, but this time I won't bother with that. I'm ending a work of art I'll have given almost eighteen years of my life to, so I'll handle the denouement as I see fit, and with nary a shred of contrition. And I think I know you well enough by now to feel certain that you won't begrudge an artist's artly needs.

Many of you left kind and supportive comments under the most recent pages, and it truly means a lot to me. I wanted to respond to everyone individually, but there are so many that all I can say is... well, some of you have been reading for a long time, others have come here more recently, and in any case I only need you to understand how sincerely I appreciate it.

That said, let's just breathe a little sigh and enjoy the rest of our year. The Bloofer Lady is gone, our heroines and heroes are reunited at last, and I'm sure we're all anxious for a little hibernation after everything we've just endured (in both my world and in yours).

So let's take it easy.

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COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

4th Nov 2017, 10:54 PM

Lachlan R

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4th Nov 2017, 11:10 PM

Fafnir13

Secret boss time?

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5th Nov 2017, 4:33 AM

morfos

There is NO COW LEVEL.

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5th Nov 2017, 4:33 AM

morfos

There is NO COW LEVEL.

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5th Nov 2017, 8:52 AM

f.Dingo

I feel older every time I hear that reference.

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10th Nov 2017, 11:36 AM

Necrophage

I'm so old I've forgotten what that reference means.

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12th Nov 2017, 11:26 PM

Morfos

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diablo_II#Secret_Cow_Level

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4th Nov 2017, 11:23 PM

Ren

<3 as a fellow artist using a diff name I understand :3 see you in 2018!

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4th Nov 2017, 11:30 PM

Evil Atlas

Yeah, we all needed that hug.

And hey, Zandra's (Sandra's?) tail is still short.

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5th Nov 2017, 2:57 PM

Brett Bellmore

"And hey, Zandra's (Sandra's?) tail is still short."

Considering that she's still a demon, and requires (other people's) pain and suffering to regenerate, maybe just as well that she waits until after the happy ending to chow down so she can regrow it...

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4th Nov 2017, 11:33 PM

Shade

Normally, I'm a petulant little crapper, and grumble anytime one of my beloved webcomics goes on hiatus for any reason. But in this case, I know it's a necessary stopping point, and I definitely wouldn't begrudge you the time you need for a proper send-off after almost two decades of working on this comic. Take all the time you need, Joe. I'll be eagerly awaiting the last bit of this wonderful adventure I've been on with Zandra and friends over the years.

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4th Nov 2017, 11:35 PM

Mongo

Still waiting to get back to the mystery breast enlargements from previous pages

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4th Nov 2017, 11:37 PM

Jake Eel

Add one more kind and supportive comment - I've been reading for a few years now, and really appreciate everything!

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4th Nov 2017, 11:42 PM

geoffrey

Thank you for one of the finest comics I have had the pleasure to read from the begining to end while in process.

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4th Nov 2017, 11:52 PM

Squirrelmaster

Did I hear fan art?

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4th Nov 2017, 11:52 PM

HiddenElephant

Dunno about you, but this already feels like a pretty good ending bit. I've certainly seen worse ways to end a piece.

But whatever. There's always an epilogue, a few final moments that make us feel warm and fuzzy (hey, I feel like that right now!) Do with them what you may; I'll just have to remember to check back in come 2018.

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5th Nov 2017, 12:08 AM

mina

they hugged!!! :D :D

(tbh i've probably been waiting for that hug ever since sandra/zandra got banished to the outlands in the first place)

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5th Nov 2017, 12:10 AM

Joseph

I just realized that I've been reading almost from the very beginning.

I encountered Zebra Girl shortly after my parents bought me my first computer (an old eMac). It was one of the first webcomics I picked up, along with Schlock Mercenary. At first, I visited both using bookmarks, and then had these comics delivered to me with an RSS aggregator.

It will be sad to see these feeds go dark after eighteen years (almost twice as long as Calvin and Hobbes!), but it has been a good time.

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5th Nov 2017, 12:12 AM

Guest

That hug is bittersweet.

Now will Joe conjure another toilet, or will Zandra say "Get out of *my* city, wizard.*

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view decomposette's profile

5th Nov 2017, 12:29 AM

decomposette

i just started zg a few weeks ago, and it remains my favorite webcomic out of all that i've read. at least this hiatus is gonna give my friends some time to catch up! :B

ohmygodtheyhugged...

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5th Nov 2017, 12:37 AM

MochaKimono

At first I panicked at "2018" and then I remembered it's currently 2017, not 2016.

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5th Nov 2017, 1:56 AM

Leif

This is indeed an excellent pausing point (and a pretty good stopping point if it came to it). Thank you Joe for the story, the art, and everything else. All the best to you and yours and have an awesome and well deserved break!

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5th Nov 2017, 2:07 AM

Dainpdf

See, I had this whole huge wall of text written about how Zebra Girl has been a constant presence for nearly two decades, and will be sorely missed.
But I accidentally refreshed the page,and now that's gone, so I'll just leave with the payoff to that text:
Thank you, Joe. And I know it's early, but yeah. We'll be okay. We'll all be okay.

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5th Nov 2017, 2:12 AM

Drathmir

I have followed your work all these years and never once commented on it. Perhaps I should have. I have always loved the stories, the characters, the art, and waited patiently for the day Sandra would become human once more as I was curious as to how it would be done.

I figured it would have to be either a thing she earned somehow, an act proving her humanity; or an epiphany such as from Flight of Dragons that it was absurd that despite all this fuss that a human could ever be a demon and it was clear such was impossible.

It is apparent now that no such thing is to be. She is as she is, this is a tale of new creatures birthed from the mundane world of before, and how each of them come to peace with this change.

This is a fine story, and well told at that. Thank you for telling it. The characters never met their original goals, but find peace in their new lives in their new world. Those that survived at any rate. Mike probably deserved better, but he cast his die.

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8th Nov 2017, 3:50 AM

Guest

And that die had 1s on all its faces...

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5th Nov 2017, 2:16 AM

kerinbot

I don't (well, not mostly) mind Zebra Girl ending. But I really REALLY hope that doesn't mean this will be the end of Joe posting things to the internet. I can live without ZG, but not sure I can entirely encompass the idea of nevermore getting a weekly portion of Joe England to treasure.

IE... Do you plan to do something next? if not online, what will you do next? Please give us SOME hope?

On the other topic - enjoy your hiatus - you're certainly entitled to take breaks whenever you need them. Will look forward to 2018! I would also like to find out more about the boobity bounty! And would like to know a bit more about past characters that have come and gone and where they are now, and if they will touch Zandra's life again... Thanks for making such a wonderful creation and sharing it with us...

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6th Nov 2017, 4:23 AM

NoRAd

I'm pretty sure I remember him saying in the author's corner thingy that he doesn't plan to stop arting, and that he may do some shorter form stuff in this universe or another before starting another long form project.

I could be wrong, though.

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5th Nov 2017, 2:43 AM

Treesong

I have nothing to add to everyone's thanks for many years of great comics, so I'll just say amen.
I'm reminded by today's comments about the boobs, and earlier about Mr. Chalk, that there's one huge unresolved item that hasn't been mentioned: the arrival through the Omphalos of hosts of supernaturals, sure to change the world forever. That could be the making of non-Zandra sagas, and perhaps that will be the basis of the next Joe England work? I hope I hope I hope.

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5th Nov 2017, 2:45 AM

Catie

I don't think I've ever posted a comment in all the time I've been reading Zebra Girl (and I've been reading it since about 9th grade I think? And I'm a few years out of college right now), but since we really are coming up on the end here: thank you so, so much, Joe. Zebragirl has been an absolute staple of my internet experience since I was a kid, and I have loved every page of it. Your art, your writing, the absolute skill with which you bring them together - I have found something new to emulate, to be inspired by, in every arc you've posted. Obviously I will miss having updates to look forward to once the coda is posted, but you've done an amazing job of wrapping the work of a lifetime up - it feels, without exception, that everyone has gotten where they need to be. Or at least they'll get there soon. I can't wait to read what's left. Thank you, Joe, I've loved it all.

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5th Nov 2017, 4:11 AM

marmoe

I have followed the comic for many years on a wonderful journey and I am going to miss it. I thank you for the hole it's going to leave. Take the time you need for a proper send-off to this part of your life.

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5th Nov 2017, 6:16 AM

CW

Cheers, man! Its been an interesting ride. End it with style, wont you?

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5th Nov 2017, 8:11 AM

Siansaar

Whew, what a ride. Sandra's expression in the second panel is PERFECT.
Now I'll just hope that you won't forget any open plotpoints.

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5th Nov 2017, 8:13 AM

Yoko Udoran

WOW JUST WOW. I remembered when I stumbled across this webcomic back in 2003 and there was this guy getting set on fire, so I decided to take a further look. I was not disappointed. That being said, yeah....17 years for a webcomic and i have seen many a webcomics disappear from anything from loss of interest in the comic or carpel tunnel T_T. I loved the story-line, as well as the artists fun rendition on "demonic claw sounds as it goes through metal" XD. Many things Sa-Zandra has done in the past, I could see myself doing, were I to have the powers she possessed, but in many others, it would make sense somethings turned out as they were. I also have a burning question that I simply may have overlooked….The ENTIRE point of zebra girl ( at one point) was to change Sandra back to normal-to human. I also see that as time went on, and things that have happened to her, shes not only become “more” human, or “less” demonic, but…for the lack of better words, did the best one could, with such rage that resides in every human being I feel- and Sandra’s outward appearance-now- reflects that. That being said, I don’t know if I would rather her be human again or stay demon…wow….So much…feels. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMIC JOE! <3 I would be super selfish and say start another webcomic….but people have lives.. Thank you for considering us as you have, and have a wonderful -event filled life!

Best Wishes,
Tiffany Bryant

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view Destrustor's profile

5th Nov 2017, 8:50 AM

Destrustor

Ce n'est pas un adieu, c'est un au revoir.

See ya in 2018, Joe.

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5th Nov 2017, 10:32 AM

SoapChick

Joe, thank you. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch your art progress as you brought ZG to life for us. You gave us one hell of a ride! (pun intended) Thank you again.

**Z's smile in that hug pane is priceless, it's perfect.

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5th Nov 2017, 10:35 AM

klikkat

I started Zebra Girl in... a long time ago, I think I came in during Zandra vs. Broadshoulders, maybe, I legitimately forget.

But since then this story has taken so many twists and turns that I am pretty sure I'd have to reread the entire thing to find all the subtle hints and foreshadowing that I missed. And I STILL don't know what's up with Mister Chalk!

Confound you, Mr. England! Confound you for casting your enthralling curse upon my literary habits and forcing me to once more marathon a series that I have adored for something like 5-10 years or whenever I started!

But seriously this series is awesome and I'm kinda melancholic that it must end. I hope you enjoyed yourself!

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5th Nov 2017, 11:14 AM

Mr. Casual

I wanted to save my most-supportive and heartfelt comments for when the comic actually does end, but suffice it to say that you take as long as you need, Joe, and I'll damn sure be here to read what you've got left.

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5th Nov 2017, 12:50 PM

Voidbane

This is lovely...
Can we expect activity on the Ask Zebra Girl site on a whim?

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5th Nov 2017, 1:02 PM

Jasper

Be well joe, love your work. See you at the end game

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5th Nov 2017, 1:30 PM

ABish

As a longtime reader, I'm so excited that you are taking the time and thought into creating an ending. I love webcomics in part because they are creator-driven, but too many good ones end abruptly, often mid-storyline, when the creator loses steam or gets pulled in too many other directions. I'm sad to see this go, but so excited to see how it ends.

Sorry if this has been answered before, but what are Joe's plans after this? A well deserved vacation, or is he planning on starting something new?

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5th Nov 2017, 3:02 PM

TomTomy

I don't think I'm sad that ZebraGirl is ending. I've seen way too many really good, funny webcomics crash and go dark that if I see one ends, it's almost as satisfying as it is sad to see it end. Anyway, I'm glad that the story will be resolved and I appreciate all the work you've put into this gem.

I hope to see your next project soon

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5th Nov 2017, 5:14 PM

Sergio

Very, very much. One of the webcomics i enjoyed the most, and one of the best i found.

While waiting for the final chapter, thanks again.

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5th Nov 2017, 5:46 PM

Migraine

Reader for a long while. This has been the best. Great artist- great stories. Hope to see you around, with something going on. Will miss these characters, and you.

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5th Nov 2017, 8:29 PM

Oldtimer

It's been a joy to see your storytelling skills grow over the years, Joe. I started reading in 2001 or 2002. I do think you're wrapping up early, and that the comic needs its own "Wake" (Sandman) to cap things off, but then I can't blame you either. Thanks for all the effort!

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6th Nov 2017, 1:09 AM

Zera

This comic has been a large of my life for the better part of ten years now, i fell in love with in in high-school and immediately clicked with Sandra. It's been amazing to see her and the rest of the gang grow and mature over the years and I applaud the amazing work you've done. great job!

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6th Nov 2017, 2:03 AM

Phil

It's been a hell of a ride.

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6th Nov 2017, 4:25 AM

NoRAd

As a reader since probably 2004, it's been fun.

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6th Nov 2017, 5:55 PM

Guest

I really love having gotten to see this comic grow and mature over the years, and I've especially loved the direction it's taken. I hate to see it go when I've grown so much love for it

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6th Nov 2017, 7:10 PM

Jeffrey Nonken

I think this is one of the few comics I've been following since the start. Most of them I discover partway through their run. In this case I read The Shadows while it was running, then followed you here after it was done.

And this is the first I've commented in all that time. Never really had much to say. But today I felt I should at least stop in long enough to say: thank you so very much for this comic. I'm looking forward to the ending with such mixed feelings...

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6th Nov 2017, 9:06 PM

Grimmalkin

*starts counting on fingers*

...*Huge sigh* This comic and I have been on some adventures, I tell you what. I've been lurking since 2004-05? Came in when Jack whacked a magical nail into his thumb.

Whole lot happened since then. For these characters and for me.

You did good, Mister England. You did very, very good. Thank you for sharing this adventure, it was a delight to watch your world, your sensibilities, and your art grow like that!

but

I hope you get like, a ten year nap after this. You did it. Well done, and thank you so much! This thing you made is gorgeous and it said something good about the world. <3

I hope you get so many hugs from ppl close to you, k? Finishing a comic this long running can be super hard on an artist and it's important to take care of yourself. You're more than your vision and your amazing art, you know?

Best wishes. May you have an adequate winter feasting period, and bravo!

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6th Nov 2017, 9:31 PM

Guest

I hate to be the one selfish jerk but I really wish you would consider continuing :(

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7th Nov 2017, 5:51 AM

Kaunisenkeli

Have a lovely break and holiday season! I'm not thrilled at having the beginning of 2018 bringing the end of this comic, but there are worse ways to start a year (just look at 2017).

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7th Nov 2017, 9:38 AM

Grondiouse

Joe, I've been reading your comic for almost as long as I've been online. Yours was one of the first I discovered. You have a unique style to your art, that I think is largely unmatched, your b&w linework and shading are without peer, in my experience. Sexy and scary, too! At any rate, I really wish you the best in whatever comes next for you.
- John Grond

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7th Nov 2017, 9:58 AM

Chaotik74

no more sandra/zandra and Crystal sexyfuntimes? noooOOOOOOOOoooooo.......


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tim5nU3DwIE

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7th Nov 2017, 12:45 PM

Nestor

Hey John Allison was gonna end scary go round but has decided he still has stories to tell and has un-cancelled it.

*Waggles eyebrows suggestively*

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7th Nov 2017, 7:53 PM

Zelanard (Jonas)

I am certain that you'll go conquer the world.. what are your plans on that?

Really though, it's been a pleasure to follow this comic. I do wish you (the artist) the best of luck in the future. I'll hang around till the end and I hope the books will still be available after you've published the end of it.

Best of wishes Joe, best of wishes.

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9th Nov 2017, 3:04 AM

Griff

Honestly, take all of the time you need! I've very much enjoyed seeing this comic and the style unfold over the years, it's been a pretty darn epic ride. Whatever you decide to do next, I hope it goes well, and I'll definitely pop back in round 2018 to see how this ride ends!

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9th Nov 2017, 5:18 PM

Raymond

You've been an amazing artist and an inspiration to me for years. I don't know what's next, but I want to thank you for never giving up on Zebra Girl. You're awesome.
~Ray

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11th Nov 2017, 11:48 AM

Keegan

I've been reading this comic on and off for since 2008, and I just wanted to say you've done a fantastic job. The writing, art, and story have gotten significantly better with time and I've thoroughly enjoyed this comic.

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11th Nov 2017, 5:03 PM

Rae

I started reading this comic when I was in high school and have literally been following it ever since. The fact it's coming to a close is going to be heartbreaking but also deeply satisfying. I've loved every minute of this comic and its had a formative effect on my own storytelling. Much love.

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13th Nov 2017, 8:36 AM

Mr. Man

I think I started reading this comic around 2001. I used the cheese "humor!" panel from an early comic as my MSN avatar for years.
It's amazing that despite me being so much older, that this comic strip has still held-up us something I can connect to and be entertained by.
I remember growing up with Harry Potter, who saw me through my adolescence, as I grew up with him.
Zebra Girl; Sandra, and all of her friends, have grown up with me a lot longer (with an hiatus or two), and I feel like this strip has become a small part of my history and character.
Thanks for sticking with it until the end, I hope your next life project will be fulfilling! x

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13th Nov 2017, 9:16 PM

Random Reader

I've been trying to figure out how to say this for a while now. And it's probably not going to come out the same way it sounds in my head, so apologies in advance if it sounds a little awkward.

When I was young my parents gave me one of those edutainment computer games to play themed around story books. Most were original works... But one always stuck with me, a story about what happened to Jack after he climbed the beanstalk. And the game started off with a little song that went like this:

~At the end of every fable~
~When the final pages turn~
~You might think the story's over~
~And there's nothing more to learn~
~But imagine what might happen~
~If the tale continued on~
~And we found a new beginning~
~And a brand new tale was born?~

And I think... that sort of sentiment is why people feel disappointment and sadness that the story of Zebra Girl is ending. It's like...if she were a real person, her life wouldn't just end because we stop watching her.

This may sound like an appeal to continue the tale of Zebra Girl. But it's not meant to be. It's entirely the author's choice when to bring the story to a close. I'm just...not fond of endings at the moment. My great aunt has entered hospice care and may not last to Thanksgiving. That's probably tainting my words right now.

I hope the ending will be worthy of Zandra's stripy glory!

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view Joe England's profile

14th Nov 2017, 1:10 AM

Joe England

I haven't been responding to these latest comments because my most appropriate reply to so many of them would simply be "Thank you, from the bottom of my heart," and that's the sort of thing that becomes cheapened when you say it too often. But you're bearing your soul a bit here, and that deserves a direct answer.

First, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. That said, I think I can understand your feelings. I've been through something similar. It's kind of indescribable when you lose a family member. I won't elaborate, or ask for elaboration, but you have my sympathy, and I wish all the best to you and your family.

However, where Zebra Girl's concerned... well, I don't really think of it as a stopping point. Not just because I might come back to her and her world someday, but because I don't think I have the power to stop her anymore. Every storyteller who sticks to a project closely for long enough eventually finds that the characters have gained something, a sort of life of their own. The artist stops manipulating them like puppets, and begins listening to the demands they make of the author's muse.

And it helps that Zebra Girl has had an effect on you, and on others. She was never just a mouthpiece for my voice. She has a voice in every single reader's imagination. And at this point, your own version of her is no less valid. It's a single strand of a web joined between everyone in the audience, and my perspective is just another thread. I draw Zebra Girl, but you create her week after week, day after day, and in a way she's even more real to you than she is to me. I'll always envy your point of view, because you see her world in a way I never can.

Besides, part of the nature of a fictional world is that its intricacies and corners thrive even when they're not set down on paper. What do you suppose Jack and Crystal and Sam and Wally and Tomie did with themselves for the 1,666 days that Zandra was away in the Outlands? Or Broadshoulders in Hell? Or Jen Stone in Wherever? I'll tell you right now, they weren't just sitting on their hypothetical hands. Do you think they vanish in the days between every page, every shift from one scene to the next? They're fine. Sometimes they sleep, or eat, or go to the bathroom. I don't draw that stuff. They need their privacy, right?

They say "out of sight, out of mind." But that's not really true, is it? Not where stories are concerned. They're on our minds very much when they're out of sight. And in our minds is a promise that their worlds thrive even when we're not looking. A room doesn't vanish simply because a curtain is drawn over the window.

In reality, I can't offer more than my best wishes for your family. I hope that whatever comes next for you all comes easy, or as easy as it can, and that you come out of it with the comfort and company of loved ones while the experience washes over you.

But right here, in my little corner, I can assure you that these characters will carry on just fine, even if they're out of view. There'll always be at least some part of them there for you when you need them. That's the nature of stories, and of people, and of people in stories.

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14th Nov 2017, 3:12 PM

BBR

You've done great Joe.
Everyone deserves a rest so and the, you certainly do.

I'm sure you'll kick back on the project when inspiration strikes, and we'll be here to read it :)

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16th Nov 2017, 7:29 PM

Tarrodar

Yesterday, i started reading yesterday. It hits me real deep that it is ending. Like a good book you can't put down. I have been enthralled by Zandra's story, such beauty both in her character and design.


Though it feels less like a ending and more like a beginning. i suppose that adds yet another layer of character; that they themselves have outgrown the story. That is why it is so sad, i know the characters could keep going.


I hope you keep this sight up for awhile; present conditions prevent buying the books.

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view Joe England's profile

17th Nov 2017, 11:24 PM

Joe England

I'm very glad that you found us, Tarrodar. I think I know how you feel! I hope other people find Zebra Girl, too.

Even if the comic is completed, I'd like to think that it'll endure as something that folks can return to and enjoy. After all, that's how books and movies work, right? And even though the comic's being translated into print, there's still something to be said for its original format. So I intend to keep the site up indefinitely. There's always room for one more member of the audience, and always time for newcomers to start from the beginning again! And I guess every artist wants to make something that'll endure beyond the point of completion.

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9th Jan 2018, 12:24 PM

Dan

Been reading since sometime early last decade, I think. Thanks for the stories, I'm really glad to have been following along all this time!

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view Joe England's profile

12th Jan 2018, 1:31 AM

Joe England

Glad to have had you along for the ride, Dan!

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