MONDAY AND FRIDAY BY JOE ENGLAND

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COMMENTS FROM THE AUTHOR

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18th May 2018, 12:00 AM

Joe England

Ramadan Mubarak! To any Muslim readers, I wish you the best.

And speaking of the best, that's a fine callback in the first panel! "Severe." Get it? Because it echoes Wally's sentiment back in... in.... Good lord, that was over a hundred pages ago. I just wrote it off the top of my head because I love to tie everything together.

But we've been building to the meat of the page for much longer than that. I've had this in mind for quite some time. Now I can't guess if most of you are indifferent, or satisfied, or disappointed by the turn of Crystal and Zandra's relationship.

I hope it's understood that I'm not definitively saying that what Zandra chose to do was necessarily right or wrong. There needs to be room for people to give their own answers. If you think that she should have been totally honest with Crystal, I won't argue. Sometimes love is enough. And if you think she made a noble concession to do what was best for her greatest friend, I won't argue. Sometimes it isn't. And maybe your thoughts go somewhere else.

Life is filled with grey areas. I'm of two minds. But ultimately, this was the way the story wanted to go. And I've always appreciated the ways that loss can compliment love.

It's up to you whether or not the means justify the ends. But hang tight... we still have several pages to go.

-Joe

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COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

18th May 2018, 12:11 AM

NoemZ

Every page you post is absolutely beautiful.

I think Zandra and Crystal growing apart is believable, and sad, but Zandra has ultimately done it to allow Crystal to blossom.

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18th May 2018, 12:26 AM

Hangover Included

Wow Joe... beautiful!
Today's update is a masterpiece. Probably my favorite of the year.

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18th May 2018, 12:42 AM

Xel Unknown

So sad... What a somber ending this be.

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18th May 2018, 12:59 AM

Treesong

Does everyone but me know who that is in the bed?

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18th May 2018, 4:51 AM

Kerinbot

Well... I'm wondering if it is a descendant of Sam's... it looks like there is a baby rabbit in a kiddie chair at the foot of the bed. Of course, it could just be a stuffed toy bunny. I can see where that might be a popular companion for either Human or Rabbitkind children, especially with Uplifted Rabbits on Earth now. SO... maybe it's a bedtime story for one of Crystal's kids. But it seems as though the Bunny should be a clue?
~kerinbot
(it's a rhetorical question, but how can Zandra's statements be both so emotionally satisfying... and make me want to bawl at the same time?) Oh my, am I going to miss this comic.

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18th May 2018, 6:11 AM

Transient observer

Considering we saw Trap in the audience, could it be Alice?

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18th May 2018, 9:03 PM

Hangover Included

That was my guess. I hope it is :D

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18th May 2018, 10:03 AM

Quin

I’m kind of hoping that’s Zandra’s mother, honestly. That’s a pretty big loose end that has been teased since the very earliest days of the comic.

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20th May 2018, 8:22 AM

Drakkenmensch

In my mind she is one of the many children who heard the legend of zebra demon who visits you at night if you look in the mirror before bedtime and say "Zandra Zandra Zandra!" Except that now she's less of a nightmare and more of a Nightmare Before Christmas.

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18th May 2018, 2:06 AM

JKE

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18th May 2018, 2:22 AM

Guest

Huh. I'd always of thought Crystal'd of embraced lycanthropy to be with Wally, as shown in that one dream where Chalk was moving through in the background.

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18th May 2018, 10:01 AM

Quin

I mean she still might. Seems like they’re immortal, and she and Wally probably wouldn’t want to see her age away while he persisted.

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18th May 2018, 3:51 AM

Shiro

I've been following this comic since near the beginning, and I think it's safe to say these characters aren't the only one to grow into something amazing. I know the end of the comic will come soon, but want you to know it's been one HELL of a ride ^^ Thank you.

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18th May 2018, 7:20 AM

Leif

Joe, I've seen many a webcomic fizzle out, fade, rush the ending, or just plain never update again. In my experience, your's will be the first to give the comic a proper ending. And if you keep up the current astounding quality, it's going to end amazingly.

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19th May 2018, 11:55 AM

EdwardGrave

You never read Heart Shaped Skull by Aaron Alexovish? that one ended a while ago, also Punch n pie and Queen of wands by Aerie. And others, but that's the first ones off the top of my head. But this one is one of the few where I've had a really satisfying ending.

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18th May 2018, 7:54 AM

Dainpdf

I am not disappointed, because this is where this was going, ever since Sandra saw the dream inside the demon box. It's the most Sandra thing to do.
Now, I do disapprove. There is immeasurable arrogance in making Crystal's choice for her. Much as Zandra might wish to think otherwise, she's an adult, dammit. And prophecy is a funny, fickle thing.
Also? That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be.

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20th May 2018, 4:24 AM

Mujaki

Well, in a way, she's not making the choice for Crystal.
She's making the choice for Crystal's children, and grandchildren, and...

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18th May 2018, 8:17 AM

Rev

In the end it just... feels like a elaborate excuse for why we couldn't possibly have lesbians. (REALLY cringing at the excuse that with Wally, she could be a mother and grandmother. Uuugh. No adoption, obviously, it doesn't count.) It's exactly what I'd hoped you weren't going to do with this =/ But, it's your comic, it's ending, whatever. It's been beautiful, at least.

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18th May 2018, 8:30 AM

Occam

While I certainly understand your disappointment (and share it to some degree) I would just like to point out that there are a NUMBER of reasons why Zandra, the LITERAL incarnation of fear, would not make a good adoptive mother that have nothing at all to do with "lesbians can't adopt children" and everything to do with her being the literal incarnation of fear.

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18th May 2018, 9:43 AM

Rev

In this comic she's literally reading a bedtime story to someone... also, in-comic reasons don't really justify real-world actions of the creator.

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18th May 2018, 9:50 AM

Rev

It just stands out so much when we've got *three* successful hetero relationships going on with the other main characters, including pulling a new character out of the ether entirely for Sam to pair up with, and turning Jack's book into a woman he could get together with.
Maybe we're going to find out Zanda got a ladyfriend out of nowhere too. Not as great as getting together with Crystal, but that'd still be pretty nice. I doubt we're going in that direction, though.

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18th May 2018, 9:54 AM

Rev

(And I mean a proper relationship like the straight characters got, and a proper *lesbian* relationship at that, not "sometimes I made out with the guy whose body was changed against his will and it was totally hot.")

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18th May 2018, 12:40 PM

Contact_Lost

Not every form of media has to have a gay/lesbian relationship represented within it. Stop pushing your agenda.

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19th May 2018, 5:27 AM

Jonathan

No, not everything has to have representation...except...this comic already set up an lgbt relationship as a very strong possibility, and not only just killed it, but killed it in a way that is recognized as a bad cliche; the implication that a gay relationship can't be as fulfilling if it can't involve biological children. That is already an excuse used by actual homophobic fundies to trash gay couples every single day.

And that's another thing...more than half the world has a clear, proud "agenda" to ACTIVELY STOP lgbt people from being tolerated or recognized or appearing in media.

It is not an "agenda" for people to want them in their entertainment, but self defense against this ongoing hostility.

lgbt people live their whole lives bombarded with the message that they are disgusting, that their existence is fundamentally wrong, that they shouldn't be happy or that they should all fucking die, so when a piece of media even BEGINS to portray them positively, it can fill a lot of readers with a sense of hope and a feeling that they're actually accepted here.

So yes, it is always going to be shitty to tease a possible lgbt relationship in a work of entertainment and then bail on it. As long as lgbt people are treated as scum by so much of our population, it is currently always going to be a tactless thing for a creator to do.

And in my experience, every single person who says what you just said - that it's "just an agenda" to critique these things - is absolutely one of those vicious, nasty fundies or somebody just as bad.

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view Joe England's profile

19th May 2018, 5:19 PM

Joe England

Jonathan, believe me, I never meant for there to be any implication that gay relationships are inferior to straight ones. Zandra's decision had nothing to do with their orientation, or with the viability of having children.

It's true that it was less likely that there would be children if they had stayed together, but this was due more to their character than their genders. Crystal was simply inclined to be docile in Zandra's company, and she would, in Zandra's estimation, lead a more varied and fulfilling life without her.

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21st May 2018, 5:42 AM

e_voyager

Honestly I took this especially the last panel as being a poetic way of saying that if you love someone let them grow.

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18th May 2018, 12:48 PM

Contact_Lost

And Sam did not have someone just randomly appear. Mary was mentioned as someone Sam talked to online many years ago. If anything their relationship is one of the oldest, most established ones within the comic next to Jack and Tomie.

The relationships in this comic work perfectly just the way they are. Any other way would feel forced and weaken the comic's ending.

So again, quit pushing your agenda just because you're mad you didn't get representation in a tiny, pretty obscure webcomic.

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18th May 2018, 2:17 PM

Guest

Except that the whole reading up to this point does not support the idea that Crystal was ever romantically in love with Sandra(/Zandra), or even bisexual. She loved her as friends love each other-- sincerely, deeply, truly. Innocently. But not as a romantic partner. When I read her offer to stay with Zandra for a while, it didn't come across as anything romantic; it came across as a friend wanting to stay with another friend, their best friend of so many years who disappeared and came back and she wanted to believe in for all that time but didn't even know if she was alive or could ever come back.

Crystal missed Zandra. That doesn't mean she wanted to be with her as a partner.

Read again what Zandra is saying here-- not what Crystal made with Wally, but what Zandra says she, Zandra, could have done. 'With love I could have made her a Nefastis. She could have GROWN to want me [...] She would have lived ONLY FOR ME'.

In other words, through Zandra's supernatural influence (*not* Crystal's own interests; she specifically says 'could have grown', not 'would have realized' or any variant thereof) could Crystal have decided to abandon her dreams, abandon Wally (whom she clearly loves romantically), and become somebody whose only desire in life was to be with Zandra. That's not love. That's coercive, manipulative, cruel, and selfish to an unfathomable degree.

Crystal/Zandra was only teased from one side. Crystal's character never evolved in the direction that suggested she actually reciprocated Zandra's specific feelings. To pair them off in the epilogue would be a betrayal of characterization up to this point, never mind *intensely creepy* given how Zandra just explained it.

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view Joe England's profile

18th May 2018, 2:32 PM

Joe England

Actually, Guest, there really was a seed buried deep inside Crystal's feelings for Zandra, perhaps most clearly seen during her little vision quest. You're right that Crystal always thought of Zandra as a dear friend rather than a partner, and that she did love Wally, but given the right circumstances there was still a small part of her that would have been amenable. Zandra perceived that the possibility existed, and that, with time, she might have honestly cultivated it.

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view Joe England's profile

18th May 2018, 2:20 PM

Joe England

I was hoping to address that, Rev. And hey, folks, there's no need to fuss! This isn't a matter of agendas. We're simply voicing our honest feelings, and I appreciate the opportunity to talk. In fact, I sympathize.

Believe me, Rev, I want to make it clear that gender is not the issue here. The real issue was with the nature of their relationship. Zandra's presence created a comfort zone for Crystal, a kind of womb which gave her contentment without effort. Zandra's absence inspired her to take initiative, to innovate. There are many sorts of pairings which lead to this kind of dynamic.

And keep in mind, although Zandra may have chosen not to pursue intimacy with Crystal, she remains aware of her own sexuality. She's made peace with the fact that she likes women, and that's not going to change. Not every relationship works out, but that doesn't mean she's lost the capacity.

You mention the other characters' relationships as well. I know it's notable that everyone else wound up with someone on their arm. Zandra stands apart from them for a number of reasons.

Especially because the relationship between Crystal and Zandra is special. It's a central thread which runs through the entire story. And sometimes something special deserves to be acknowledged with pathos rather than happiness.

There's something beautiful in a missed opportunity. I want to preserve the notion that maybe Zandra didn't do the right thing. That maybe she should have gone down that road. Or, if it's not as simple as "right" and "wrong," that her choice wasn't entirely one or the other. Again, I won't argue with any answer you give.

In the end, Zandra and Crystal were separated by choice, not gender. A conscious decision was made to avoid a relationship which could have flourished. And it could have. They might have been very happy. And that's what makes it such a sacrifice.

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20th May 2018, 6:28 AM

Spider

I've kind of defended your points before but at this point I honestly wonder if you just come here to complain about the comic in any nitpicky "well that's not what *I* would've written!" way. Read something else if you hate it so much, or write your own spinoff fanfic where everything happens how you want it to and no one is ever shafted or treated unfairly.

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18th May 2018, 9:59 AM

Quin

Really love the artwork! I suppose you already have everything figured out for the ending, but I really hope it includes Sandra’s mother. That’s a theme that has kept subtly appearing in the comic, and getting resolution there would feel really right.

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18th May 2018, 10:14 AM

BMcG

That’s totally that one kid, that kid from the roof that one time, right?

Also, *complement, Joe.

Only a few pages left to explain the mystery of Mr Chalk? I’m holding my breath in anticipation. I keep passing out, but then I wake up and hold my breath again and continue to wait. I can make it. It’ll be fine.

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18th May 2018, 10:41 AM

John C.

I'm wondering if someone found her name?

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18th May 2018, 10:44 AM

chaotik74

well, this still cements the whole demon cyrstal comission in my head as (potential)canon...and who knows? maybe the wally-rug wasn't actually wally, and this all happened after crystal's eventful life. or not.

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18th May 2018, 4:45 PM

rudepeople

Joe, it is with a heavy heart I write these words...

For quite a while you skirted a line... a line I find I am not capable of following you across. You have just crossed it. Not with your story (though that has come prety close on several occasions). No, you crossed it with your decision to honor a religion that would gladly see you, me, and each and every one of your readers subjugated or dead.

I'm sorry, Joe, but I believe some Ideologies can not be given quarter lest they cut our throats in the name of "peace".

Good bye, I would have loved to see the comic conclude, but I can not in good conscience return to a web page falling into this kind of delusion.

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view Joe England's profile

18th May 2018, 5:58 PM

Joe England

I'm sorry you feel that way, Rudepeople. Take care.

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19th May 2018, 5:33 AM

Jonathan

Why do you reply so politely to trash like that?

Civility towards evil people is not, in fact, a virtue. It makes them feel respected and is practically giving them a subtle thumbs-up.

Can you never just say "fuck off, you piece of shit" when you get a racist or homophobic comment? I think people, especially creators, have a civic duty to show zero tolerance towards certain things.

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19th May 2018, 1:58 PM

Mr. Casual

Personally, I believe there is room for both in this world. Some people to be civil and polite and respectful even in the face of intolerance, and some people to meet such hate with fire and vigor to show them the door and make _sure_ it hits them on the way out.

I agree that I'm not sorry to see someone like that gone, and I would've gladly told them to their face that they're a f*cking idiot. I am also glad, however, that Joe did not. I like the idea that there are still some people who are just nice. The world needs people who fight, but it also needs to keep some niceness, too.

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view Joe England's profile

19th May 2018, 6:14 PM

Joe England

Well, Jonathan, I've always tried to counter intolerance with tolerance. It's the only way to have any hope of progress. And I know it's a slim hope, but we mustn't give up. When we dismiss people as "evil" we fall into a vicious cycle. One that legitimizes absolutes.

Some people believe that the whole Muslim religion is evil, and that there's no point in seeing its adherents as anything but an enemy force. Others think that people like Rudepeople are evil, and that there's no point in being civil to them. But each extreme favors catharsis over constructiveness.

Perhaps I should have made it clearer in my response to Rudepeople, but for the record, I definitely do not agree with their sentiments. There are many kind, honest Muslim men and women all over the world who use their religion as a means of personal reflection, and who have no desire to inflict violence or their views on others. I truly am sorry that Rudepeople feels differently, and I hope that their perspective will change with time. Maybe it's not likely. But I hope.

And, Jonathan, I understand what you mean when you say that being polite can be seen as tacit approval. But shouting isn't much better. If anything, it tends to encourage them to punch back, and to feel validation in the belligerence of their detractors. When you lose your temper at someone you risk giving them something besides a piece of your mind.

I've had discussions with people whose views I strongly disagree with before, and most of the time I've found that the best way to actually approach real progress is by maintaining an air of civil discourse. If you face an opponent with respect then, if nothing else, it teaches them that you and people like you are fully capable of rationality, and that they cannot say we are without merit. And that, by itself, is a victory.

Granted, some people are clearly far gone. Some will march and scream and fan the flames. Some will never listen to reason, lost in aggression and prejudice and pride. I'd be a fool to say that there aren't people out there that good manners would be wasted on. Even I can't respect someone who respects nothing.

But I don't know Rudepeople. I don't know that they're a maniac. They didn't sound like one. Maybe they can still be talked to. At the very least, I can prove to them that I'm not unreasonable. And, therefore, that there might be some reason in my point of view.

Some people aren't completely lost. They're just misguided. And if you offer guidance, well... they'll probably still refuse to hop onto your particular track. But you can still make the offer. It counts for something.

We all know it's very popular to fight fire with fire. Personally, I prefer to fight it with water. It's a technique which has served me well.

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20th May 2018, 8:40 PM

Valentine

This relates somewhat to the earlier discussion started by Rev. If representation or acknowledgement matters, then surely it matters that the representation is accurate. Lesbians constitute about 2% of the US population, so in a scenario in which lesbians are not disproportionally likely to participate, three of three romantic relationships not involving any lesbians is not remarkable. In an unbiased sample, a lesbian wouldn’t have an even chance of showing up until the cast of characters is larger than thirty.

About 85% of Zebra Girl’s readership comes from the US, where Muslims constitute about 1% of the population. You’ve made references to Christian holidays, which is unsurprising since about 70% of the population is Christian. But there are about twice as many Jews in the US as Muslims, and there is a Jewish holiday as close to the posting date of the comic as the start of Ramadan. Same with Pentecost for Christians. Hindus and Buddhists are also about 1% of the US population. I would guess that you just checked a list of holidays to consider remarking on in your comment, and picked Ramadon for its greater prominence in media. Nothing with particularly great significance on your part.

However, there are reasons why Ramadon and Islam are prominent in US media far out of proportion to the part of the population that is Muslim. Ideologies can shape the individuals, cultures, and societies that host them, and ideologies are not all equal. In Christianity, the highest virtue is love (that is, non-romantic love or benevolence), and the religion has historically spread by missionaries going to non-Christian areas, assuming roles in service to unfortunate members of that society, and telling people that it would be nice to treat each other nicely. The religion is named after the central figure of the religion, who is claimed to have sacrificed himself for the wellbeing of of others. In Islam, the highest virtue is obedience to the will of God as revealed and codified by the Prophet, and the religion has historically spread by conquest and the subjugation of non-muslims. The founder and paragon of virtue was a warlord, and “islam” is the Arabic word for submission. Naturally, people do not universally follow the teachings of their nominal religion, but Islam has much more effective enforcement structures, such as an official code of civil law that includes the death penalty for people who leave Islam.

This leads to practical differences between the two. For example, both Christianity and Islam have scriptures that characterize homosexuality on the same level of evil as eating pork. There is some contention among Christians about whether or not the prohibition of homosexuality was revoked in the New Testament along with the dietary laws, but even the conservatives in this regard view homosexuals as sinners to be redeemed rather than abominations to be removed. Meanwhile, of the places in the modern world where people are killed for being homosexual as a matter of official law, all are Muslim-majority polities with legal implementation of Sharia law. Less-official actions in the name of Sharia law are common in Muslim-majority areas even without an “official” law in place to that effect.

Another difference is that in Islam, women are supposed to be subservient to men, and men can take up to four wives. Many do, which is also an imitation of Muhammed’s life. Since only wealthy men can afford to manage households with multiple wives who are not themselves employed, this means that a large minority of the male population (mostly poor men) have no prospect of ever finding a wife or long-term romantic relationship. This leads to a large amount of civil unrest as they are not incentivized to buy into their society and its social contracts. Historically, Muslim societies have managed this by sending such unattached young men off to fight wars of conquest, where they would either die (with a promise of virgins waiting for them in the afterlife) or find wives as spoils of war. This died down as more stable European societies built technological force multipliers that made them militarily unassailable, but it has resumed in a sense with the current migration from Muslim territories to Europe. Nearly all such migrants are young, single men.

And in places where there are enough Muslims to form an insular subculture, they often do, rather than adopting the culture of their host society. Surveys have been done on the views of Muslims in various places about such things as whether or not homosexuality is acceptable. The view that Sharia should be the official civil law (which includes legal sanctions for non-Muslims) is the majority position among Muslims worldwide. Islam does not get along with other cultures unless it is an extreme minority to the point where it does not have local-majority areas where it can enforce submission to its practices. So with that in mind, it’s obvious why Ramadan has a more prominent position in US media than, say, Shavuot.

Calling positions or people “good” or “evil” may not be very useful for productive discussion, but it is important to acknowledge that policies have consequences that can be evaluated against value systems. I would expect that Rudepeople places a greater weight on preventing the killing of homosexuals than on preventing offense at identifying the motivations of the people who kill homosexuals, while Jonathan’s reply suggests the opposite. Several areas in Europe have entered the period of obvious consequences from their demographic changes, so we’ll see how feminism and LGBT rights compare to multiculturalism in their rank on national value scales. Rudepeople’s comment implies certain other values that don’t bear discussion, but do you think you’d be able to make a comic like Zebra Girl if you lived in, say Saudi Arabia, where Islamic values find expression in law?

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view Joe England's profile

21st May 2018, 12:13 AM

Joe England

First, I'd like to thank you for pointing out Shavuot. You're right, it wasn't listed in my calendar so I overlooked it. I'll mention it with the next update.

As for your question, well, I don't know. Saudi Arabia hosted its first Comic-Con last year, which is a nice sign. But could I make Zebra Girl if I lived there? Maybe not.

However, I should mention that that's not really relevant to my feelings on the matter. I'm not talking to a system of belief, or a government. I'm talking to people. Not A people. Just people. And every system of belief is subject to the thoughts and actions of the individuals who carry it.

I hold to my earlier statement. There are many kind, honest Muslim men and women living their lives from day to day, who have no desire to hurt or inflict their views on others. And many are quite progressive, sober and reasonable folks who consider their religion a matter of personal interpretation, freely pursuing practices which more conservative Muslims would find disagreeable. Islam isn't a cage for them, it's simply a part of a greater whole that makes up their life.

And many others aren't so progressive. Many do indeed say and do things which I can't defend. Sometimes terrible, terrible things. But in every case, they're still human beings. And I believe that every human being deserves consideration. Even if all I can give is pity.

I'm going to tell you something personal, Valentine. I'm not really religious in the traditional sense. I don't go to church or hang symbols. But every night before I go to sleep I pray. And my prayer is simple. It's mostly a quote popularized by Charles Dickens. "Bless us, every one." And I mean everyone. Even people I consider to be utterly despicable. In fact, especially people like that. Because maybe their blessing could be guidance towards a better frame of mind. I see no reason not to wish the best for all of us.

So, to every Muslim who's also a good person, and even every Muslim who isn't, I say Ramadan Mubarak. I don't mean to endorse every recorded aspect of Islam, or condone the actions of its more fanatical adherents, or approve each part of the Quran. That's not my business. But, to quote Charles Dickens once again, "Mankind is my business."

So I wish us all the best, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, or otherwise. By which I mean that I wish for peaceful people to continue finding peace, and for people who aren't peaceful to discover it. That's all I mean to say. Even when I say it with different forms of greeting.

Now... I don't suppose we could leave it at that? I really can't afford to spend so much time on this discussion when I need to be working on the comic.

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18th May 2018, 9:07 PM

Hangover Included

So rude! Some people...

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19th May 2018, 12:02 AM

Contact_Lost

Lol, wow.

It's almost like that person has forgotten the whole "several hundred years of bloody fanatical warfare due to zealous Europeans" thing.

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19th May 2018, 5:31 AM

Jonathan

Hey, Adolf, there are at least 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. If more than a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of them were terrorist radicals you would know it, but they aren't.

It's not a delusion, but a simple fact that the majority of them are harmless to you.

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19th May 2018, 7:58 AM

Guest

Crawl back to the Underverse, Rudepeople.

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18th May 2018, 4:46 PM

Voidbane

Zandra is the new boogeyman
appearing out of closets and from under beds
to scare the REAL nightmares away!

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18th May 2018, 8:24 PM

Pyre

Well I was a fan of the previous dress, but thats just me. I was on team Crystal/Zandra despite my intense love of Wally, but I find the way you've wrapped this particular part up to be beautiful. She looked at the two possibilities and saw Crystal might have 'more' with Wally. Regardless of how happy Zandra and Crystal could have potentially been. As you said above Joe, it was a sacrifice. Beautiful and bitter sweet. Gotta say I'm getting all jittery. I have been reading this comic for over 15yrs now. It's part of my weekly life. As excited as I am to see what you do next Joe... No more Zebra Girl, feels like a loosing a friend. I don't know if it is something you may have considered, but a hard cover book of the series would be wonderful. I would super back that kickstarter.

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19th May 2018, 12:35 AM

kvernikovskiy

Aside from the 'whether love is enough' question, I often feel that decisions like this place very little weight on the fact of *immortality* versus *eventually dying.*

Eternal life is pretty great. I attribute this tendency, in part, to humanity having a 'sour grapes' attitude towards the immortal - we can't have it, so it must surely suck or make life less worthwhile or something.

Ahem. Bit of a pet peeve I am reminded of by this page. Great story though. Great story.

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20th May 2018, 4:19 PM

Valentine

This is a setting where immortal souls and afterlives exist, and the main characters know it. So the calculus is not as straightforward as it might otherwise be.

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19th May 2018, 12:51 AM

Piebald

I wonder if the last few pages will mention gregore at all. Low key hoping he eventually came to live with sandra at the monster house. Maybe the two of them found/made other nefastis.

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view Umbral Reaver's profile

19th May 2018, 1:37 AM

Umbral Reaver

I love Zandra so much.

Don't go! :(

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19th May 2018, 3:11 AM

Kaunisenkeli

Joe, it's been wonderful reading ZG down the years (it's been at least 10 years, probably a little more). Thank you so much for this. As a lesbian, I'm glad Zandra is honest about her feelings now (the closet is not a fun place), but I also love how she realized that she needed to let go or else their relationship would be super unhealthy.

It's sad to see ZG go, but every end is a new beginning and all that. So thank you for over a decade of stunning art and entertainment, and good luck on future projects!

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19th May 2018, 7:09 AM

Siansaar

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19th May 2018, 8:11 AM

Kaza

ah, this is beautiful!

i'm sad to see zandra and crystal grow apart, but i also understand it. zandra can't always be the protector figure to crystal that she was when they were kids, and crystal needs her own life.

i do hope zandra gets a girlfriend sometime tho, i mean everyone else got a partner ;)

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19th May 2018, 1:53 PM

Mr. Casual

Here's hoping Zandra finds or has found someone to share her love with. It's hard enough to spend a mortal life alone, let alone an immortal one.

And I don't just mean kids, or a "family". That's all well and good, but it's not the same.

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19th May 2018, 6:22 PM

Drakkenmensch

Because she loved Crystal so much, she had to let her go.

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19th May 2018, 10:25 PM

Lyn

I swear, if this all turns out to have been a hallucination caused by Mr Chalk and she's still stuck in the book with Incubus, I'm going to be so....

I'm not sure if I'd be mad, surprised, or in that weird state of furious euphoria that comes from witnessing an act of supreme chutzpah, but man, I would have to buy you a cake. With a giant FUCK YOU written on it.

And it'd be a really damn good cake, too. You'd enjoy eating it, not just because you made a reader feel so conflicted, but because it's a delicious cake.

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20th May 2018, 4:37 AM

BattyBams

Is she reading to Mabel? I kind of hope so...

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20th May 2018, 11:22 PM

J

It certainly seems like Mabel to me, if Mabel sane'd up and lost the weird speech bubbles.

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20th May 2018, 11:21 AM

ZB

Happy Sunday, Crystal's dead.

:/

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20th May 2018, 2:19 PM

Robin

I think Zandra made the right, but extremely tough, decision to allow Crystal to grow into her own person. Even if it meant not being with her. Zandra loves her that much to let her go.

I like plotlines like these. It makes you think about what love means and how it compares to portrayals in music and movies.

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20th May 2018, 11:20 PM

J

I lovelovelove how are you bringing this to a close. Before we go, can we get a little more clarity/depth on the relationship between Jack and Tomie? Until now it's felt like he kinda... doesn't get it, how she feels about him.

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21st May 2018, 2:27 AM

MaximumCarnage

Quoting a conversation from one of my old favorite novels, Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly:
"A diamond cannot love a flower, for a flower lives only a day, then fades and dies."
"A flower dies, having lived. A diamond can never do either."

I have no doubt keeping her company was a great desire for Zandra. Would it have been wrong? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I don't think either answer is 'right'. It just is. In real life, some of the hardest choices will always leave someone hurt for them. What Zandra saw was a blessing for them, and a curse for herself. The hardest, yet perhaps most purely loving choice you can make, is to let someone go, forgoing yourself, for their own betterment. It's not a happy choice. The price of loss and loneliness is grave. But it's not a bad one.

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