MONDAY AND FRIDAY BY JOE ENGLAND

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ZEBRA GIRL
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COMMENTS FROM THE AUTHOR

view Joe England's profile

4th Jun 2018, 11:09 PM

Joe England

Update, June 5: Art is fluid, right up to the last second. I had intended for the next page to be the last, but the way things are shaping up, it looks like there's going to be still one more page after that!

Sorry to confuse the matter, but at least the comic gets to be just one page longer. Which is good, I suppose. Hopefully you hadn't scheduled any important appointments in a manner dependent on next Friday being the last day of Zebra Girl.

In any event, now I can definitely say that the final page ought to be up on Monday, June 11th, after this coming Friday's update. I repeat, Monday's page will be the last. The denouement demands just slightly more space.

Mustn't rush these things. After eighteen years, what's another weekend more or less?

-Joe

Not a friend. Not really an enemy. Not much of anything, after all. Just chalk to be wiped away.

Terribly sorry (again) for keeping everyone waiting. Especially since this might be taken as something of an anti-climax to the comic's oldest mystery man. I pondered many times over the years how best to resolve his presence... I won't say that this is what I always had in mind. There were ideas. He might have been a big part of Zebra Girl's story.

But in the end, her life is full, and there wasn't room for him to be anything but a mystery. Was he all in her head? Was he God, the Devil, or life, or death? A wandering metaphysical being? Something else?

Like Clarity, and Sandra's mother, this will have to be ambiguous for now. It looks like the future is an uncertain sort of place.

I'll let you fill in the blanks.

Speaking of the future, I intend for the next page to be the last (to be posted this coming Friday the 8th). We're finally, truly, nearly almost done. And it's a strange time for me. After Friday I'm not going to be doing something that I've been doing for the better part of my whole life. I'm not really sad or anything... I've never quite seen the value of regret, and I don't see much cause for it, anyway. I'm more inclined to feel happiness, and appreciation, and gratitude to all of you who have done me this honor. Everyone who's supported me in one way or another, even if all you did was enjoy. Thanks again, friend.

Hoo. The whole thing... I can't believe I'll have drawn this whole thing.






...Hey, out of curiosity, do you like her dress any better now? I think it looks good. I know it got a mixed reaction. Do you hate it? Maybe it's growing on you? Eh? I can't grok fashion, I barely know art. Eighteen years and I STILL don't know what I'm doing!

-Joe

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COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

4th Jun 2018, 11:01 PM

Bloodwyvern

Well that was unexpected.

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4th Jun 2018, 11:10 PM

Panjetarkan

I guess now he's Chalk dust.

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4th Jun 2018, 11:24 PM

Furlips

And so it finally comes to an end.

It been a wonderful experience following you all these years.

If you do something new, will you let us know here?

Hugs

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view Joe England's profile

4th Jun 2018, 11:53 PM

Joe England

I sure will, Furlips. Heck, even after I post Friday's final page I'll still have to work on putting together the last print volume! You can bet I'll be advertising that.

As for the future, well... who knows?

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5th Jun 2018, 8:39 AM

JasonAW3

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:14 PM

Joe England

No one knows the future, Jasonaw3. The best we can do is plan, guess, try, and imagine.

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4th Jun 2018, 11:29 PM

PhaineOfCatz

A lot of threads like this just get left hanging or end up tangle trying to get sown in at the last minute. Clipping it off cleanly like this is a much more pleasing solution.

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4th Jun 2018, 11:46 PM

Orange Orc

The devil's second greatest trick was channeling George Bailey.

I had a list of theories about him, but I never expected to feel sorry for the guy.

Don't get me wrong, Sandra's completely right about what a a thirsty troll he is, but it's hard not to empathize a little considering I'm also sad about the end of this comic.

Lovely comic, Joe, it will be missed!

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:14 PM

Joe England

It'll miss you, Orange Orc!

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4th Jun 2018, 11:47 PM

Xel Unknown

I never minded the dress...

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5th Jun 2018, 8:44 PM

Dae

This. Thhe only thing to be upset about is the same phenomena that's been going on with Sandra's hair from the very start.
It is a little off, but its kinda the point- demons are beyond practical design in this world.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:13 PM

Joe England

Yeah, I've been styling that hair for the better part of twenty years, and I still have to fight it every time.

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5th Jun 2018, 12:00 AM

Ginny

This... this is the last page?

I'm... extremely depressed.

Dude, I've been reading this for over 10 years... I can't wrap my head around this. Damn... I'm really going to miss this.

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view Joe England's profile

5th Jun 2018, 12:14 AM

Joe England

Huh? Oh, no, this isn't the last page. That's coming Friday Monday. Sorry if I didn't make that clear enough. Here, I changed the post a little.

At any rate, I appreciate that Zebra Girl's ending depresses you, Ginny. It means a lot to be missed. But I hope that looking back over the years of pages will bring you happiness again!

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5th Jun 2018, 12:01 AM

chaotik74

mmmyyeaaahhhh.....I'm gonna file this under "loose plot threads" and think that Sandra/Zhandra/Khazandra is getting a mite too smug/complacent. Eventually it'll lead to a fall she can't blithely get back up from.

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5th Jun 2018, 12:03 AM

chaotik74

I DID think it was a anticlimax/cheap move.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:12 PM

Joe England

Fair enough, Chaotik74.

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5th Jun 2018, 12:45 AM

Panjetarkan

"For now" - are you implying the possibility of a return to this universe at some future point? A different story, perhaps, with a different protagonist, but with answers to some of these questions?

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5th Jun 2018, 4:33 AM

Lachlan R

I am also curious about what you mean by "for now".

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5th Jun 2018, 5:44 AM

Valentine

Joe's hinted that he may use the future of the Zebra Girl Earth as the setting for future projects, but if he has definite plans at this point, I don't think he's shared them. Mina Cringe is another plausible candidate for future stories, and probably a more likely one for a big successor project if one is in the works. But I imagine that there will be a lot of background work to do before publishing anything, so we may not know for a while.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:11 PM

Joe England

Yeah, pretty much what Valentine said.

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5th Jun 2018, 12:49 AM

Leif

On one hand, I wanted SOMETHING for Mr Chalk, anything would have been better than nothing. On the other hand, I feel like this wasn't the something I was after.

Is it an ending for him? Yes. Is it a terrible ending for him? No (at least not from this reader's perspective). But I would have preferred a news paper clipping of him waving with a caption along the lines of: "Local says goodbye to..." and the rest is off frame, maybe Zandra notices and glares at it, alluding that it's one of many loose ends that she's working on but will ultimately overcome.

He was presented so mysteriously and at such crucial moments throughout the story that a send off like this makes all his previous interactions seem trivial. Again, I wanted something for him, is this page terrible? NO! It puts Mr Chalk in a completely different light, sadly it's a light that's not the most attractive for me as a reader.

Long rant, sorry! Looking forward to the next page!

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:11 PM

Joe England

No need to apologize for rants, Leif. They're practically my bread and butter!

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5th Jun 2018, 12:50 AM

Machine Dragon

Well that’s kind of rude, I mean, he did kind of a help her escape Lord Incubus.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:10 PM

Joe England

Or DID he? After all, she didn't exactly take his advice.

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5th Jun 2018, 12:58 AM

Z

It's sad to see Chalk discarded like that.

I've never liked it when (potentially) powerful and mysterious characters go out pathetically, with a whimper rather than a bang.

It would be like if you just got to shoot the G-Man in Half-Life.

I guess that's the problem with these kinds of characters and not knowing what to do with them.

I kind of wish you'd done nothing with him, as this ignominious end leave a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth, so close to the end, too.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:09 PM

Joe England

Hmm. I understand, Z.

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5th Jun 2018, 1:04 AM

DyingAce

Kinda surreal a character being wiped away since time ran out to include them. I'd call it anti-climatic and a little disappointing. Nice he had at least an ending. We could take it as Zandra preventing a threat from ever even taking focused shape. Would fit some of the self awareness of stories theme we've seen.

What is with all those books? The same copy or are they segments of her full memoir?? How long has it been? So many questions left to speculate after the end. But what will the final page be?

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:09 PM

Joe England

We'll see, Dyingace!

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5th Jun 2018, 1:06 AM

Gromweld

A bummer, both because his previous appearances were during pivotal plot moments (thus building his importance in the reader's mind), and because he has one of most striking character designs you've put in the comic (which is a high bar!)

Personally, I wouldn't have minded if he didn't get an explanation or further development at this stage; just a cryptic cameo like all his other ones, cementing his character as some ineffable presence that's up to reader interpretation.

Ah well. These last few pages have been great, so I suppose this merely stands out because everything else has been so solid. Looking forward to Friday's page, and to whatever project comes next!

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5th Jun 2018, 1:13 AM

Rex Ivan

I like that idea for a character: a supernatural being who is boundless potential which never comes to fruition. He is so full to the brim with such wide possibility that, ultimately, there was no room for him to be anything else. So he never becomes anything, and is never defined as anything. Is it wrong that I feel a bit sad for him. He's a genuinely pathetic character.

Also, you made a typo with "deviil".

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view Joe England's profile

5th Jun 2018, 1:18 AM

Joe England

Ah! Thanks, Rex.

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5th Jun 2018, 1:27 AM

pyrodice

Sounds like One Punch Man

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5th Jun 2018, 1:16 AM

Jack T. Robyn

She figured him out: a mysterious enticement that she refused to feed and so he never got to be something more.

Also, Devil has an extra "I" in the last panel.

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5th Jun 2018, 1:42 AM

Rex Ivan

The more I think about this, the more I'm really enjoying it. He was self-aware meta-being who was waiting for her to define him, something he could not do himself. He could have been good or bad or something else entirely. As it stands, he's just an ill-defined chalk outline that Zandra didn't fill in, one in a multitude of small oddities that seemed to follow her around.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:07 PM

Joe England

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5th Jun 2018, 1:41 AM

Sunseeker

It's so weird to see a comic I enjoy actually come to a real ending. So many seem to go on forever or end abruptly somewhere in the middle. I'm certain I'll come back in a few months to check what I've missed and realize that it's actually over.

Good. Bad. Weird.

All around awesome story Joe.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:07 PM

Joe England

All around awesome readers, Sunseeker.

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5th Jun 2018, 2:35 AM

Lorien Inksong

Oh dang second to last page. Sure its a bit of an anti-climax but I don't mind and think it makes sense in terms of the narrative. I like some aspects of Zandra's dress but have mixed opinions on others... Maybe its time for Zebra girl fashion fan-art.

I'm a bit in shock about the story ending too. Zebra Girl has been updating since I really got online at all.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:07 PM

Joe England

Second to second to last, now! It's a tough mountain to climb, Lorien. Always another rock to scale!

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5th Jun 2018, 2:55 AM

E_voyager

I'd like how to play on the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn't exist. Still I guess it does make sense he was out there trying to become be fine become a Force and Sandra's world she would give her meaning definition and La all met her power is only she gave in.

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5th Jun 2018, 3:03 AM

kvernikovskiy

>Eighteen years and I STILL don't know what I'm doing!

I know that feel, man. 'S pretty persistent, eh? Well, as some random guy on the internet, *I* see improvement and real supercool skillz. From you. You cool art guy.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:05 PM

Joe England

Thanks, Kvernikovskiy. You're cool too!

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5th Jun 2018, 3:47 AM

Novalyyn

Hm. Definitely anti-climactic. Disappointing in a sense... but I think that's more from expectations than poor story. But it's interesting. It actually makes me want to know more about Chalk, about what sort of poor creature he is.

I suppose a sort of dark muse, a being which thrives on anxiety and supposition. He is a is a being of memes in its original theory - an alternate form of genes based upon the mind, ideas that reproduce through sharing with others. Memes of mystery and fear are powerful indeed, but Mr. Chalk found an environment where he was far from apex.

He need not be so sad. His descendants, clone ideas of him, linger in our minds to grow and change, at least for a little while. His unique ending might be their death, or it might be a the little boost they need to change and linger for a little longer.

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5th Jun 2018, 10:59 AM

Guest

I know *I* am going to be throwing him at my D&D players... see if they do something with him... heh.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:05 PM

Joe England

Ooh, good luck with that!

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5th Jun 2018, 3:53 AM

Odo

I have been following this almost since the very beginning (I think I had a 10 strip archive). Zandra has grown up, and so has your art. I hope your art finds a new subject soon, and I'll gladly follow it for as long as it takes for you to write your next story.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:04 PM

Joe England

Maybe I'll see you then, Odo!

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5th Jun 2018, 4:40 AM

Nestor

Hmm!! Part of me feels disappointed, the other part is appreciative of the originality in resolving this impossible to fit loose end.

I guess it's like a particularly artful judo throw. I can appreciate the masterful execution, but I'm still dazed on the floor with a sore backside.

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view CyberSkull's profile

5th Jun 2018, 5:14 AM

CyberSkull

I did not see this coming.

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5th Jun 2018, 6:49 AM

KS_Claw

It feels so strange, watching all of this come to an end. I still remember when I first found this comic, and it was during the storyline called "Magi-Net." It still remains one of my favourite comics to this day. But at least it's getting a good and proper ending, where I've had to see some others just, stop updating (and in one sad and recent case, the creator passed away.)

Thank you for this story. It's been a wild, wonderful ride.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:04 PM

Joe England

You're welcome, Claw. Glad to be of service.

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5th Jun 2018, 7:44 AM

Applemask

I had a theory that he was some kind of authorial spirit representing Joe himself, since he first showed up not long before the last on-panel appearance of Joe's lagomorphic avatar, and shortly after the completion of construction work on that pesky fourth wall. ("Where's that big round title panel?") But his explanation is still sufficiently metatextual for my liking.

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5th Jun 2018, 7:44 AM

Applemask

I had a theory that he was some kind of authorial spirit representing Joe himself, since he first showed up not long before the last on-panel appearance of Joe's lagomorphic avatar, and shortly after the completion of construction work on that pesky fourth wall. ("Where's that big round title panel?") But his explanation is still sufficiently metatextual for my liking.

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5th Jun 2018, 7:46 AM

Applemask

But I swear I only had that theory once.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:03 PM

Joe England

Well, it's good thinking, anyway!

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5th Jun 2018, 8:01 AM

Voidbane

I actually quite like that ending...

Because, in the big picture?

He did nothing.

I do think the dress is more form fitting
and less “spikey” now. Cudos!

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5th Jun 2018, 8:04 AM

TheCaketress

I always had been interested to see how Chalk ended up. This feels poetic. Anti climatic yeah, not bad though. I appreciate that small wrap up.

In other news, thank you for being an amazing artist and inspiration this long. This comic was such a great ride. I want to own all the books, and once I'm financially able to... I hope you release a master set. It deserves it for sure!

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:03 PM

Joe England

Maybe it does. Thanks for reading, Caketress! Thanks for taking inspiration from the ride!

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5th Jun 2018, 8:19 AM

Vero

Well... I kinda like the fact that Chalk seems to just have been acting as Zadras' boogieman in order to get a foothold into the world, but then she just denied him. Don't feed the trolls and all, they only get as much power as you give them. And woaaah, so many books with the Thee Eye logo on them, are these all volumes of her memoirs? How much time *has* passed!?

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5th Jun 2018, 8:43 AM

Fireshot

It's a shame this comic is coming to a end. I have been following it from close to the beginning. Ah well plenty more comics out their and I might decide to re-read this comic again just to make sure I remember things correctly. Its been a blast though! I have enjoyed this comic quite a bit and your skills at drawing it have improved vastly over the years! Take care Joe and I hope you end up making another comic someday! If you do make sure to post a link to it somewhere where we can find it!

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:01 PM

Joe England

Thanks, Fireshot! I sure will!

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5th Jun 2018, 8:50 AM

JasonAW3

In the end, Mr. Chalk was exactly what Khazandra needed him to be, an advisor, an antagonist, and finally, an enigma, whose actual origin, purpose and meaning, will never be answered, as it needs no answer.

He was what the Zebra Girl needed, when she needed it.

Well done, Joe. Well done indeed...

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:01 PM

Joe England

Thank you, Jasonaw3.

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5th Jun 2018, 8:53 AM

Siansaar

Well that was anti-climatic.

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5th Jun 2018, 9:56 AM

moon

I didn't start reading this comic til...2015? I think? so I missed out on most of it, but it still feels weird to know the end is right around the corner. I'll be looking forward to whatever comes after Zebragirl.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:00 PM

Joe England

So will I, Moon. So will I.

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5th Jun 2018, 10:50 AM

Guest

I would have had it be a long monologue with him going on about the nature of things... but then we pan out to see he's a photograph of Chalk who's going "Now can you PLEASE pick me up off the cutting room floor?" and Zandra throws him in the trash instead going "good on paper bad in practice" or something. Heh.

I like your ending to him better. :)

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 11:00 PM

Joe England

Nice thought, though!

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5th Jun 2018, 11:45 AM

Kwyjor

I like it. It might be my favorite part of these last few pages. It is easy to recall times when life was not so full and things crawled out of the empty spaces. It's especially fitting in view of the old Characters page. Remember that, where he was described with the start of "Antigonish"?

I still would have preferred that he suddenly turned into "Stubby" from Zandra's old comics. I'll just pretend that's where he went.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 10:59 PM

Joe England

Ah, Stubby. I'll have to save him for a sequel.

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5th Jun 2018, 1:02 PM

Mr. Casual

I'll add my voice to the others and say this isn't what I was expecting at all, and maybe not what I wanted for him. But it works.

I do have some thoughts about things ending here, but I'll probably save that for the actual ending.

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5th Jun 2018, 1:08 PM

Vista

After sleepless nights reading in the dark, I'm finally caught up.

You sir have made a really good comic. Quite the page-turner.

...what is sleep?

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 10:57 PM

Joe England

You're asking ME? Take my word for it, making these pages requires at LEAST as many sleepless nights as reading them!

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5th Jun 2018, 1:40 PM

Tyler

I'd like to say that this comic helped me through some pretty stressful times. When I started reading I had just started my first tear of college and I thought it would be a decent distraction but, ultimately, something I could drop at any time. But, as I read I found myself unable to out it down and found that I had read the entire backlog in a single day. I would wait with bated breath for this comic to come so, that I could escape into it's pages for just a few moments. And know it's ending. I guess I just want to say thank you Mr.England for sharing this world and your stories with us.

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5th Jun 2018, 2:49 PM

Xiombarg

I actually like the "anticlimax." Would have liked to see more leadup to it, but it's a cute twist.

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5th Jun 2018, 4:03 PM

Friend

I want to start off saying that I have been reading this comic since roughly 2004, when I was in high school. I'm 32 now.

I've been reading since when this comic seemed to almost be dying, when there was one update a month and I was sure that it was going to abruptly stop without an ending, like the many, many webcomics I have read throughout the years.

That it could make it all the way to a true end is a triumph!

I love this comic, I mean LOVE. I've always recommended it to people and always been frustrated by how little attention it seemed to get. It’s been my favorite piece of media online for most of my adult years, so what I say next is DIFFICULT, but comes from a place of love and respect:

I feel incredibly let down by this resolution with Mr. Chalk. I feel the way that Star Wars: The Force Awakens made many people feel about Supreme Leader Snoke: Building up this important figure and then just snuffing him out with no explanation to who he was, where he came from, what he wanted or what motivated him.

It felt like an insult to everyone because the story had been drilling it into us that he was a very important character in this story and would have an impact on it not unlike emperor Palpatine did on both the original Star Wars and its prequels.

Mr. Chalk has been built up for all these years to us as this big player, a mysterious entity who seemed to be biding his time, watching, teasing and toying with Sandra, and that he would either be the "Final Boss" of Zebra girl, a future ally, or something equally important.

He seemed to know something that neither we, Sandra or anyone else knew about her existence, something valuable that he could use for his own needs. He always seemed like he was the Petyr Baelish of Zebra Girl, quietly working in the background, slowing planning to use Sandra for some kind of dark scheme. I guess it’s fitting that Petyr Baelish went out the same way, killed before we could ever find out his master plan.

Having Chalk handwaved away like this feels like such a betrayal to those through the years were told to be invested in this character via his repeated brief but ominous appearances in the story.

As a reader, I can't pretend to be ok with how this panned out. The thing is though, that I understand how we got here.

I could see it after Sandra got back to "The Real World". I felt like the comic was running on fumes, it seemed tired and eager to end. This is perfectly understandable and fair for a comic drawn by one man for over 15 years. I could tell that that Joe was ready to wrap it up, and that’s why I am unsurprised with the decision to just “Snoke” Chalk.

I’m not happy or satisfied with it, but I understand.

I will always love this comic, it’s the most original, inventive, interesting and fantastically drawn comic I have ever read, but the limp resolution to Chalk will always leave a thorn in my fond memories of it.

Whatever Joe works on next though, I very much look forward to!

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5th Jun 2018, 7:54 PM

Piebald

Yeah this is pretty disappointing tbh. I feel like he just didn't know what to do with chalk and he wanted to be finished with the comic so there it is I guess lol. Honestly I still feel like that last page of her exiting the outlands and flying to the city would have been a good end to the whole thing. It would have been a ton of loose ends but the way it played out with all the vampire shenanigans just dragged on way too long imo. Like, the final boss of this years long epic comic about magic and demons and weird mystery was a drugged out hippie vampire chick. Sandra spends (5?) years in a soul searching limbo place and as soon as she gets out she immediately becomes a weird mom/mob boss for all the local freaks instead of trying to reconcile with her friends. So weird. This comic is great overall though. Loved seeing the art improve over all these years.

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view Joe England's profile

5th Jun 2018, 11:05 PM

Joe England

I'm truly sorry to have let you down, Friend. And you, Piebald. I hope that the last few pages can mitigate your disappointment. You all deserve better than to be left unsatisfied by something you've spent so many years with. I'm not sure what I can give you to make up for that besides a final effort, but I'll try.

Thank you for your honesty, and thanks for spending time with Zebra Girl. A story's success can only be measured by its audience.

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6th Jun 2018, 1:44 PM

Piebald

At the end of the day you gotta tell the story you want to tell, it your story. I'm still going to look at this comic as one of the best. Definitely been a wild ride and I'm going to miss it once it's done.

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6th Jun 2018, 2:02 PM

Aaron Beal

I have to agree with you, Friend. I understand the why of this, but I don't like the how. I'd have preferred a "loose end" for this character to the anti-climax we got, but sei la vie.

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6th Jun 2018, 2:29 PM

Aaron Beal

Also, funny but sad the "Snoked" is now a verb whose meaning is clear from context. TLJ was such a bitter disappointment.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 10:55 PM

Joe England

Personally? I quite liked it.

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6th Jun 2018, 5:32 PM

SnowPie

That exactly sums up my thoughts about this Page.
And im also with Aaron Beal, i too would have preferred a "loose end" instead of this.. whimpering Chalk who gets "Snoked".

Hm.. maybe that sounded harsh but i dont mean to. I really like Zebra Girl :)

I will do the Human-thing about things that upset me in some way, i will ignore them :D Like Matrix 2 and 3 XD.

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5th Jun 2018, 4:37 PM

Onearmed Atlas

I... I don't know what caused you to end the series, it's all rather anticlimactic to be honest. Remember reading pages over a decade ago and now it all feels, strange?

I wish you all the best in the future, but I think a lot of potential was butchered. Why I don't, and probably won't, know. But to each their own.

I'll however always vehemently refuse that Mr.Chalk would end in such a way. Even if that was always the plan, the lack of buildup just ruins it.

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5th Jun 2018, 7:00 PM

Felix Domestica

Trying to stretch a story past the point where it still has something new to say leads only to jumping to jumping the shark. A story is defined as much by its boundaries as by its contents. Appreciate the work for what it is -- good enough that you're going to miss it -- and let Joe move on to his next project.

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view Joe England's profile

7th Jun 2018, 10:55 PM

Joe England

Fair enough, Atlas. What can I say? Every book has to close sooner or later. It's the only way to move on to the next volume!

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5th Jun 2018, 7:19 PM

Shade

While I am a smidge let down by this resolution for Chalk, it also seems somewhat fitting. The comic had long seemed to sort of outgrow the need for him, a mysterious figure that only showed up to be cryptic. With the rest of the story being set down in stone, it was very much in a meta sense that there was no longer a need for a mysterious figure who hadn't ever accomplished anything that he or the readers wanted him to.

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5th Jun 2018, 7:57 PM

Piebald

I like the hundreds of memoirs showing that ages have passed. Neat.

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7th Jun 2018, 10:53 PM

Joe England

I'm glad you appreciate that little touch. If you only KNEW how hard I had to work to map out the consistent perspective for that panel!

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5th Jun 2018, 8:36 PM

Lurkergao

I actually like this ending to mr chalk. He was like freddy krueger he fed off fear and people thinking about him. In this page he is starving and then ended. For he was never anything but a chalky ghost to begin with who put on airs.

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5th Jun 2018, 11:09 PM

Allie

Well, I like it. Too many stories make evil seem more interesting than goodness. For the most part real evil is overwhelmingly, exhaustingly, boring.

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5th Jun 2018, 11:36 PM

Line Noise

it can be hard to accept but some hyped things are empty. Mr Chalk is to Sandra what Zebra Girl is to Joe England a elaborate and mysterious doodle now to be wiped away.

ZG was black and white and the art just kept getting better, will you try colour next? I hope so.

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7th Jun 2018, 10:51 PM

Joe England

Color? Hmm. Maybe. I guess I'll have the freedom to try all sorts of different things!

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5th Jun 2018, 11:41 PM

Evonix

That was a bit mean

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6th Jun 2018, 1:22 AM

Guest

Chalk is teap.

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6th Jun 2018, 3:18 AM

kilgaen

It's at the end he grew the most definition. Still works on so many levels. Good handling.

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6th Jun 2018, 7:29 AM

Kaunisenkeli

And Zandra cleans the erasers.

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6th Jun 2018, 8:57 AM

James

The devil is in the details.. and she refused to fill those in and let him out citing his a dull story not worth telling.

Cute.

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6th Jun 2018, 10:13 AM

Diego Nei

Feels like this was a soft cop out... Yeah, I'll go with that.

I really wish this had been a major plot point instead of a shaggy dog, the original character image was really appealing to me and the 'mysterious shadowy character would have been a nice cliche of a villain.

Still, I rather have a cop out instead of lose ends.

Real bummer though is we don't ever get to see his eyes. He was almost fully here! heh

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7th Jun 2018, 10:50 PM

Joe England

Glad you caught that, Diego. Yes, he was THIS close! No wonder he was frustrated.

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6th Jun 2018, 11:05 AM

Pider

I was a reader of this comic years ago, during a formative period of my life. The concepts presented, the art progression was inspiring. The way you've improved is magnificent. Zebra girl holds a special place in my heart.

I stopped reading it years ago, when I went through a kind of hard period in my life. I moved, my family went bankrupt, and I fell out of any creative works. But I rediscovered it and...read through all of it. I'm so happy it's coming to a conclusion and that it feels like a good one. Thank you for the wild ride. I'll keep reading anything you decide is worth your time to work on, and I look forward to whatever you decide to do next.

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7th Jun 2018, 10:49 PM

Joe England

Thanks for coming along on this wild ride, Pider. If my work has helped to ease any hard times, I consider it a crowning achievement. I wish you all the best for the future, and perhaps we'll meet again at some point down the line!

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6th Jun 2018, 4:26 PM

Omega

<3 thanks for keeping the story awesome the drawing incredible and the characters ever interesting and deep its been a wonderful journey <3

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7th Jun 2018, 10:47 PM

Joe England

You're very welcome, Omega! Thanks for sticking with us!

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6th Jun 2018, 7:20 PM

Chaos

Mm. Bit torn on this. On the one hand I don't at all mind this 'confrontation' being an anti-climax-- by reducing Chalk to nothing of importance Zandra has truly claimed power over her story and the ability to decide who matters and who belongs in it. On the other... his presence here feels really weak, in all senses of the word.

He's been a powerful, commanding presence every time he appears, steeped in mystery and intrigue propelled by his self-confidence and his ability to use his simple arrival to change the feeling of an entire scene (even if he's never truly expressed the power to alter it). To have him arrive and begin using that presence only for Zandra to brush him away would have been a really nice punch-- we as an audience think we'll understand, Mr. Chalk as a character is finally on the brink of revealing his importance, and Zandra stands up to that power and presence as an equal and decides he is nothing. It's an anti-climax, but a meaningful one.

His dialogue here, however, is whimpering and pathetic, like he's somehow been cowed by Zandra over time (and sounds like an entirely different character). It's possible, but because there's been no buildup or shift in the way they've interacted previously this doesn't really feel *earned*. Even something like reducing Mr. Chalk to a silhouette as he delivers these lines -- turning him from an entity to nothing more than negative space, as Zandra says (implying that his attempts at gaining importance have failed and supporting his desperation for relevancy and acknowledgment) -- would go some way to at least implying that something had shifted. It's not ideal, but it would feel better than presenting a Mr. Chalk that has been reduced to sniveling about page time (especially since his interactions with Zandra were all about messing with her, meaning that even in context 'his story' was irrelevant and never seemed particularly meaningful in and of itself) without letting us as an audience see the transition.

I do very much appreciate that you wanted to provide some kind of closure here even though the original concept didn't pan out (it would be just as easy to shunt him to the side), and I love the idea behind turning this natural side effect of writing evolution and serialization into a character moment. Just feels like the execution faltered.

(And I feel like a jerk for being critical so close to the end. Zebra Girl has been one of my favorite webcomics since I found it back on 2006 and have nothing but love for the comic and respect for you for all the work you've put into it.)

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7th Jun 2018, 10:46 PM

Joe England

Don't feel like a jerk, Chaos! You're only being honest, and I appreciate every bit of feedback you have to give. It can only be to my benefit, even if it's hard to hear. After all... maybe you're right! And I have nothing but respect for you, too.

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6th Jun 2018, 8:02 PM

Enygma

Well it is AN end for Mr. Chalk, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed by it. I rather liked Mr. Chalk, even if he was mysterious and didn't appear too often, his appearances were always something to remember. To see him just blown away like that is just... leaves an empty feeling.

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6th Jun 2018, 9:54 PM

SirCrash

Had to think about this one a bit to try and fit it in... And it seems to me that it would well is you consider chalk was a product of her self doubt and insecurities. While they help push us forward in life, they aren't really that healthy and I think many people would love to reach a point in their lives where they could blow them away like this. What do y'all think?

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6th Jun 2018, 11:15 PM

Bix

Chalk was always one of the main characters I'd hoped to see more of after how great his debut was, along with the mountains of mystery Joe kept piling up behind him with every subsequent appearance.
Sucks to see nothing ever panned out for the guy, but I suppose I prefer that he never truly got his foot into the story to having him get started without a satisfying conclusion.

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7th Jun 2018, 12:34 AM

Ellie

I wonder why Zandra has 900 copies of her own biography.

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7th Jun 2018, 5:41 AM

Valentine

Probably not copies. More likely yearly editions.

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7th Jun 2018, 8:40 AM

Brett Bellmore

So, in the end Mr. Chalk was just a loose thread, and rather than tie him off in a decorative knot, you snipped him.

I think were this the sort of work that was completed in private, edited and then released, we'd never have met Mr. Chalk. Proposed and then reconsidered too late.

Or maybe he's that Lovecraftian monster that can only attack those who pay attention to him, and has no power over the ignorant or uncaring. So Zandra properly ignored him rather than feed him and be eaten.

Well, I'll think of him that latter way. Hope you can publish this comic in hardcover, looking just like that book of her's. I'd like to get a copy.

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7th Jun 2018, 4:46 PM

Mel

I actually love this ending to Chalk. He’s hurt and tortured Zandra all along and kept her alive (in the dreamscape) to use later. I think it’s fitting Zandra doesn’t let him control her anymore. To fade away without anger, he’s nothing, not even a nightmare any more. He doesn’t control her or her life. I think that’s one of my favourite villain endings.

Thanks for this awesome comic Joe. I’ll miss it.

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7th Jun 2018, 5:34 PM

atma

Wow! I looked away for short moment (or a few years) and you wrapped up the story and managed to tie up the loose ends. Very impressive and actually very good! My question is, if you happen to come back to this comment - how much if this end was intended from the start? My feeling is it sort of grew organically and came out to a natural but in many ways unexpected ending. I guess everyone grew, you and all the characters as well. Thanks.

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7th Jun 2018, 10:44 PM

Joe England

From the start? Oh, I didn't have it all planned out THAT far in advance. You're right, much of it grew organically (though I do pride myself on mapping the plot quite a ways ahead). So yes, we all grew. And thank YOU, Atma, for helping us along!

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7th Jun 2018, 5:48 PM

DeKing

Oh Gosh, one more page to go. Having been with the series since Earthbroke (Part 3) I can't help but already miss you, Joe, and Zandra, too, if course. Having said that, Mr. Chalk's end beings with it closure and new questions that I didn't know to ask, so good on you for doing that! His role in series does seem consistent with this revelation, so I'm surprisingly content with this anti-climactic reveal; he's just relatable and pitiful enough to sympathise with, yet it's hard to feel too bad for him. In a way, he kinda diserves being forgotton about, yet the mystery he presented was itself memorable, even if he wasn't, and I think that was the point of this. You're nothing if all you are is mystery, after all.

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7th Jun 2018, 10:42 PM

Joe England

Thanks, Deking, thanks for every kind word! Really, I mean it. Though I have to mention, there are actually TWO more pages to go! I originally thought there would be just one, but... this is a tough dragon to conquer. Keeps making me work for it.

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8th Jun 2018, 12:24 AM

Dainpdf

Oh gee, I'm late to the party. Don't know whether you'll see this, Joe, but here it goes.
I'm still bothered by the dress, but I can't grok fashion either, so I'm not sure my opinion matters much.
As for Mr. Chalk... okay, this is going to get long.
I've long noticed that a lot of serial fiction has a problem ending. New plot threads are easier to introduce than resolve, and hype built over months or years is ever harder to satisfactorily pay off. With that in mind, Zebra Girl has done pretty well with regards to most plot points. Her relationship with Crystal; her relationship with herself; each of her friends' personal arcs. You did great and I hope you feel proud of it.
A couple of things fell by the wayside, though. Sandra's mom. Sam's original world. Mr. Chalk. You sort of addressed the first in one of the recent comics, and the second is well enough resolved by letting it stay by the wayside. "Forgotten, or at least left behind" is a resolution that works. But as for Mr. Chalk, all the build-up is left with nowhere to go. This feels incomplete, like we missed a page or two somewhere. Because as is, we have this major influence on Sandra's growth as a character, and nothing really sets up this page. There was no indication, no foreshadowing I could find. And so it feels jarring.
The closest parallel I can think of was Broadshoulders' self-fulfilling prophecy, a mark he carried that scared and hurt him but which in the end was nothing. If there had been anything linking these two things, I might have felt like pieces were falling together. As it is, I'm looking inside the box for the missing puzzle pieces.
Tl; Dr: I don't mind the ending that Mr. Chalk got, per se, but I feel the end of such a major character needed some set up and as it is it feels jarring and misplaced.
Thank you for all the comics!

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8th Jun 2018, 4:15 PM

The Dude

That is simultaneously one of the most disappointing and yet brilliant endings to a hanging plot thread I have ever seen.

Bravo.

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9th Jun 2018, 10:37 AM

Sigurther

Naw, I'm happy with this, f**k that guy.

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