MONDAY AND FRIDAY BY JOE ENGLAND

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view Joe England's profile

13th Jan 2021, 1:41 PM

Joe England

Happy 2021, everyone! Well, I meant to have something for you all sooner, but I sort of hopped tracks from one project to another while taking care of house and home. I'll show the other thing later, but I can't resist worldbuilding. And speaking of the world, it's still Winter, still the midst of a pandemic, and.... Well. America is still having a panic attack. But hopefully this will please you while we tough out the dry heaves!

In case you need clarification, these Files from the Stone Society are written at some point in the future, presumably around the time of Zebra Girl's Epilogue. The enclosed picture serves as a historical illustration of the subject matter.

For this case, we briefly revisit Wally, Crystal, and their children, previously glimpsed in a photograph on Khazandra's desk as we peered through time. In this scene (closer to the present), Wally is having a talk with his pups, who have just begun to experience their werewolf nature. He's changed a lot since we first met him, hasn't he?

But, wait, aren't werewolves immortal? Or do they age like humans? There are conflicting stories. Thankfully, the passage of time brings us the Stone Society, an apparent collective of supernatural researchers who can clear things up!

This stuff's going into the Omnibus, by the way. Don't think it won't!

- Joe


From the writings of Voctavio Stone, noted Lycanthropologist (date unknown):

“There is some confusion concerning the nature of immortality as it pertains to werewolves. The average lycanthrope tends to be long-lived, but not extraordinarily so. And yet, amongst their ranks lurk fearsome elders, their powers swollen by time, some of whom claim to be many centuries old. Why?

“First, it must be said that werewolves are, in fact, highly social animals. Despite their antiquated reputation as rugged loners, very few of them actually want to be alone. This is the demand of their curse, which drove many of its victims mad before supernatural society somewhat stabilized and communication and destigmatization allowed for the formation of lasting, healthy relationships for lycanthropes seeking love. These burgeoning packs allowed the positive attributes of the condition to flourish beyond the negative, and the shadowy figure of the wretched fugitive haunting the borders between towns and forests became little more than a stereotype.

“Now we must understand that this has directly impacted the expected lifespan of the average werewolf. Why do some grow ancient, while most others live and die like any ordinary human? And why do the former generally seem miserable when compared to the latter? The answer lies in the motive of the curse.

“Curses such as vampirism and lycanthropy are sometimes likened to disease, and not without reason (though ideally without prejudice). We must remember that no virus actually wants to kill its host. The purpose of any living contaminant is to survive, and symbiosis is more beneficial than parasitism. The goal is to comfortably thrive and reproduce. And while misery loves company, happiness does a better job of attracting it.

“With modern analysis, we therefore recognize that lycanthropic immortality is a biological pull meant to provide a werewolf with the opportunity to form a strong and stable group. While the maddening yearning which develops in the absence of true familial bonds may be ameliorated by makeshift gangs or fleeting friendships, the imposition of youth will persist until sincere companionship is achieved, and only once this is firmly established will the march of time resume.

“Few wolves ever lament the opportunity to age and pass away, content in their communal comfort. And some even prosper, their size and strength blossoming as their condition grants them the power to more effectively safeguard their family in the years they have left. This is called the “Summer Coat”, a boon gained by local leaders invigorated by their ability to give and receive genuine affection.

“Thus, compared to mundane humans, the lifespan of a modern werewolf is not often extended to any remarkable degree. They are usually raised in functioning family units and seldom feel the need to go wandering far from home. This contentment curtails the yearning which would trigger their immortality (and prevents a population explosion, since many wolves find themselves unmotivated to begin a family of their own while they remain comfortable with the pack they grew up in). A far cry from the old tales of abandoned children and rabid nomads prowling the woods!

“But those myths and legends are still not entirely unfounded, and remnants of darker times persist. There remains a small number of prominent elders who, perhaps, have lived too long to find the human connection which their kind call the “Silver Bullet”, the simple intimacy which can unlock the clock and free them from their lonely road. Such creatures are considered highly dangerous, for not only are they potentially sociopathic, but the march of years has granted them the “Winter Coat”, power gained from centuries spent in love’s absence.

“And yet, even these frightful beings have a place in the werewolf hierarchy. More stable individuals may be requested to serve as magistrates or teachers, though they never fully assimilate into any one pack. Khazandra of the Eastern Lake is rumored to be close friends with just such an elder, having facilitated its introduction to the lycanthrope community in Miscellanea (although, as usual, the recorded details of this relationship are vague at best). This serves to demonstrate that, in their heart of hearts, even the most fearsome werewolves ultimately yearn to cultivate rather than sever the ties that bind.”

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COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

13th Jan 2021, 4:12 PM

Refhi

Really.
Thanks!

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view Joe England's profile

14th Jan 2021, 12:06 PM

Joe England

You're very welcome!

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14th Jan 2021, 6:14 AM

Cheuk Ho

Thanks for the reminder of this part of my younger life. Your comic is one of the earlier internet sites that became my regular go-to places. It's so interesting to see your work evolve as time goes by, and how going through the archives and being reminded of my own personal changes as I was reading your work.

Again, thank you for your hard work and wish you the best!

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view Joe England's profile

14th Jan 2021, 12:05 PM

Joe England

You too, Cheuk! I'm proud that my work's been a part of your life.

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15th Jan 2021, 7:14 AM

Guest

Everyone wants a friend.

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view CyberSkull's profile

15th Jan 2021, 7:15 AM

CyberSkull

Everyone wants a friend.

(Didn’t notice I wasn’t logged in).

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view Joe England's profile

15th Jan 2021, 9:02 PM

Joe England

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15th Jan 2021, 11:27 AM

Blake

It was sad when Zebra Girl finally finished. Like the ending of Dr. McNinja or Bob and George. It was a pleasure to watch you style and skill grow over the years, and bittersweet to watch it finally come to and end.

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed these little updates. It's always heartbreaking to see a truly vibrant, ALIVE world truly die, and you haven't let it.

These small updates help it feel like the world continues to live, quietly dreaming rather than truly dead.

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view Joe England's profile

15th Jan 2021, 5:03 PM

Joe England

It's not my world alone, Blake. It lives in your imagination as much as mine. Art always takes on a life of its own after a while, persisting beyond the vision of its creators. I quicken it sometimes, and I may do more, but even if I don't it can never really be erased. So thank you, very, very much, for helping it to find its legs.

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15th Jan 2021, 11:52 PM

Morfos

Trying to remember the name of the reporter who fed her hand to Sandra over and over in exchange for an interview...Is she at all involved in the Stone Society?

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view Joe England's profile

16th Jan 2021, 3:26 AM

Joe England

Jen Stone. Yes, it's not a coincidence.

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