Huh. Of all the questions running through my head here, the most pressing is: "Why is the skeleton french?"
Are you ready for this? Are you ready? THERE IS A REASON HE IS FRENCH.
THERE IS A GOOD (well, I hope you think it's good) REASON FOR EVERYTHING. I am very excited to keep spinning this story.
I love you. <3
Gosh it's great to see you doing a long-form comic again. I mean Chainsawsuit is funny.. but your storytelling ability is wasted.
So… keep going?
…Her real name is Madeleine, isn't it?
I'm not deaf, y'know.
Well, mebbe now I am.
It's a pre-existing character from Chainsawsuit Labs.
Yes, but that's not the reason.
The real question here is, why *aren't* *you* French?
Zane's polite niceness in the midst of everything is just the best most endearing thing ever <3
Must admit I was hoping the Bottlefly Boys were going to come in with baseball bats.
Omygawd the french man! Jeez I'm so hooked on this.
I cannot handle how good this comic is.
I love this story so much.
…Could it be that there are legitimate supernatural phenomena here… but Zane's neuroses are making them look horrifying when they're really rather pleasant?
I think it could be that Zane's neuroses are actually aggravating the ghosts, forcing them into a horrific mien instead of their appearance of choice. I mean, look at the skeleton's reaction to Zane's horrific vision of him. He was actively waving away the tendrils of – what, fear?
Ooh, this is interesting. Maybe Zane has the ability to affect not just their appearance, but their nature? His neuroses actually exacerbate the phenomena, but could potentially manipulate and calm it if he can get them under control.
I don't think they're pleasant, exactly… But I am starting to think they're on his side. What's the comic's tagline? "Don't die there." Whatever their motives, the friendly townsfolk want him to stay forever – they want him to "die there." Maybe after a long and happy life, but still. Meanwhile, the town's supernatural side is trying to scare him off- for his own good.
And the townsfolk know what the town is up to, and they're fighting it. They tell him to ignore his patterns. That the bats weren't really so big. That Young Maddie is just a story. Then they ply him with liquid courage. And now that that's failed, they'll try sedatives.
I, for one, will be surprised if Iris's father arrives home in 2 more days as expected.
This is a creepy and awesome theory. Maybe his great-uncle never existed, and it was all a ploy to get him to Broodhollow?
There definitely seems to be more going on that the residents aren't talking about, at the very least.
So, who spilled wine on Zane's bandages?
He's French because he's one of the other prisoners.
You see, Angstrom is a likely enough germanic name, but maybe it's a mashup of "Angst," fear, and "Traum," dream.
In fact, Zane survived the depression, though his business did not, and like so many young men, he was drafted and sent off to war – where the Nazi war machine captured him in north Aftrica.
I suppose he's one of the lucky ones, being used to test nightmare weapons rather than simply gassed and buried
I'd rather be gassed and buried.
If we are to accept Angstrom's name as a whole, it's Swedish.
"Zany" means to act like a clown. (Synonym: Nutty.)
So under this plot-line, Zane -after having his business close due to the depression, went to war only to be captured by Nazi's for human experiments. Maybe he volunteered not knowing what the experiments were. Klaus could be the doctor that is experimenting with him or the whole town for that matter.
This French skeleton could be another patient trying to reach out to him.
(Another poster pointed out that the skeleton could be Belgian. In WW1, The Second Battle of Ypres (Belgium) marked the first use excessive use of poison gas. Just a neat fact.)
– – –
But this whole thing reads more like a crazy guy in a hospital to me – rather than the whole nazi thing. Zane is sheepish and polite. he has a pattern. he blacks out at times. he thinks about rotting bodies in the other room. For all we know, he could be a murderer who went crazy and is now being studied by Klaus ala Shutter Island.
– – –
No matter what, I am on the edge of my seat.
Also, the "seeing but not looking" could be a hint towards Iris.
One way or another, the very moment someone starts talking sense and trying to really help Zane, there are Iris and Klaus to interrupt…
That's an interesting fact about the Battle of Ypres; I didn't know that, thanks! The first few things that popped into my mind were:
1. How much poison gas is 'excessive'?
2. I imagine it depends which side of the gas you are on.
3. "Franz, you idiot, not so much! We need to make it last, there's a war on."
4. War Horse was a fantastic play (sorry, saw it in Denver recently, the WW1 reference made me think of it).
Anyways, your theory about experimentation makes sense, but I hope that that's not the reveal. The whole strip strikes me as an exercise in Lovecraftian story telling, where the suspense comes from the lurking unknown. "It was largely in his head" isn't a device Lovecraft resorted to often, if ever(?).
Not that I think your twist on it is a bad one; that's actually quite good. It's just not the direction I hope Kris takes this.
haha yes. The term "excessive" is the wrong one i suppose.
The Second Battle of Ypres was the point in which they said "You know, this chlorine is good for bleaching textiles, but I wonder what would happen if we dumped SIXTY EIGHT TONS of it on top of an entire infantry." Turns out, you get 6,000 dead french people in ten minutes.
As far as the plot goes, I just want to start a dialogue on what it could be. personally, I like the idea of a THING that you know exists yet you try and live with it. you go to work and try not to think about it, but in the back of your mind, you know its sitting in that room staring at you as you go about your day – its eyes following your movements through walls and miles of distance.
I'd also like to see this move away from the "is it real?" question, if only because I think at some point it has to be "real" or drive someone insane to be scary and I really don't want to see Zane as a serial killer. I like the idea posted above that Zane's neuroses aren't causing supernatural hallucinations but are altering how he sees and interacts with supernatural beings.
I pitched this mostly as a sort of "take one idea and run with it" from Kris saying it was relevant that he's french.
But! on the cast page, for Dr. Angstrom, it just says "100% success rate."
It doesn't say what he succeeded in doing to his subjects.
Just… food for thought.
French? No, I think that's a red herring. If you listen closely to his inflection and the tempo of his speech, he is clearly Belgian.
Now, the cat, on the other hand. She is obviously french. Look how she prances around. Scandalous.
First – DON'T CHANGE IT.
But I like how the negative space around Iris's face on the bottom left panel makes her breifly appear to have a goatee much like Dr. Angstrom.
… The hospital's gonna be the scariest place yet by a factor of threven, isn't it?
Great read! Just tell me this WHOLE thing is not in Wad's head and he's in a strait jacket somewhere!
I imagine the reason the skeleton is French is because his parents were French. To quote Troy McClure, "Have you ever wondered why fat parents have fat children? Or why Chinese parents have Chinese children? It's no coincidence! It's because of DNA."
I don't think anybody has remarked on the ghostly face behind the skeleton in the first panel. Is the ghost interrupting the Skeleton? Is that why he exclaims 'Non' so vehemently? Or is it because Zane is waking?
For my own $0.02, I'm starting to think Zane is repressing guilt about something in his past linked directly to the various ghostly women he is seeing. I also think there is 'something' in Broodhollow which is exacerbating this. Maybe we're heading towards a 'Silent Hill 2' moment.
Whatever the 'answer' is, I'm pretty sure the journey is going to be the most enjoyable part. Keep it up, Kris!
All this speculation, so early in the story, is a very good sign!
It's very interesting to see that Wadsworth's visions are layered like that. That's like our minds are, like onions…
I guess this answers once and for all as to whether or not Dr. Angstrom is real and known to the rest of the citizens of Broodhollow. Or at least I would hope so. Being driven to the emergency room by a figment of his imagination will likely land Zane in a different kind of hospital altogether.
That last panel is far more ominous than it should be, somehow.
'You see, but you do not look.'
Could the reversal of that cliche mean that Zane sees the underlying weirdness (wyrdness?) that other people don't (i.e. they merely look)?
That's an interesting thought, but I read it more as the skeleton saying "you can see the supernatural but you refuse to look at it". He's frustrated with Zane because for some reasons, beings like him and the ghost in the hotel want Zane's attention (and maybe help? Multiple factions of "creepy things" in Broodhollow could be interesting).
I read this story and my first thought was: Welcome to the Hotel Umbra. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/body-f…
My theory is everything that happens to Zane is just Planchett trying to scare him out of town, Scooby-Doo style. And also nightmares.
That car is a hearse.
In the final frame, the spare tyre and the beam of the headlights forms an eye.
"Do you know the year?"… Am I reading too much into the fact that the question goes unanswered?
Nothing impresses a woman like being called to a hotel because a crazed drunk is rolling around in his own blood screaming her name. Chicks dig it.