So we now come to chapter 17, the second part of the Whitechapel arch. I would honestly say that this chapter was more of the mystery moment of the arch, as the next chapter would answer the mystery and the following chapter would conclude the story. This was actually the chapter that where most of the research was put into as it contains many, many references to the real life Whitechapel murders.
This chapter mentions in the beginning the night of the double homicide, as well as the mention of the Ripper’s primary targets being women. One other reference that was brought up in this chapter is Gerald Butler himself carrying around his bloody butcher knife. While this was intended to mostly be a fake out on his identity as the killer, in real life butchers often roamed around the streets of London with blood on their apron, in fact one possible murder case of ripper was reported to have taken place around the streets where many butchers lived, thus the killer was able to blend into the background whether he had blood or not.
This chapter also introduced the first guest appearance of a real historical character, that being Mary Kelly, the Ripper’s real life final victim (in London anyway). Of all the suspects I researched, Mary Kelly has the most backstory on her and a number of them were worked into the dialogue. The hooker that Kalwa meets in the alley mentions that Mary loves pup hopping and she’s really “found her voice.” This is actually a reference to Mary’s real life, in which she was said to be “quiet” in real life, and quite “loud” when drunk, even said to have been singing songs in a “irish tougue.”
I actually wanted the reader and Kalwa both to feel upset about Mary meeting her ultimate fate, and this actually became a bit of a challenge at first. Originally Kalwa and Mary were supposed to have more of a conversation, with Mary even suggesting that prostitution wasn’t fully a choice after Kalwa tells her how much the profession sickens her. This was ultimately scrapped as page limitations wouldn’t allow this conversation to carry on, or make it meaningful. Also it would require writing an entire plot as to why Kalwa really hates hookers, as being a hooker doesn’t make some one a bad person. So I decided to put great emphasis on Mary’s design, making her out to look sweet kind and innocent the very opposite of the profession she was in. Also she was brave and tough at the same time, giving her a little appeal to reader. As very little definitive descriptions of Mary Kelly exist (other than her curly red hair), there was plenty of room to freely design her.
Finally the last worthwhile note to this chapter is than this chapter allowed the comic to incorporate a very real and adult subject: Racism. This is of course brought up in the form of Thomas’s tragedy in which he was not only taken off the case, but he was simply put on because of his Jewish heritage. This plot line developed from my research as I had read that London was full of anti-semitism as it was being flooded by waves of Jewish immigrants who had fled Eastern Europe at the time. In fact one actual suspect for Jack the Ripper was a polish immigrant named John Pizer, whose paper articles often focused on the fact he was Jewish. Further more, racism grew at the very fact that a foreigner was killing ENGLISH prostitutes in their own land. This fact would actually play a major role in the actual story and further cement why the case was never solved. It’s very appropriate for this particular arch as this arch is the jumping off point in which the overall Kalwa story gets darker and more mature going forward. Stay tuned for more information chapter 18.
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