Chapter Look Back: Chapter 18

So now we come to chapter 18, the near conclusion of the Whitechapel story arch. This chapter of course reveals the big twist of the entire story: there’s more than one Jack the Ripper. Although this isn’t the full explanation of the case, see us for the next chapter look back on that.

The idea of there being two killers eventually evolved into a mandatory plot line as we faced several issues when writing this arch. First and foremost is that Kalwa is NOT a historical comic, it is by no mean meant to be educational. Kalwa is an ADVENTURE comic, which uses time travel as a canvas to tell a vast array of stories. Each era is more of a setting which allows us to do different stories and styles for the adventures that Kalwa embarks on, me and my co-writer have no interest in educating people about historical events unless we find them interesting, this Jack the Ripper case actually being a rare incident.

To give a little more of a clear view to this last statement, we didn’t necessarily want to the be bound to the facts of history and have our creativity stifled because of what historians have dug up in recent years. Adding onto this fact, everything I read on the Ripper seemed to be conclusive evidence that he was in fact targeting prostitutes which presented a major problem. Kalwa being a sixteen year old girl who would most certainly not be working in the profession (for more than one reason) thus the Ripper would really have no reason whatsoever to target her in the first place.

Another major obstacle that brought on the plot twist, is that I wanted this to be a murder mystery. Possibly getting the reader to try and deduce who the killer was. Yet at the same time, I wanted an unexpected twist that readers wouldn’t see coming. I was actually inspired by the first Friday the 13th in which the movies killer Pamela Vorhees was introduced into the film so late that viewers didn’t have time to suspect her, and thus I wanted to pull a stunt just like this. However doing so I felt would be a complete betrayal of the mystery as it would simply discard all the readers efforts just to reveal a new face in the last minute.

So with all these factors taken into account, the only logical conclusion was to have two killers. One would abide more by historical facts and the reader could attempt to solve, while the other one would be more free to do what we initially wanted. And speaking of history, this chapter features yet another historical note in it. When Kalwa breaks into Mary Kelly’s house, you can see smoke coming from the fire place with clothes thrown in it. This is actually a real determined fact from the murder scene, it is believed that the killer threw clothing into the fire place in order to provide enough light to carry out his horrible act.

But this is not the end of the historical notes or the development of this arch, you’ll see what we mean in the next call back on chapter 19.

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Chapter Look Back: Chapter 17

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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