These are some early sketches of Rachel from when we were working on the western arch. Rachel actually went through a few designs initially mainly because I didn’t known exactly how a cowgirl dressed. My initial believe was they all just dressed like cowboys, however at the same time I wanted to make their designs unique and easy to recognize. One particular note I wanted for Rachel was that she would wear earrings and other jewelry (even though they were a bit after her time) as a sign that she was the leader and the jewels showed that she was a winner with trophies. Even if they were before her time, she could have maybe come up with the idea herself and did it just for her. Her final design didn’t take form until I looked up some cowgirl photos and noticed they were wearing skirts, which helped shape her design most notably, as her skirt got a little longer with each design. I did try to keep her skirt maybe mid leg length as she was an athletic fighter who needed room to maneuver. So that’s a little fun fact you can take home about Rachel.
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.
CLICK ON ANY OF THE PAGES BELOW TO READ CHAPTER 18!!!
It’s finally time to look back on the Whitechapel saga, which I’ve been holding back on. Of all the story’s done in this story so far, this arch has the most backstory thus far. From the moment the story had begun, Whitechapel was always planned from the start and there was a LOT of research put into it. All the facts presented in the story such as the murder of Martha Tabram are all real life facts, and perhaps the hardest part of all it was taking the real life facts and steering them to work in the fictional story I wanted to tell. There is so much information here that it will all have to be told in spoonfuls which will all be attached to each look back on the Whitechapel chapters.
In addition to the research this chapter also allowed me to pour my passion and love for horror and suspense into the pages of a comic book, most notably chapter 16 has this in the first few pages where Kalwa encounters the Ripper. The dreaded suspense and build up with the creaking was a drawn out moment to get the audience disturbed and on the edge of their seat.
Even the very design of arch (namely the night scenes) were modeled after the IDW mini series the Fly Outbreak, which featured heavy amounts of shadow in the panels to convey it’s frightinging and suspenseful atmosphere. The first time I actually read this series I was filled with dread and the thought of what was lurking around the corner and what would leap out. Despite is only be a still comic book, its art style alone was very dreadful and very creepy. As soon as I finished the story, I knew I wanted to incorporate these elements into this story.
In addition, this story arch would serve as the conclusion of the “free adventuring” storyline set in since chapter 1 as Kalwa encounters something she hadn’t faced before… an opponent that she could not defeat. Kalwa’s self defense abilities had been getting her by on the grounds that she had been a girl in time, and most opponents would not expect a girl to know how to fight. This plot line comes crashing down this chapter as Kalwa actually encounters an opponent who is actually skilled in combat and can even hurt her very badly. This would make the audience fear the ripper as much as Kalwa would in the story.
More information will come out in future chapters, and feel free to click any of the images below read this chapter for yourself.