On this third anniversary of Katrina, with tropical storm Gustav eerily tracking toward New Orleans, it’s bittersweet to bring you the final chapter of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge. Bittersweet because without the incredible, awful events of three years ago, there would be no story to recount. Bittersweet because we’ve come to know and love the six people who Josh Neufeld has so brilliantly channeled to retell this Katrina story. Bittersweet because, three years after the levees and the government failed one of the great American cities, “We’re all not home yet,” as Denise says in one of the final chapter’s final panels.
Above all, A.D., is passionate, personal storytelling that you can’t get anywhere else. In other words: exactly why we started SMITH. Now, we’re wrapping up the story in this space for a great reason: Neufeld is expanding A.D. into a full-length book from Pantheon Books, the people who published Persepolis. The fifteenth and final online installment, “Picking Up The Pieces,” is now up. It’s 24 panels strong, with links to videos featuring many of the characters themselves.
I want to thank Josh for the heart, soul, and hours and hours and hours he poured into a project that is among the finest I’ve ever worked on. Thanks to every reader, blogger, and journalist who believed in A.D. and suggested their audiences give it a look. Thanks to SMITH cofounder, Tim Barkow, for making the comic’s online presence so strong, as well as SMITH comics editor, Jeff Newelt, who introduced me to Josh, and knew he’d be the perfect person for this project. Finally, a special thanks to Denise, the Doctor, Leo, Michelle, Hamid, and Kevin, all of whom courageously and graciously shared their story with all of us.