A.D.: Bells, Whistles and Extras

August 24th, 2009 by Larry Smith  

One of the wonders of making a webcomic about real people is that you can add great bells and whistles. When Josh draws two characters in their car leaving the city (see above), we include a link below the panel showing video of the real thing as it happened on August 28, 2005. When The Doctor is introduced at his home away from home, drinking a classic Big Easy drink (Sazerac), in a classic Big Easy Bistro (Galatoire’s), there’s a recipe for the libation right next to the panel, as well as a video of the Doctor talking about the famous spot. It’s sometimes good fun, sometimes quite serious, but always makes A.D. a richer experience.

DeniseOur audio and video archive offers a number of takes on their lives pre-and post-Katrina from the very real-life “characters” in A.D. Denise talks with emotion and honesty about the painful process of rebuilding New Orleans, the city she’d lived in her entire life. Leo speaks about what it means to lose his prized comic book collection, and it’s larger metaphor for loss post-Katrina. Dr. LutzAnd the Doctor, who I could listen to all day, recalls his first days in the city at the ripe old age of 18, and how he came to love the language of the place. “When I first came to New Orleans everything was new and exotic to me,” he says. “It was almost like going to France; you had to learn a new vocabulary. The language…completely different. Charming. Fascinating. Addictive.” Listen that clip and many more in the audio and video archive.

3 Responses

  1. Stoneman

    Don’t ask me why I turned to WGN this morning while flipping thru the channels! Blame it on a bad HBO movie! As a former natural disaster housing inspector who was in New Orleans 30 days after Katrina, anything about NOLA captures my interest. I was there for 30 days working for the contractor to FEMA as an inspector. I ,as hundreds others who went there, have numerous memories of that incredible experience. I had never been there and have not returned since. What struck me as I drove into the city for the first time was the almost absence of people along with the destruction as evidenced by the high water lines everywhere I went! I stayed at “tent city,” the FEMA base camp set up for relief workers. My first day on the job was met by the smell of the above ground cemeteries that line 3-4 miles on both sides of the interstate into the city from the west. Time had not allowed city workers to repair the above ground crypts! As I exited the freeeway in one area there were piles of cars in the median of a once busy 4 lane street. There were 2 hearses, one on its side,and another, precariously tossed by the flood, sitting half on the one on its side with a sign perched against its bumper that read “drive thru!” To this day I wonder if the sign just ended up there or had someone put it there to make a statement. At any rate the hair on the back of my neck still stands up when I think of that creepy scene! Those 2 things and the total absence of any birds are just 3 of my memories of that horrid place. I would tell you about my experiences with the housing inspector contractor I worked for but, thats a whole other book! Suffice to say that any business who works for a joke agency like FEMA must in itself be a joke! Just ask anyone who owned or rented property who went thru the inspection “process!”

  2. Josh Neufeld

    What I’ve been finding is that A.D. has been a great way for people to share their own incredible (heartbreaking) Katrina-related experiences. I’m really grateful for that, and I do believe that it helps create a form of group therapy for those still getting back their equilibrium four years later.

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