When the levees broke, nothing was the same for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge is about escaping and surviving Hurricane Katrina–and what happens next in the lives of a cross-section of Crescent City residents. Told in webcomic form, A.D. is free and presented by SMITH Magazine.
A.D. tells the story of Katrina and its aftermath from the perspective of real people still dealing with the storm each and every day. A two-part prologue sets the scene and shows the storm, almost like a silent movie. In chapter one, we meet the people whose lives we’ll be following over the course of one year, with audio and video augmenting the comic itself on our active blog. A.D. is a nonfiction graphic novel, a new approach to storytelling, and a multifaceted peek into the personal tales emerging from the storm of the century.
Among the characters we’ll meet throughout the course of this serialized comic are:
- Denise—Sixth-generation New Orleanian poet, singer, and kickboxer with a master’s degree in guidance and counseling.
- The Doctor—Medical man-about-town based in the French Quarter and often found at the legendary Galatoire’s
- Hamid—Iranian-born, long-time New Orleanian, father of two, and owner of a family-run supermarket in Uptown who faces the storm with his friend Mansell.
- Kevin—Son of a pastor from New Orleans East, he was in high school during Katrina and is now attending a small Midwestern liberal arts college.
- Leo & Michelle—Twenty-somethings who each grew up in the city. He’s a local music zine publisher and works with mentally challenged youth. She’s a gymnastics instructor.
A.D. creator Josh Neufeld is a writer/artist/designer and the author of the Xeric Award-winning graphic travelogue, A Few Perfect Hours (and Other Stories From Southeast Asia and Central Europe). He is the creator of the comic book The Vagabonds, and the co-creator of Keyhole and Titans of Finance: True Tales of Money and Business. A long-time artist for Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, Neufeld has contributed to many comics anthologies, and is a founding member of the comics collective ACT-I-VATE.
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Neufeld served as a Red Cross volunteer for three weeks in Biloxi, Mississippi. The blog he kept about that experience turned into a self-published book, Katrina Came Calling. During his time volunteering and blogging after Katrina, one his readers wrote: “Do a comic. Please.”
Although A.D. only addresses Josh’s own experiences in the Gulf Coast region in part, in a very real sense, more than a year after that life changing experience, A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge is Neufeld’s answer to that call.
A.D. is now out as an expanded book from Pantheon. You can buy it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local bookstore. Here’s a story about A.D. that ran in the New York Times upon the book’s release.