New Page 23: Nathan Hale’s Letters

New Page #23!

Woozy Bea is Woozy

I spent half a day cutting and pasting samples of Nathan Hale’s handwriting together to make the words I needed for these envelopes. Mike told me no one would ever know the difference, but look at that lovely writing! I wonder what a handwriting analyst would say about all the extra curlicues on Hale’s d’s, capital C’s, W’s and H’s…

A sample of Nathan Hale's Handwriting

*VOTE to preview the next page!*

Ohayocon was this weekend and it was a great show. The Dreamer’s colorist Julie Wright was there, and I met so many Dreamers and Wingers! Read on for a few pictures from the show…

On Friday, Angie Oatley, my Paper Wing’s co-host’s wife, came with me to help me run my booth. This was her first time attending anything of the sort, so we had a fun day watching cosplayers. I tried my best to explain “bronies” to her…

One of my favorite cosplayers was Bilbo Baggins! She looked ready for an adventure…

Then Saturday morning the first person to come by my table was none other than Bea!!

Katie Bea told me that she whipped this gown together in about 24 hours! She also told me that she may or may not have been spotted with “The Doctor” near a Tardis.

(What this means for Issue #16, we’ll have to wait and see…)

Bea let me borrow Alan’s hat.

On Saturday, fellow webcomicker, Meg Syverud helped out at my booth. Meg is an avid gamer so when Assassin’s Creed 3 came out, she rented it and we spent several late nights playing through it.

One of my favorite ways to pass time at Anime conventions is to pick characters and spend the weekend searching for them. So on Saturday, Meg and I made it our mission to find AC3′s Conner.

I finally spotted him, down in the exhibitor’s hall (which Artist’s Alley overlooked.) Meg ran down and I navigated her through the aisles from my vantage point on the third floor, Mission Impossible style. Here she is explaining to him that she has a really weird friend who is obsessed with the Revolutionary War and would love to take a picture with him.

By some miracle, that didn’t totally freak him out, and he came up. Here I am with Conner and Zio.

We had a new Dreamer banner stand made for my booth at CTNx in November, and I used it again this weekend. Here my friend Kim is with all of the Dreamer swag: prints, buttons, magnets, graphic novels, stickers, charms, teeshirts, comics and more!

 It was so lovely meeting you all!  I think my next two shows are in April: S.P.A.C.E. and Tricon!

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58 Responses to New Page 23: Nathan Hale’s Letters

  1. Caera says:

    Oh no, noooo…

    Bea doesn’t look too good herself. Or in the VI.

    I loved how much effort you put into the writing. The comic in general. Even if I hate the reasons why. And those letters never got delivered either. So sad.

    • Hannah says:

      The letters don’t get delivered? That is the possibly the most depressing thing I have ever heard.

      • Lora says:

        It’s worse than just not getting delivered. Wait for next week…!

        • Julie says:

          As someone who was not educated in detail about Nathan Hale prior to reading this comic, I would like to say that I was super-pleased to see that level of kindness from Montresor. However, I’m now cursing both history and your name Lora for making me aware that there’s some deeper cruelty in store. :(

          (P.S. I still love you and your comic…just not right now while I’m angry about what happened. The emotions are very fresh since this is fairly new stuff for me.)

      • Caera says:

        Whoops, spoilers; sorry! :P

        • David says:

          Well, I think we can all already presume that Knowlton is currently in no position to receive any correspondence even if HIS letter DID get to him.

          • Caera says:

            Of course. Still; it would have been nice to have the letters for posterity.

          • David says:

            Indeed. Even though we pretty much have a good idea of the letter’s contents it still would have been nice if they had been preserved. For historical knowledge, if nothing else. Also, they could have given us more insight into the mind of Nathan Hale, although reading them would have likely turned us all into sobbing wrecks!

          • Caera says:

            Wouldn’t be a push for me, to becoming a sobbing wreck, I mean.

          • David says:

            Anyway, it looks like your Nathan plushie will be seeing a lot of use in the coming weeks. :(

          • Caera says:

            I need to re-stuff my Nathan Plushy. He’s all flattened from the huggles.

            I’m such a child.

          • Half Moon says:

            …..YOU HAVE TO REMIND US OF THAT AT A TIME LIKE THIS!?!?!?!?!? granted how couldwe forget about Knowlton, but still…. :(

  2. Brent says:

    No! No! No! Worst panel ever!

    Wait…. (remembers Knowlton, Alan’s face, the breakup, the collapse) Yup — worst panel ever

    (….and here we go again)

    INCENTIVE CAPTION!!!

    Bea: “I had a dream my life could be so different from this hell I wake in — so different then from what I see….now time has killed the dream…I dreamed.”

    (cheers, roses, an indeterminate gender’s undergarments)

  3. Samantha says:

    I remember four or five years ago when this all started, and all of us first saw Nathan show up in the comic, and how much we begged that you re-write history. All the debates that happened wondering just what you would do. These past few months as we’ve closed in on this critical moment, every time I open the site to read the latest page I think about back in the beginning. We finally have our answer, for better or for worse. But after having read the webcomic for all these years, and the blog posts (as a creepy stalker who hardly comments lol), I knew you’d pick this route. You’re so meticulous about the details (as seen with the handwriting), that it would be odd for you to re-write history. And in a way, the anticipation of the scene that is to come is almost worse than not knowing. Poor Nathan!

    And my boyfriend, he tries so hard to understand why I look so sad when I read this comic right now. I just can’t explain to him. He’ll understand once I get my hands on the graphic novels so he can read it. He’s not good with reading on the computer, and Heavy Ink doesn’t have the little issues anymore to pick up (I used to order those until I went through a spell of unemployment).

    It sounds like you had an awesome time at the con though! Someday, hopefully, I’ll get out to one and meet you! If I ever get over my fear of NYC and you go to NYCC, perhaps then I can stop by! C:

  4. Colette says:

    Oh goodnes……now I’m just left to wonder if you’re going to show the actual…….*you know*. I can’t bring myself to say “execution”.

    Que Les Mis music and stormy skies.

    • Julie says:

      Dang it! You said it anyhow! :(

      • Colette says:

        Oops, I did! *goes into corner and bawls while tightly squeezing Nathan plushie*

        • Caera says:

          Room in that corner for two? *brings Nathan plushy along*

          I was at my friend’s house last night, reading the update on my iPad, and I started going “No, no no nononononono, nope. Nope. Not accepting this right now. I’m substituting my own reality.” And my friends were all like “???” until they saw the page. lol

          If Caera goes kookoo at something online, it’s probably Nathan Hale or Adam Young to blame.

  5. Gina says:

    Well the tugging of the heartstrings is over…time to just go ahead and rip them right out. ;__;

    Also this song was playing in my iTunes when I read this page and made it even harder not to tear up. Here it is, so everyone else can suffer with me! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kzlNjy4QDM

  6. Albone says:

    The picture of Meg pointing at you with the AC3 dude, Conner is LOL. I think if we just ignore ‘bronies,’ they will go away.

    Today’s update: Nobody is happy, then again, we really don’t know how many pills Bea took.

    I think we all know the handwriting project was less about the envelopes and more about you oogling the pretty handwriting. “…extra curlicues,” indeed. XD

  7. Worried says:

    I’m really just waiting to see if Bea’s reaction to overdosing on sleep meds is going to be realistic or fantastical. This entire incident has really pulled me away from the comic. You don’t just pass out for a little bit and wake up alright in a while. That isn’t how this medication works. Coma, brain damage, and death are often the results. I had a close friend pass away due to abuse of sleep medication, so I take this very seriously.

    It’s been really painful to see some people hoping Bea passes out soon or even encouraging her to take the medication. I really hope people know how NOT ok this is…

    • Brent says:

      Well I know, at least in the sense of moderation and not overdoing it.

    • Lora says:

      Hi, Worried,

      First I wanted to say I am so sorry about your friend. Losing people we love in ways like this is some of the most heartwrenching pain we can endure in this life. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this.

      When I started the Dreamer I always knew that Act 1 of the story would end in this moment and had to think through if I was okay telling this story from Issue #1. The first time she took the pills I had to think through my responsibility as a storyteller.

      For starters, at every turn I’ve turned down offers to promote The Dreamer as “All Ages/ Family Friendly.” I’ve said no to websites, interviews and appearances that might lead parents to think it is on par with something like Liberty Kids. The first printing of the graphic novel even said For Teens on the ISBN but I suppose next to their other titles, IDW felt The Dreamer didn’t require such a warning and they took it off the volume 1 reprint and volume 2. I think I am much more old fashioned in my ratings standards and personally wish it was still there.

      As for the story, when I came up with the idea it wasn’t about the Revolution. My idea for a story was about the mind of a teenage girl- asking the question of what would happen to your real life if the life you lived in your dreams felt more real and more important. You’d probably grow frustrated, detached and would hurt the people you love. How hard would you try to get back there? In the 21st Century Bea is just a mediocre student with big dreams. In this past life she feels like she has purpose: to save Alan or Nathan’s life.

      I know who I was, and my friends were, when we were teenagers. We were not role models. I didn’t want The Dreamer to be a story like Harry Potter where the teens are all smarter and more in tune with reality than the dopey, slow-witted adults who run the place. (Don’t get me wrong, I love adventure stories like that. Goonies!) it’s just not the story I was going to tell.

      If my teens were going to act like teens than folks like Thomas Knowlton would always have a better grip on reality than Bea. She would have to screw up, act selfishly and make the wrong decision from time to time. But I decided that she wouldn’t just get away with it. Real life has consequences and we all do the wrong thing. So Bea would have to face the consequences of her actions when she did choose poorly. I hope the story already shows that. And there is still a whole lot of story left to tell! This issue isn’t the final word.

      My hope with this response was not to try to convince you- if this is not the story for you that is absolutely okay! I choose very carefully what media I use to entertain myself and have stopped watching shows or reading series I enjoyed when I felt they began to conflict with my own values too drastically. Buy you raised a very serious and important question and I wanted to give you a thoughtful response.

      All the Best, Lora

    • Julie says:

      I understand how you feel about this. While I haven’t had any friends or family members overdose on sleeping pills, I have overdosed on my own prescribed medications before (it was unintentional, but still very scary), and I’ve had people try to bribe me to give them my prescription meds so they could get high. I know that misuse of prescription (or even over-the-counter) meds can be dangerous…and it’s a lot easier to do than some people realize. That’s a large part of why I was against Bea taking the pills…and very much in favor of her promise to Yvette (what feels like ages ago) that she wouldn’t touch her mom’s meds and try to change history.

      That said (and after reading Lora’s response to you), I think you have to take the reactions of your fellow readers with a few grains of salt. While the history in this story is real, most of them are reacting like fangirls (or fanboys) of a fictional story (which is honestly what they are). Perhaps the urge to encourage Bea’s dangerous decision is spurred by their knowledge that this is a fantasy story…and no one really is at risk since Beatrice isn’t real. Most of them probably aren’t even considering how romanticizing Bea’s misuse of sleeping pills could negatively influence younger readers (and it’s nice to see that Lora has endeavoured to make this comic a YA or older rating when possible given her story-line).

      I, too, hope that the portrayal of Bea’s misuse of medication is realistic (though I don’t know how much of that we’d see since Bea would be “awake” in 1776). Given what Lora has said here, it’s nice to know that the fallout from Bea’s bad decision will very likely be treated properly…and it’s also nice to know the amount of thought that went into taking the story in this direction. I hope that you won’t be put-off by what comes next. I know I’ll be sticking around, even if I’m not satisfied with how this particular bit plays out.

      • David says:

        I once commented on the possibility that the Bea who wakes up from this may not be the SAME Bea who took the sieeping pills in the first place. This may be fun to speculate on in a “harmless” fantasy setting like “The Dreamer”, but if this were happening in real-life Bea’s actions could have drastic consequences for her. She might suffer from extreme personality change, physical and/or mental impairment and who-knows-what else even if she DIDN’T fall into a coma that could last for months or even YEARS. That’s assuming she even SURVIVED at all. The probable best-case outcome would be that she would come out of this with a bad but temporary headache and a VERY stern talking-to from her parents, and maybe some sessions with a therapist. That’s my opinion, anyway.

  8. Hannah says:

    That handwriting bit is amazing! The effort you put into this comic is mindboggling, Lora!

    BUT NOW I’M CRYING BECAUSE HE TRIED TO WRITE KNOWLTON BUT KNOWLTON IS DEAD AND THIS IS SO FREAKING SAD.

  9. Jen says:

    OMG! Tension! Suspense! A letter to Knowlton!

  10. Alex says:

    NONOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    What’s the point of Bea taking the sleeping pillos If she cant save nathan????
    Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

    • David says:

      Yeah, really. After doing that online research she had to have realized she wouldn’t arrive in 1776 in time to do anything. What was she THINKING?

  11. Amber says:

    Here is what I feel about this page… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_6TKPkQu2Q

    • Brent says:

      To simply hear him and not also see him? gives the illusion that he’s a lot older than he is. Kudos, I say.

  12. Julie says:

    Lora…you should be providing shipments of paper bags for your readers so we can cope with our hyperventilation. :P

  13. That is going to be one of the weirdest parent/teen conversations that has ever taken place.
    The handwriting research is much appreciated. Looks good. :)

  14. Half Moon says:

    That last panel…..omgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgogmogmogmgomgomg!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I am either going to throw up or cry…I don’t know which first. And Bea is going to pass out during this “talk”….right?

  15. Rae says:

    Well the suspense has been killing me (so I haven’t been leaving any feedback lately because I figured you’d get sick of reading that!), but oh man it is getting close now isn’t it! I’m also feeling sorry for Bea that conversation with her parents is going to be awkward I’m sure, but hopefully she can put her acting skills to good use (if she can stay awake!) Can’t wait for the next update… as much as I have been dreading the updates I also just want to get things over with!

  16. trevor says:

    Still waiting for that Tardis to show up and save the day. Anytime now, Doctor….

    • Theresa says:

      *Doctor waltzes back into the TARDIS after a bout of heroics*
      Doctor:Check it out! It’s a Tricorne! I wear a tricorne now. Tricornes are cool. Fezzes are so old hat.

    • Melissa says:

      I have the tardis! but the delorian keys! I’m sorry Nathan!!!!!

  17. Melissa says:

    I am dying, dying. I knew this was coming, but still…

    Also,I was walking through barnes and nobles today, and found this very large, very amazing book. The entire revolutionary war told through news paper clippings from 1760-1789 give or take a few years. It was a beautiful book, but it cost 40 bucks… i am very sad. But i am saving for it now.

  18. Faith says:

    Knowlton. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! sob. sob. sob.