Chronicling the lives of real people who lived through the hurricane and its aftermath, Brooklyn comic artist Josh Neufeld has created New Orleans After the Deluge, an online webcomic that captures the human comedy and tragedy of one the most devastating natural disasters in our lifetime.
"The characters are real, the dialog is taken from direct quotes, the depictions of the inside of their homes are what the inside of their homes look like, down to the DVDs on their shelves and collars on their dogs," states Neufeld, who previously worked with Harvey Pekar on American Splendor comics. His style is detailed; often a character's statement is conveyed through an illustrated facial expression rather than through dialogue.
Neufeld made several trips to the Gulf States and shot footage of the people and places he's written about. The audio and video of these interviews are also posted on SMITH Magazine's website, adding to the authenticity.
Now in its sixth chapter, After the Deluge is perfectly timed for the second anniversary of the storm. Several newspapers have taken notice, including the Toronto Star. Readers are also able to leave comments under each panel, which Neufeld told the Toronto Star, has influenced him as he creates each chapter. The result has been a uniquely interactive graphic novel where the reader is exerts some influence on the final product.
The comic will run a total of a dozen episodes, wrapping up at the end of this year.