September 11, 2001

“When Everything Changed, Part 1”

September 11, 2001: “When Everything Changed, Part 1”

In my quest to put all of these Dumbstruck comics together as one large collection or story, I came to realize that I need a prologue. I need to introduce a lot of people, events, and locations instead of just starting in the middle of it all (like I did when I first began drawing the strip), with no context. All stories begin with a moment of change, and in looking over my first few years of strips, I understood that this was the very beginning of that change. Our story in Dumbstruck really begins with us going to war in Iraq, but this series of events here is what brought us, and me, to that place.

I drew the first half of this comic in September of 2004. At the time, the world was changing again and I felt a need to record what I remembered from that horrific day three years earlier. And not to necessarily record the event, but rather how it felt. It was such a shock to the psyche, both nationally and individually, that it would continue to resonate for many years to come.

Dumbstruck has not only charted my adventures over the past decade, but also the shifts in our country and the world that all trace their origin back to this event. And when I understood that, it felt right to pick up this nine-year-old strip and use it to begin to build this backstory.


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