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 A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900

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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 09:21

Going into the World, by Evert Jan Boks (1838-1914), 1882:
A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Going-into-the-World-by-Evert-Jan-Boks-Dutch-painter-1838-1914-e1556488784333
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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 09:43

The Gladstone bag sounds good. More plausible than a suitcase, and still ok for a comical scene (if big enough). Jessie would have to dismantle her riffle, though.

Big ones:
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 09:57

That picture you posted begs a question too, Sylvain. While Josie/Jessie/Minnie-Ha-Ha is making her way inconspicuously across Paris, what has she on her head? And what does she do with it in the sewer?

Fashion of the day meant a bare-headed woman would have been rather conspicuous, so I assume she's thought of this. At the time however even a "discreet" hat was rather large, and use of a plain bonnet indicated a married woman of a certain age or a widow (or adherence to an extreme Protestant faith). Her cowboy hat (I assume she has one), if not too grimy and made of felt rather than leather, could be dolled up with a sprig or two to resemble a common fashion of the day, but then she'd look very strange if she suddenly went into cowboy-ninja mode with a bunch of pansies in her hat-band.

I'll have to think further about this .....
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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 10:13

My initial idea is as follow: 

Josie is dressed as a normal woman, including the flowered hat, the only peculiar thing being the big bag she carries. 

The cab leaves her near the river Seine at approximately 8pm. We are in June. She gets to a place where she can wait until dark (I picture a wild/natural area on the river banks, where she can hire a gang of kids to watch her while she takes a nap).

At night, she takes her cowboy outfit and gun from the bag, gets dressed, puts her former clothes in the bag, and hide the bag in a small boat (the one she'll use later to run away). Then she goes do her ninja stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 10:28

Now about the shooting location: 

If we suppose the escape by boat is doable and nice to have, then the shooting location needs to be near the Seine. I've checked Neuilly's maps and pictures, and it seems areas near the Seine didn't have so many Haussmannien buildings. Rather detached houses. 

Consequently, the sewer idea doesn't make much sense. Josie might as well do some climbing to enter the opposite house. It's not even clear if the sewer system went this far in Neuilly.
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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 10:30

Oscar Wilde, in Picture of Dorian Gray (source here):

What a way for a fashionable painter to travel! A Gladstone bag and an ulster!
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 10:53

My personal experience of Parisian street urchins in modern times brings fear that they would take the fee, let you sleep and then make off with everything that could be carried..... much as any boat would not have oars if carelessly left with them. …… you might get some help from river flow..... plan your directional flee ahead. Had I been doing this stunt my cowboy hat would be decorated for an inside out job. Mercifully I'm not. Anyway, I have no idea what exactly a carbine is. ….. our family only had shot guns.... and as far as I can make out used mainly to enforce marriage.
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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 11:25

> My personal experience of Parisian street urchins in modern times brings fear that they would take the fee, let you sleep and then make off with everything that could be carried...

Indeed. But what about 1900? My wish here is to show Josie demonstrating leadership and lack of fear. But if, at that time, in a similar situation, a lady would be killed in her sleep, that won't work :-)

> you might get some help from river flow..... plan your directional flee ahead

Yes, river flow helps from Neuilly to Clichy. But I have no idea if one can navigate in the dark...

> much as any boat would not have oars if carelessly left with them. …… 

Didn't think about the oars. She'll have to break into a boat garage. There was a famous one at exactly the right place, see those pictures:

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 11:30

She can't squash a hat into a gladstone (or any bag). That's why hat-boxes were invented!

However if she's found some trustworthy cheery little mudlarks/street-urchins with no obvious family responsibilities (or general Parisian tendencies - see Priscilla above) to assist her while she naps then she's obviously the luckiest person alive (or at least outside of Sherlock Holmes stories), so will probably find a hat-box lying around too.

People in books don't nap or go to the toilet generally (they have a metabolism peculiar to stories), so I'd just hop over that and put it down to great ninja training from the Navajo. If you're insisting on having these handy urchins in the story they can fulfil the trope completely and simply "provide" her with oars "no questions asked". Not much point in having them if they can't live up to expectations!
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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 12:53

There are 2 points here:

1. Are there, in Neuilly, at 8pm, "little street-urchins with no obvious family responsibilities", the kind you find in many stories ? (poor ones, like in Dickens/Hugo, or richer ones)

A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Couv_3190

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2. Are those kids friendly enough to help the hero? (also very common in stories, like in The City of Lost Children)

A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 La-cite-des-enfants-perdus-photo-judith-vittet-1012642

I'm not interested in 2, but I definitely am in 1, as a dialog with kids could bring loner Josie to talk more freely and thus bring information to the reader.
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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 13:05

> People in books don't nap

That would be a shame, as it would deprive us of one of the greatest Miyazaki scene :-) (don't know if it's in the original novel, though)
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 13:11

The particular district she's in at that moment would hardly have gangs of little urchins wandering around, at least the kind of kids that the trope demands (a la "Bow Street Runners" etc). It was a relatively sedate and comfortable suburb at the time.

However I think you may be over-thinking this bit of the story. Her problem is that she has arrived too soon, needs to wait a considerable time, do her ninja stuff, and then escape.

Why not just have her break into Philippe Silvestre's handy little workshop that you found (you can change the name of course) and hole up there for the duration? A nice dry place in which she can nap in peace, change into her cowboy ninja gear etc, and even procure oars for her later escape downriver.

Or here's a thought! Why doesn't she find a Gustave Trouvé electric outboard motor already attached to a boat in the garage (a peculiar French design patented in 1880, with effective petrol motors not coming along until the early 1900s in the USA) and then use this to jet her way down the Seine afterwards at a breathtaking 9 kmh downstream (a speed tested by Trouvé on the Seine actually).

PS: re napping in books. It has to serve a narrative function greater than simply to "pass the time between events". And once real metabolism is introduced then you're opening the wholly unwanted requirement of having to take toilet breaks too (which would also need to serve a narrative purpose or they simply disrupt the story).
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 13:15

Here's an early Trouvè motor boat. He adapted the design to sit on the stern later but I can't find an image at the moment.

A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Canot_%C3%A9lectrique
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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 13:16

> She can't squash a hat into a gladstone (or any bag). That's why hat-boxes were invented!

Then there are 2 solutions:

1. She doesn't put her hat in the gladstone, she just places it in the boat or even throw it away. I don't like it, because I guess those large hats were expensive and taken care of.

2. She brings a hat-box with her. I love it! A gladstone plus a hat-box will definitely compensate for my (now missing) gigantic suitcase!
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 13:17

If she makes her getaway in the Trouvé from the boat house she can even take the time first to get back into her lady clothes (including hat) from this safe location. It makes for a better image in the graphic novel too.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 13:24

It's probably not the street urchins she needs to be wary of but the big boys they might be working for. 1900 was just about the time when the sub-culture of the Parisian Apache criminal gangs was getting into its stride, and by 1907 it was estimated that 8,000 Paris policemen faced some 30,000 gang members, in addition to other criminals.

A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Apaches-2   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Apache-4

And their womenfolk weren't much better:

A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Apaches-1

The Apaches gangs particularly targeted the bourgeois middle-class, and specialised in muggings, violent intimidation and simple opportunistic burglary. So a young woman - obviously not a local, with a snatchable handbag, on her own, down by the river in an affluent middle-class area (Neuilly), at dusk - would make a very tempting target. She might be used to dealing with native north Americans, but les Apaches were something very different. In short a woman on her own would probably attract attention whether that be malign or just concerned for her safety.

EDIT : I see the discussion has now moved on but I'll post this anyway.


Last edited by Meles meles on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 13:41; edited 4 times in total
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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 13:26

> The particular district she's in at that moment would hardly have gangs of little urchins wandering around

Ok, let's forget about it.

> Her problem is that she has arrived too soon, needs to wait a considerable time, do her ninja stuff, and then escape.

You're right, but this is not a problem. We need this time to get to know Josie, before we see her as a Ninja.

> Why not just have her break into Philippe Silvestre's handy little workshop

Not enough talking. We need interactions. Maybe she could wait at the Fete de Neuilly before taking the cab...
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 13:28

What age reader is this story aimed at? Just had a thought so we have some interaction going on ...

1. Breaks in to boat house and startles young mechanic minding the gaff for his boss
2. Seduces young mechanic (why laboriously divest oneself of Victorian lady clothes if not for a little reward?)
3. Engages in humpy-bumpy, naps etc with impressionable young mechanic
4. Switches into ninja mode ordering mechanic to promise to "wait for me"
5. Does all her ninja stuff
6. Escapes back to boat house by the skin of her teeth and finds young mechanic still there
7. Young mechanic has rigged up the Trouvè for her
8. Hurried switch back to lady mode and - whoosh!
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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 13:40

@MM, good point, one more argument against the nap.

@nordmann, seduction will definitely be part of the story. But:
1. It's just not Josie (she's emotionally fragile).
2. I'll try to avoid clichés by using a few tricks: seduction by men instead of woman, two-way seduction, etc.

I like the motor boat idea, as the story will talk a lot about science and technology. I will investigate this more 

(also, Josie will be pursued, no time to change clothes).
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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 13:48

About the "boat garage" I mentioned earlier (post is here), how does it work? Do they put the boats inside or does it contain only changing rooms, showers and equipment?
(I'm trying to see where the electric boat can be kept)
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 13:54

I'd say boat moored outside if not being repaired with motor stored inside. That's why seducing a mechanic to have the whole thing rigged and ready would work so she only has to hop in and jet off down the Seine. Well, at least it's a better trope than the Bow Street Runners option in my opinion ...

Of course one can remove the x-rated element and still have a young besotted mechanic do the business with the boat but it would be heavier on dialogue and not as graphically impressive.
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 14:11

@nordmann wrote:
... not as graphically impressive.

Oo la la! affraid
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 14:26

Deleted: I was being silly.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 15:03

Has she done what you call the strafing? My experience of that is limited to two times from low flying (you can see the pilot_ jets and yes, it is frightening. Not only the immediate but the ricocheting by product also.

A close friend died that way while cleaning his hand gun. So I hope our young blood is up to a possible death which may also come as a surprise to the author.

Warning was given that I was a pain on site - and I ought have confessed of  my having had a far more eventful life than most. Be careful about boats - especially outboards; anyone who fancies a red Indian connection can paddle  a canoe (unless Cherokee - now they use blow pipes for hunting - or rather did when in Georgia before the death march. Such a useful skill. I've tried it..... not with poisoned darts, of course. And Cherokee are the only tribals of the time to have a written language Forget the Apache. Paddling a canoe with a river bank sign would avoid a n affair in the boat shed...…. I've always wanted to say that.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 15:39

I think MM's mention of the "Apaches" is very interesting - and historically important. These "street thugs" are mentioned in Lilian Pizzichini's biography of Jean Rhys which I mentioned somewhere above. This is from Chapter 10. I haven't googled it - I've copied it out from an actual book!


She sat in the cafés of the grand boulevards and watched the people pass by. "The grues are the sellers of illusion of Paris," she wrote. The grues were "little tarts". The women Jean would come to write about lived their lives in the margins of respectability and there were so many of them that their individual fates were lost in the throng*...Jean was well versed in Parisian lowlife, which...was a hot topic at the time. Street thugs called "apaches" were filling the papers with lurid stories. Their name derived from the "Casque d'Or affair of 1902. two gangs led by rival pimps fought over a whore called Casque d'Or on account of her flaming red hair. A reporter named one of the gangs the apaches. For the next thirty years every lowlife criminal in Paris was an "apache". Jean wrote about such men and a bewildered, complicit young woman of uncertain ethnic origins...


Your bewildered - or should that be "emotionally fragile"? -  young woman of uncertain ethnic origins could fall in with some of the infamous apaches of 1902 perhaps? Even become involved with the beautiful Casque d'Or and her friends?


* Oh, look - our favourite word again. Throng is thronging the thread!


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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 16:29

Temp mentions details about the apaches of 1902, but note the Paris newspapers were already referring to them by that name in the summer of 1900 (when this novel is set) if not before:

A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 1900-apache-1
From 'Le Matin' (30 June 1900) in an article "Les sauvages de Belleville".

A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 1900-apadhe-3
From 'L'Aurore' (1 July 1900) in an article "Féroces bandits".
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 17:51

Ah, well researched, MM. So Rhys's biographer got it wrong with her 1902 date? I'll just check if there is any reference to the name of the "street thugs" in the Carole Angier book...
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 18:24

French historians say that the Apache phenomenon has been partially invented by politicians and the press. Excerpt of the French article on Wikipedia:

From 1902 and the events surrounding Casque d'Or, the news attributed to the "Apaches" multiplied in the press. On November 1, 1903, the Petit Journal recounted the altercation of two young “Apaches” women, Louise Hénin and Andrée Merle, which resulted in an injury from the first. On August 14, 1904, the Petit Journal reported a “real pitched battle between agents and prowlers” near rue de la Roquette, as well as daily brawls on boulevard de Sébastopol. Newspaper headlines regularly summon the figure of the Apache, on the occasion of roundups in bars in Le Petit Journal Illustré of March 3, 1907, of the murder of the guard Louis Monnier by the carpenter Jolibois in L'Éclair of March 12, 1907, or multiple arrests on May 1 in Paris in Le Petit Journal of May 13, 1906. Le Petit Journal also mentions "The atrocious revenge of a prowler" on May 19, 1907, the fire of a factory and the 'attack by agents on May 26, 1907, attack on a cell car on July 7, 1907, a roundup at the Bois de Boulogne on July 28, 1907, and the correction of two thieves by a fort des Halles on September 22, 1907.

This dantesque portrait of juvenile and Parisian crime is to be placed in the context of the years 1906 and 1907, which saw the rumor of the suppression of the guillotine grow. The description of the Apache phenomenon is then used to put pressure on public opinion and on parliamentarians, as illustrated by the existence of a section devoted to the “anti-apache campaign” in Le Matin. Le Petit Parisien even organized a referendum in 1907, giving an overwhelming majority to supporters of the guillotine, in direct opposition to President Armand Fallières, who had pardoned the 70 condemned to death in the years 1906 and 1907.

The systematic reporting of various facts, real or exaggerated, contributes to maintaining a feeling of insecurity. Crime seems to be rising steadily, the city poorly guarded. In Paris, young people under the age of twenty-one account for 26% of those arrested, compared with 19% in the rest of France. It should however be noted that, in reality, there was rather stabilization of the arrests of young people from sixteen to twenty-one years between 1904 and 1910, at the heart of the “Apache madness”: for example, the figures of the Seine departments go from nine thousand five hundred in 1902 to less than seven thousand in 1910. The general feeling of inadequacy of modes of repression gives rise to pamphlets such as "Should we whip the Apaches? ", Published in 1910 by Doctor Lejeune. He called there to return to individual and public punishment, however abolished since 1789, in order to humiliate overly conceited young people, dishonor them in the eyes of their gangs and make them lose the favor of girls.
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Sylvain
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyThu 12 Mar 2020, 19:36

I've thought about the electric boat and I think it's not appropriate for this scene:
1. It is difficult to use in a hurry.
2. Josie and Eugene (who runs away with Josie) are rather technophobe, due to their respective antagonism with their technophile father/uncle.
But I'm quite sure an electric boat will be useful later in the story.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Mar 2020, 07:52

Electric boats are useful in any story, I imagine. So many of the classics might have been improved even more if only the protagonists could simply have hopped into a Trouvé and zoomed off over the horizon when things got sticky!

Where is she escaping to, by the way, after this escapade? If it's the middle of the night and she's simply heading back to Clichy then I reckon a technophobe ninja would probably fare better on dry land anyway - I'm sure she could handle any insomniac Apaches en route in a reasonably graphic fashion?
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Mar 2020, 10:12

> Where is she escaping to, by the way, after this escapade?

The idea here is that she goes from Clichy (where she lives) to Neuilly (to shoot at Hausendorf's house), then back to Clichy.

Here a proposal to solve the "waiting + dressing up" issue:

Josie comes by omnibus to Porte Maillot, then goes by cab to a hotel near Hausendorf's house. She is known there, because she's come several times before, to spy on Hausendorf's house. At night, in her room, she dresses up, gets out discreetly (window? roof? back entrance?), goes through gardens/rooftops, and does the shooting. But Bennett's men fight back and she's forced to run and lead Bennett's men away from the hotel. Ten minutes later, she has lead them behind, but now the police is everywhere and she needs to move away. So the best option is go toward the Seine and take the boat back to Clichy (she can come back to the hotel later on).

Does it sound compatible with how hotels work in 1900?
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Mar 2020, 10:51

Police everywhere - what a nostalgic concept that is. But how come? Summoned by who - and how? Aroused by gun shot? Or just about in numbers..... were Parisian police of circa 1900 well organised? And equipped with whistles, arms or what?

Just a point of interest  - does a collective noun use a singular verb..... as in 'police is everywhere'
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Mar 2020, 11:33

>  But how come? Summoned by who - and how? Aroused by gun shot?

Good question. I'd say policemen on bikes ("les Hirondelles") would come rather quickly in case of gunfight, probably 2 or 3 couples of them. If they don't, Hausendorf can send Eugene to the closest police station.

Notice that the time it takes for the police to arrive is not critical to the plot: Josie is pursued by Bennett's men, who slip away as soon as the police arrives (singular verb again :-). Then Josie needs to escape the police.
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Mar 2020, 11:39

The Paris police force was well organised (it was created by Napoléon decades before Peel's 'bobbies' in London) and they were equipped with whistles, trunchons, bikes and when required, firearms. In the early 1900s there were about 8,000 of them.

A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Paris-police-3  A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Paris-police-1 A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Paris-police-4

Here they're battling a gang of apaches and are shown wearing short swords but I think those were really more for ceremonial use.

A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Paris-police-2

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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Mar 2020, 12:00

Police with dogs at Neuilly 1900-1910:
A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 13bf1096380283a399499b58fb827f18
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Mar 2020, 12:03

It's interesting that the caption mentions "apaches à Neuilly".

Interesting also - at least to me - is that agent Godot's doggy is called Job. I wonder, since he's a French dog, whether his name doesn't mean métier/boulot like the English, nor is it the name of the biblical prophet, but is rather named after the well-known makers of cigarette rolling papers, Etablissements Job (ie like calling your dog 'Rizla'). This was a family firm founded in mid 19th century by Jean Bardou of Perpignan. His cigarette papers were marked J B but with a diamond shape (the badge of Perpignan) between the two letters, hence they became known as JOB papers, a name which the firm happily adopted even to the point that the family encouraged the use of the double-barrelled 'surname', Bardou-Job (they were rather nouveau-riche). My interest is because I live in the family's pavillon de chasse/hunting lodge, dating from about 1890. Here's an advert for JOB rolling papers by the artist Alphonse Mucha dating from 1897, and the Bardou family house/chateau about 25kms away from me at Cérèt. My house was built by the same architect, the Dane, Viggo Dorph-Petersen, but it's much, much smaller and simpler.

A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Job   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 Chateau-aubiry

But I digress.


Last edited by Meles meles on Sat 14 Mar 2020, 10:12; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Mar 2020, 13:35

Some more insight about Job: 
- Here: in Brittany, Job is the equivalent of given name Joseph
- Here: an actual Breton named Joseph, but who everyone calls Job
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptyFri 13 Mar 2020, 18:25

> Does it sound compatible with how hotels work in 1900?

I can find no hotel in Neuilly streets at that time. I wonder if standard hotels existed at all: there were Grand Hotels in downtown Paris for rich people, and shabby inns for travelling workers in popular suburbs, but maybe nothing in between.
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 09:46

"Quite like old times," the room says, "Yes? No?"


There are two beds, a big one for madame and a smaller one on the opposite side for monsieur. The wash-basin is shut off by a curtain. It is a large room, the smell of cheap hotels faint, almost imperceptible. The street outside is narrow, cobble-stoned, going sharply uphill and ending in a flight of steps. What they call an impasse...


...The landing is empty and deserted. At this time of night there are no pails, no brooms, no piles of dirty sheets. The man next door has put his shoes outside - long, pointed, patent-leather shoes, very cracked...I wonder about this man. He does get dressed then. Perhaps he is a commercial traveller out of a job for the moment. yes, that's what he might be - a commis voyageur. Perhaps he's a traveller in dressing gowns...


...The bathroom here is on the ground floor. I lie in the bath, listening to the patronne talking to a client. He says he wants a room for a young lady-friend of his. Not at once, he is just looking around.


"A room? A nice room?"


I watch cockroaches crawling from underneath the carpet and crawling back again. There is a flowered carpet in this bathroom, two old arm-chairs and a huge wardrobe with a spotted mirror.


"A nice room?" Of course, une belle chambre, the client wants. The patronne says she has a very beautiful room on the second floor, which will be vacant in about a month's time.


That's the way it is; that's the way it goes;  that was the way it went...A room. A nice room. A beautiful room. A beautiful room with a bath. A bath and sitting room with a bath. Up to the dizzy heights of the suite. Two bedrooms, sitting room, bath and vestibule...Anything you want brought up on the dinner -wagon. (But, alas! the waiter has a louse on his collar. What is that on his collar?)...


Now what are they saying? "Marthe, montrez le numero douze." And the price? Four hundred francs a month. I am paying three times as much for my room on the fourth floor. It shows that I have ended as a successful woman anyway, however I may have strarted. One look at me and the prices go up...


...This morning the hall smells like a very cheap Turkish bath in London - the sort of place that is got up to look respectable and clean...I've got to find another hotel. I feel ill and giddy; I'd better take a taxi. Where to? I remember that I have an address in my handbag, a brochure with pictures. Le hall, le restaurant, le lounge, a bedroom with bath, a bedroom without a bath, etcetera. Everything of the most respectable - that's the place for me...





From Good Morning, Midnight. There are more descriptive passages about various depressing "standard" hotels in Paris, places the author knew well - lots of stuff for your "graphics", but not sure if, being set in 1920s, this is of any use whatsoever. The thing is it is all authentic - the details familiar to someone who actually lived in these places.

I wish your heroine could become someone your reader (is that the right word?) actually cares about. I'm interested in this "emotional fragility" business - how are you going to show this young woman's internal conflict? All this zooming about, shooting at things and what have you is all well and good - and perhaps all your target audience is interested in - but could get pretty tedious after a few pages. You don't want a 21st stereotype let loose in 1900 - or do you?
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 09:57

Re the Job name connection - make it a connection! You could really develop this - with MM's help! How about getting Jessie (is that still her name?) down to the hunting lodge - involved with its rich owners somehow?
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 10:34

> not sure if, being set in 1920s, this is of any use whatsoever

That's my problem here. It seems standard hotels, as we know them, started developing in big cities from around 1910. Neuilly being a far from the center, wealthy and residential area, I guess this development occurred even later.

I'm thinking about an alternative: Josie could rent an apartment (or room) in Neuilly, for the sole purpose of spying on Hausendorf. I think at that time tenants were under the supervision of caretakers. So we might need to find an occupation for Josie, that justifies her sporadic coming.

> You don't want a 21st stereotype let loose in 1900 - or do you?

I don't. The main dimension of the novel is the relationship between Josie and her father. Bennett used to be a loving father (in the modern anachronistic sense), until he basically abandoned her to take care of his beloved sick wife (Josie's mother). The novel is a reconciliation tale, including a plot around the wife's death.

> how are you going to show this young woman's internal conflict?

That's the hard part and I don't know if I'm up to the task.
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 10:39

@Temperance wrote:
Re the Job name connection - make it a connection! You could really develop this - with MM's help!

Well it would probably be good for my business! Wink  But remember Temp, the whole point in this novel is that it is 'participatory' and so I'm not sure how much Sylvain can steer it.

Re the hotel - is she staying for just one night or does she rent a room more long term as a convenient bolt hole near her target, remembering that, as I understand it, she's already renting a place at Clichy? The hotel in Temp's quoted description above seems to be more like lodgings rented long term, rather than for an over-night stay, bed and breakfast style. Hotels as long-term rented accommodation were quite common, for example Oscar Wilde ended his last few months living in room 16 of the the rather dingey Hôtel d'Alsace in Paris's rue des Beaux Arts. Did hotels at that time regularly cater for simple over-night stays? If not what did, say, business travellers do?

Crossed posts,
@Sylvain wrote:
I'm thinking about an alternative: Josie could rent an apartment (or room) in Neuilly, for the sole purpose of spying on Hausendorf.
Tout à fait.
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 10:51

A question based on the Maigret stories by Simenon, although taking place many years later, I seem to recall that the police required guests at hotels to produce identification and deliver these to the police daily, would that be relevant at about 1900 or perhaps fixable by a pourboire[sp?]?
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 11:34

It's all happening at the height of one of the biggest attended international events of its day - in fact at this exact moment in the summer a combination of several such events all happening at the same time. Whatever rules normally applied to hotels, pensions, lodgings and digs will have temporarily gone out the window. People hiring out spare rooms, legally or otherwise, will have mushroomed. Even the normal standards of moral propriety (which would have made it difficult for Josie to rent any accommodation off her own bat) would have been relaxed.

While I'm not sure about several aspects to this girl's character, behaviour, background and martial proficiency, I'm pretty sure she could procure a local room relatively easily if she's prepared to flash the francs.
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 13:18

Ok, thanks to all.
I think I'll go with apartment/room renting. It sounds more plausible that she's found, at immediate proximity to her target, a place to rent rather than a hotel.

> is she staying for just one night or does she rent a room more long term as a convenient bolt hole near her target, remembering that, as I understand it, she's already renting a place at Clichy?

Let's say that the place she rents near her target is her own place, from her arrival in France. In Clichy, she's lived at her lover's place for a few months only.

As far as I can tell, cohabitation and contraception in 1900 working-class environment seem ok. Any advice on this?
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 13:57

Cohabitation was not common in urban France, though French civil code actually allowed for the possibility more than other European countries in that cohabiting fathers could claim full paternity "through recognition", a very important civic right in a world where a partner producing children risked death in the effort much more than nowadays. Where it happened, even in working class or slum areas, it required a considerable amount of immediate community tolerance to occur, and such tolerance normally rested on the relationship being long term, the participants known to most of their neighbours, and the effect being indistinguishable from any "normal" married couple. Crucially, tolerance depended also very much on there being children. The mores of the time placed huge emphasis on the raising of children as a fundamental aspect to family life, so as long as the family displayed cohesion and adhered to this primary function then certain legal or religious niceties involved in making this an "official" arrangement might be overlooked. But as said, families in such a position owed maintenance of this position very much to the tolerance of their immediate society. This was by no means universal, even within working class areas. A lot depended on other factors such as the prevailing religious ethos of the area, the relative financial circumstances of that society's members, and the behaviour of the family itself. They were hostages to the good will of others, so unless there was a pressing reason why they should or could not marry the normal course was to "legitimise" at a later point through a civic process.

Cohabitation without offspring was extremely frowned upon therefore in general, and from a practical viewpoint almost impossible anyway therefore for anyone without extremely independent financial means.

Contraception in the year 1900 resembled very much what it is now regarding choice in prophylactic methods, though much harder to procure and using much cruder vulcanised rubber in construction rather than modern versions using latex, etc. Again, being well ensconced in a community greatly improved this as an option, in that either partner had a better chance of establishing the assistance of a reputable pharmacist or doctor to assist in acquiring regular supplies. A visitor or newcomer to a city would not have this option, nor access to any kind of reputable birth control clinicians, so would have been at the mercy of third party intermediaries operating probably illegally and probably sourcing inferior product. For a woman a re-usable diaphragm was probably the most commonly used contraceptive outside the "rhythm method", though its effectiveness also depended on spermicidal lotions and creams that again could not be procured "over the counter" in most pharmacies, so also needed some knowledge gleaned from being ensconced within one local community over a long period (pardon the pun).

In short - I would not introduce a cohabiting couple using contraceptives into a working class area of Paris in 1900 in my story unless I had already accounted within the narrative for how they managed to maintain this status despite flying in the face of every social restriction and social more that applied at the time. They will at least have to pretend to be married to those around them, and since this brings a whole new dynamic and a web of deception into the narrative, I cannot see how it helps the story at all.
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 15:23

About cohabitation, there's an excellent article here, unfortunately in French, called "Mariage, cohabitation and relationships between gender - Paris 1880-1890".

Nordmann, based on this article, I wonder if you underestimate the weight and acceptance of concubinage in Paris 1900 (evaluated to 10% of households in 1876). This notwithstanding, I think you are making a very good point when saying that it would probably require being ensconced within one local community over a long period.

Josie leaving in cohabitation is not crucial to the plot. However, I would like to explore this further, by taking the reasoning backward: suppose Josie actually lives in cohabitation shortly after she comes back to France (remember she is partially French), what would that say about her? Is there a plausible social environment (feminists? anarchists? utopians?) where that could happen?
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 16:24

If you pursue that line then it could be when you explore her facility. Does she have a moral code? Does her situation Impinge upon this? What of the partner's handling of her in this situation?

It was common in Dickens novels for people to have  Rooms...… this rhymes with northern rums...… food was heated on their fire grate which had stands for  kettles etc. Widows rented out rooms for an income…. and is my experience can get very interested in your life and be helpful …..or otherwise. A worldly wise widow/mistress might just be what  our lady needs.  We seem to be avoiding sewers and boats here but could be of use later. never chuck our good research which the others have given you here.. And if you think she is of a sensitive nature but cannot write that change it to one you can. Feisty is more fun and less demanding. Is this book about the girl or her adventure?
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 17:39

> Does she have a moral code? Does her situation Impinge upon this? 

What I have in mind is that she could be a feminist with an emancipated sexuality (I'm not talking here about a nymphomaniac). But obsessed with her grief and crusade against her father, she wouldn't make a big deal of other's feelings.

> A worldly wise widow/mistress might just be what  our lady needs

That's an option, thanks. I would prefer feminism, though.

> Feisty is more fun and less demanding. Is this book about the girl or her adventure?

Sorry, I could probably imagine what you mean, but I make it a point of honor to disregard such categorizations :-)
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PostSubject: Re: A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900   A participatory graphic novel taking place around 1900 - Page 3 EmptySat 14 Mar 2020, 17:50

You cannot be more categorising than calling a woman a feminist.  Quibble nearly done - wordly wise women are the most feminist I have met - just go about it in a more delicious way.
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