Prologue 1: The Goth

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Isabel Forrest walks through downtown Burlington, Vermont, while providing audience participation on an egregiously inaccurate magazine article. 


The Vermont references in this episode probably don’t make sense unless you’re from around here, but they do help to establish the setting, so I’ll explain.

Isabel’s magazine takes its title, 802, from Vermont’s area code. Yes, the entire state has a single area code. The cover says:


Vermont’s lifestyle magazine

Summer, 2014

Zombies in the Green Mountains!

A special report

The back says:

Visit here & spend money.

(We like it when you do that.)

Vermont: so pastoral it hurts

The cover illustration is from “Farms in Addison County,” by Sabra Field. This Vermont artist is known for her bucolic renditions of area landscapes.

The mural Isabel passes, “Everyone Loves a Parade,” by Pierre Hardy, actually exists in Senator Leahy Way [= an alley], off Church Street Marketplace in Burlington. It depicts selected events from over 500 years of Vermont history, heavy on the dead white dudes and modern-day restaurant sponsors.

I scripted this comic so that the mural could help me illustrate the article that Isabel reads. The guy in the center of panel 4 is Samuel de Champlain, first European to sail Lake Champlain, which makes up most of the state’s western border.  [Speaking of the lake, it supposedly houses Champ, North America’s Loch Ness Monster equivalent.] The guy in the left foreground of panel 5 is Ethan Allen, hailed as a local hero for his role in the creation of Vermont as the 14th state in the Union. All figures on the real mural are life-size, but I couldn’t get a 1:6 scale version as a poster, so Zombieville’s “Everyone Loves a Parade” is smaller.

As for other references in this episode, yup, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream started in Burlington the year I was born.  Isabel would have chosen more significant developments in state history. For example, we passed the country’s first civil unions bill in 2000.  Madeline Kunin, the state’s very popular and only female governor, served from 1985 to 1991.

A “flatlander” is, in contemptuous state slang, someone from out of state.