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Page 41: Broderbund
Broderbund Software grew fast in the early 1980s, fueled by a string of hit games including Lode Runner, Choplifter, and my own Karateka. By 1986, the company's emphasis had shifted from games to "edutainment" and home productivity software. Their best-selling product lines were Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and The Print Shop. It wasn't really a games company any more.
Setting out to develop Prince of Persia as a solo programmer at age 22, I was already a bit of a dinosaur. As was the Apple II system I was developing it on. But I was too stubborn to change my plan.
Page 45: Ten Tips
My list of tips on making games has grown over the years from ten to twenty. If you'd like to share it with a game developer in your life, you can download it as a free PDF (in English or French) from the Library page.
Page 50-51: Czernowitz
My grandfather's hometown of Czernowitz (now Chernivtsi in Ukraine) has a special and enduring mystique. Thanks to the efforts of past residents and archivists, including notably the Ehpes blog and website, I had a wealth of material to draw on in depicting the world of my grandfather's childhood and youth. I'll go into more detail about my sources in the notes for Chapter 4, which focuses on Czernowitz (1900-1914).
When my dad and I had this conversation in the mid-1980s, Czernowitz was Chernovtsy, under Soviet rule. (Trivia: Actress Mila Kunis, born in 1983, is from there.)
Page 54: Le Touquet
Growing up in New York, I had only a vague idea of where the French towns my dad mentioned were or what they looked like. My childhood confusion was compounded by the fact that he usually referred to Le Touquet by its second name, Paris-Plage. For a long time, I mistakenly conflated it with Paris.
I visited Le Touquet-Paris-Plage for the first time in summer 2021 to do research for this book. I was lucky to meet the best guide I could have wished for: Alain Holuigue of the local historical society.
Alain took me on long walks along the promenade and around the town, explaining what had and hadn't changed since the 1930s, including the postwar tourist expansion that replaced Le Touquet's antique seaside villas with modern condos and hotels. After I returned home to Montpellier, Alain sent me a treasure trove of old postcards, photos, and book recommendations. Those references were invaluable to me in drawing chapters 2, 3, 4, and 6 of Replay.
Page 56: Maginot Line
The Maginot Line was a network of bunkers, tunnels and concrete gun batteries built by France after World War I along the border with Germany. The goal was to make France impregnable and ensure that the devastating battles and losses of the 1914-18 war would never be repeated. Like many plans based on military lessons of past wars, it had a flaw.
Page 57: "But she did not want to leave New York."
Some readers have wondered about the reasons for my grandmother's reluctance to join her husband in Cuba in 1940. With no U.S. visa, he couldn't go to New York. After more than a year of separation, why wasn't she more eager to be reunited?
It makes sense to me in light of their situation as refugees. Their top priority was to get other family members out of danger, most urgently my dad, Lisa, and the grandparents in Vienna. In Cuba, Papi was living in a kind of limbo. He had no license to practice medicine; his circle of friends consisted mostly of refugees who also intended to leave Cuba as soon as they could. My grandmother, newly arrived in New York, needed to find work, establish financial security, and gather affidavits that could persuade U.S. immigration authorities to allow her husband and parents to join her. Reuniting with Papi in Havana must have seemed to her like a self-indulgent trip they couldn't afford, which wouldn't move things forward or help the rest of the family.
Also, I've gathered from various family members' comments that Grani was bitter and angry at Papi throughout most of their 70-year marriage, for her own reasons. (He doesn't mention or allude to this in his memoir.)
This chapter of Papi's autobiography (PDF) includes details that offers context and insight into their situation at the time. The last page is a poem he wrote to their daughter (my aunt Johanna, then age 4) after she arrived in New York.
Page 59: Musee Carnavalet
I love this little museum in the Marais district, dedicated to the history of Paris. I've visited it often over the years to do research for various projects, including The Last Express and Templar.
The museum closed for renovation in October 2016, a few months after our visit depicted here. It reopened in 2021.
Page 64: The beach
I drew these pages twice. In my first version, before I'd visited Le Touquet and met Alain, I drew a kind of generic composite 1930s French beach. Once I'd seen Le Touquet for myself, I realized this wouldn't do; any resident would know the difference.
Alain helpfully supplied me with references including pre-war aerial views of the town, and photos of beach cabanas (tents) with their characteristic shape. The promenade's giant swimming pool (seen below) was emptied and abandoned after the German occupation, and subsequently destroyed.
My dad did these pencil drawings of Le Touquet from memory in Cuba, two years later.
Page 68: Dunkirk
The speed and completeness of France's defeat by the invading German army in 1940 was a devastating shock to the French. Christopher Nolan's 2017 film Dunkirk depicts the Battle of France from the point of view of British soldiers trapped on the beaches of northern France, awaiting transport to evacuate the country they came to help.
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