Character Card #1 – Andre Davis

Who is ...
Andre Davis?
Summary Traits Andre is a young African American high school youth who suddenly obtains god-like superpowers through an encounter he has in an alley within his Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Core Personality Traits & Values Andre is bright, inquisitive and self-reliant, always searching for the truth and a greater understanding of himself and others … but he may also be susceptible to the trappings of his newfound power …
Archetype The Hero
Motto “To dare is to do.”
Collaboration Background Andre’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series

A Quick Introduction

Many of our initial stories and characters in Back of the Yards aren’t really entirely ours. We are but humble stewards to the exciting new narrative avenues Jimmy Briseno discovered while facilitating the Made Collaborative After School Arts Program with real urban youth in Chicago in the winter of 2013.

Indeed, this entire project can be traced to a single, intrepid utterance by a young man whom we call “Andre.” It was a declaration that emboldened us all:

“I’ve got an idea.  I know what story I want to tell.  And it’s going to be great!”

Andre’s audacity, creativity and charm crystalized the vision we have for this whole enterprise. So, it is absolutely fitting that the character he inspired should step forward into a leading role for this first chapter of Back of the Yards: “Just Dreamin’.”

Andre's Story

The premise of Andre’s story is that Andre himself, as the main character, obtains “god-like” powers through a supernatural encounter in his Chicago neighborhood.

As originally described, the story begins with Andre and a friend walking to a house party of a known high school acquaintance. At the party, Andre sees some familiar faces and also some new ones. He meets Charmayne for the first time. The two banter as they get to know one another. Charmayne—one-half of a precocious pair of twins—challenges Andre’s rebellious and self-assured manner.

That is, until he hears some commotion outside.

Meanwhile …

Tamia is at the very same party. The party serves as the backdrop for an important point in her narrative, as well. Has she been betrayed? She’s been hearing rumors and fearing the worst. So, she confronts her boyfriend, Wilson, the young man with whom she’d spent one magical summer.

The bracing winds of autumn, however, have a way of revealing difficult truths. The young lovers argue. Wailing and in tears, Tamia dashes from the adolescent revelry.

The Wake-Up Call

A high-pitched whistle, or a siren, rings throughout the party. It’s so loud it’s painful! But only Andre can hear it.

Andre reels, bidding an abrupt farewell to Charmayne. He stumbles to the alley behind the house, the apparent source of the piercing tone. This is where the story takes an interesting turn—both in Andre’s tale and in the story of how the Made Collaborative project came to be.

While “Andre,” our participating youth, described his fantastic alleyway vision to Jimmy, the cinematic sweep of all the kids’ narratives took shape in Jimmy’s mind. There was potential here. It was palpable. These were all creative, fun and sometimes personal teenage stories, to be sure. But, to Jimmy, there seemed to be more to them than only that. As in dreams, the familiar sights and sounds of everyday life can also indicate hidden features of the collective unconscious.

Jimmy felt his suspense heighten as the youth continued his chronicle…

The Translucent Staircase

The alarming sound fades as Andre steps into the alley. He raises his eyes to the soft, pallid glow of what he assumes to be the full moon. Appearing in the middle of the alley, a flight of golden, translucent stairs lead towards the sky, beckoning Andre to ascend.

Ascend he does, where he finds himself in the smooth interior of a higher dimensional craft. He is greeted by a giant—one of the mysterious Secret Chiefs—who immediately speaks words of comfort and reassurance.

“Welcome, Andre. Please, don’t be alarmed. We’ve been expecting you.”

Having heard the otherworldly call to adventure, and answered, Andre can now worthily receive his revelation. The strange visitor explains that he has the power to make his dreams real. It is a power which, for now, distinguishes Andre from the other characters in Back of the Yards.

Fight!

Aloft in the moon-shaped craft, Andre observes others’ dreams, as well, like the video-game combat of Russell and Draymond. As their ninja alter egos, Teshue and Shiro, their sparring is cut short when they are attacked by a gang of bullies.

Andre feels compelled to intercede. Once again answering the hero’s call, he emerges from the dream craft as a heightened version of himself—a true superhero like the kind he draws in his sketchbooks. If not yet a god, Andre is now far more than mere mortal. Using his enhanced physical abilities, he easily beats back the bullies.

An Uncertain Future

We follow Andre’s journey as he comes to terms with his newly obtained powers, and begins to contemplate how he will use those powers as a teen still living in his inner-city neighborhood.  

To be continued …  in the Back of the Yards comic!

Let’s Collaborate!

Table of Contents

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Who is…
Peaches?

Character Card #6 – Peaches

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Summary Traits
For now, known only by his nickname, “Peaches,” he is one of the neighborhood’s “Elders” who observe and comment upon the activities of the younger folks. Peaches backstory is rich, deep and yet-to-be revealed!
Core Personality Traits & Values
Peaches is the dignified moral compass the Elders. Even though he is very much a realist, Peaches tends to see the best in people and he encourages them toward a righteous path.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Though our destiny is now our own, our search for that destiny has only just begun.”
Collaboration Background
Peaches was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Who is…
Russell Patterson?

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Summary Traits
Russell is a very shy and creative young man. He is a grade or two younger than the rest of our young principal characters.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Russell Patterson has an extremely vivid imagination and a very active dream life. He just may be the most talented and creative student at New City High, but he lacks confidence so he too often daydreams as a means of escape.
Archetype
The Dreamer
Motto
“It is okay to live a life that others don't understand”
Collaboration Background
Russell’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Carl Jung’s
Character Archetypes

Source Card #2 – Character Archetypes

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What
This Studio Card production features Carl Jung’s Archetypes of the Unconscious Mind. This Studio Card sets forth the 12 primary character archetypes.
When
These 12 character archetypes can be used by participating youth for their own independent collaborations, just as they have been used by others throughout the course of time, from the ancient Greek plays to modern day Star Wars trilogies.
Who
These character archetypes are important to understand because unlike character stereotypes, which are superficial generic generalizations, archetypes are said to have been deduced through the development of storytelling over tens of thousands of years, indicating repeating patterns of individual and group experience.
Why
Character Archetypes can help one gain a better understanding and development of literary characters and stories for not only our Made Collaborative comic publications, but also independent collaborations of any participating youth and others.
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Who is…
Big Earl?

Character Card #5 – “Big” Earl Perkins

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Summary Traits
Big Earl is a big man with a big heart. Beloved by all in the neighborhood, everybody knows his name and has heard a story or two about this gentle giant.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Earl was the neighborhood football hero before an injury pushed him to the sidelines. And undiagnosed dyslexia prevented him for excelling in school. But Earl’s kind soul and balanced nature granted him resilience through life’s toughest struggles.
Primary Archetype
The Everyman
Motto
“If I didn’t get hurt, then I would never have found me.”
Collaboration Background
Big Earl was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
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Who is…
Carl Castaneda?

Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda

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Summary Traits
Mr. Castañeda is a mysterious teacher and mentor who guides our main characters on their road to realization. Glimpses at his own foggy past reveal that he embarked on a similar journey long ago.
Core Personality Traits & Values
He clearly knows more than what he is saying, but the best teachers do not give they answers but merely point the way.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Your dreams are part of the same primal energy that brings all existence into being!”
Collaboration Background
Mr. Castañeda is a character developed by Len Kody. He is a way of tying the various narratives and characters created by the first wave of participating youth as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
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Who is…
Tamia Parker?

Character Card #2 – Tamia Parker

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Summary Traits
Tamia is a young African American high school youth who learns more about herself as she experiences the pain of betrayal and lost love.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Tamia is extremely bright, curious, introspective and creative. She is an artist at heart, with empathy that forms connections with others in ways that she even doesn’t fully understand yet…
Archetype
The Creator
Motto
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” - Leonard Cohen
Collaboration Background
Tamia’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
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Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Law Enforcement
And Community Relations

Source Card #5: Law Enforcement and Community Relations

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What
This collaborative series is a peek into the issues facing law enforcement and community relations within our urban communities.
When
We will begin Part I of this collaborative series with a snapshot of the early origins of modern day policing, setting the stage for a deeper dive into the present day issues in Part II of this series.
Who
This Source Card overview begins with a look at a man named Robert Peel who may not be a household name to many of us, but as it turns out, in many ways he may well be the founding father of today’s modern day police force as we know it.
Why
To facilitate a collaborative process that promotes just a little more understanding from all sides on a complicated set of issues facing our country’s urban centers. And along the way, with your help and input, incorporate some of these themes and issues into our Back of the Yards comic series.
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Character
Cards

Who is…
Andre Davis?

Character Card #1 – Andre Davis

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Summary Traits
Andre is a young African American high school youth who suddenly obtains god-like superpowers through an encounter he has in an alley within his Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Andre is bright, inquisitive and self-reliant, always searching for the truth and a greater understanding of himself and others … but he may also be susceptible to the trappings of his newfound power …
Archetype
The Hero
Motto
“To dare is to do.”
Collaboration Background
Andre’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Who is…
Dex Coleman?

Character Card #7 – Dex Coleman

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Summary Traits
Dexter Coleman, or “Dex,” is one of the last of a previous generation of neighborhood troublemakers who are alive and not in prison. He’s gone (mostly) straight in his older years, trying his best to make amends for the bad deeds of his youth.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Dex is a wisecracker, a sharp dresser and a straight talker. Even though his moral compass has evolved over the years into that of a respectable citizen of Back of the Yards, he’s still known to indulge in a few vices.
Primary Archetype
The Rebel
Motto
“I ain’t got time for dreamin’. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
Collaboration Background
Dex was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
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Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Introducing
Back of the Yards!

Source Card #1: The Back of the Yards Comic Series!

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What
With this Source Card #1 overview, we introduce you to our first Comic story series, Back of the Yards!, a story about young man in the West Side of Chicago that has what he believes to be a supernatural encounter and his subsequent journey to understand what is real and what isn't within his neighborhood - the Back of the Yards!
When
We will examine past, present and future states of these neighborhoods in attempt to gain a better understanding of how these neighborhoods originally developed and evolved through the years.developed in collaboration with participating youth from the West Side of Chicago.
Who
As part of this collaborative series, we will also examine the residents of these neighborhoods, including early immigrants to present day inhabitants, and their corresponding influence and impact to our urban communities.
Why
In order to more fully understand some of the complexities of our urban centers, we must understand their neighborhoods, including the evolution of those neighborhoods and their residents. And, of course, we plan to incorporate some of these related themes into our ongoing comic series, Back of the Yards, with your collaborations.
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My Skill
Web Designer 50%

Character Card #2 – Tamia Parker

Who is ...
Tamia Parker?
Summary Traits Tamia is a young African American high school youth who learns more about herself as she experiences the pain of betrayal and lost love.
Core Personality Traits & Values Tamia is extremely bright, curious, introspective and creative. She is an artist at heart, with empathy that forms connections with others in ways that she even doesn’t fully understand yet…
Archetype The Creator
Motto “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” - Leonard Cohen
Collaboration Background Tamia’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series

Quick Introduction

Tamia Parker was a character inspired from the first round of youth collaborations in the West Side of Chicago.  During those initial collaborations, Jimmy Briseno met with a number of youth who shared initial ideas for comic characters and storylines.  One of those youth was a young African American girl from that West-Side neighborhood.

The young woman’s initial question to Jimmy was whether the comic stories could be based on be based on real life, and more specifically, relationships?  When Jimmy affirmed that the characters and stories could be about whatever she wanted, she would go on to describe a recent relationship experience which was characterized by drama, deception and ultimately, heartbreak.

But as she explained her experience and her story premise, the young woman also emphasized to Jimmy that she didn’t want to tell this story to focus on a broken heart and the related drama from her relationship, but rather, she wanted to emphasize how that experience ultimately helped her grow as a person and look within herself to find her value as a woman.

And from there, the inspiration for the comic character of Tamia Parker was born, which we hope will in turn inspire many more collaborations to come.

Tamia's Story - First Love

The dizzying highs and lows have long inspired song and verse. Tamia Parker, like so many young girls her age, confides her deepest thoughts and feelings to a well-worn journal that she always carries with her.

For Tamia, her poems and drawings are both an escape and an inward journey of exploration to the potent and turbulent depths within herself. Adolescence is a time of profound inner and outer change, after all—a metamorphosis. In the rough waters of constant change, it can be difficult for some teens to find their place of centeredness—their axis mundi.

Young girls, especially, are often discouraged from developing their own voice and speaking their truth. This leads to a sense of inferiority and “smallness” among many young women. They don’t think their words and actions matter as much.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

We present Tamia’s self-esteem struggles visually by depicting her dreamworld avatar as a Fairie that has not yet blossomed into the full flowering of maturity. In Tamia’s dreams, she takes on the appearance and abilities of the Fairie. And, as the Fairie grows and evolves, so too will Tamia’s own sense of centeredness within herself.

An Unforgettable Chicago Summer

Perhaps it is a lack of centeredness that leaves so many teens vulnerable to manipulation by others. For Tamia, naive to the often treacherous ways of young love, she simply trusted too much.

During one unforgettable summer, she developed very strong feelings for an older boy in her Southside Chicago neighborhood. Wilson no longer attends New City High, where Tamia is currently a sophomore. He used to play basketball there. Wilson represented for Tamia an intoxicating mix of male athletic ability and a whiff of mature confidence she’d only seen in adults. Being a somewhat shy and serious girl for her age, his attentions were more than she could resist—not that she was all that interested in resisting.

And Wilson certainly appreciated the 10 fold attention she reciprocated. Wilson is good at cultivating attention for himself. He certainly enjoys receiving it from pretty young girls. Wilson basked in the warm glow of Tamia’s constant attention all summer long.

Autumn and the End of Innocence

The sharp, cold winds of autumn also reveal long-hidden truths. When the neighborhood kids go back to school, and the recent grads go off to the working world, higher education or to any number of adult endeavors, Wilson stays home, eschewing responsibility. He falls in with a group of troublemaking neighborhood boys who keep similarly idle agendas: no job, no educational ambitions and no other interests besides a hedonistic pursuit of the diversions of the moment.

As the leaves fall from the knotted old oaks, Back of the Yards, Tamia begins to sense the imbalance in her relationship. Was she just another of Wilson’s diversions? He walks her to school every morning, but then what does he do all day? And why has the boy who basked in her attention all summer long begun to respond sharply to her probing questions? Tamia is a mature young woman. Wilson’s age was once something that drew her to him. His potential and potency were why she fell in love with him. But in the same way that the falling leaves expose a great tree’s spindly branches, Wilson’s true nature is slowly revealed to Tamia.

She unwittingly becomes entangled in a love triangle of sorts with Wilson and another girl at her school named Natalie.

Tamia begins to hear rumors that her boyfriend, Wilson, was already seeing Natalie when the young lovers met. The revelation tests her sense of self as everything she believes (and wants to believe) is called into question.T

The Transformative Power of Creativity

When the real world seems like a dream, Tamia turns to creativity to map her inner reality. The after school arts  program in Room 23 and its kind, clever, though peculiar facilitator, Mr. Castaneda, encourage her to develop her art and writing.

Tamia’s creativity enhances her resilience but also her intuition as her dreams begin revealing exactly what Wilson has been hiding from her (and the truths she’s hidden from herself).

Issue #1 of Back of the Yards ends in a shocking revelation: Tamia learns that Natalie is pregnant with Wilson’s child. This fact is confirmed to Tamia when she finally confronts her ex-boyfriend after hearing the rumors from other kids at her school. To overcome the heartbreak and betrayal, Tamia will have to summon vast reservoirs of strength. Though she may be in for a surprise when she learns the extent of all that she is capable of.

In the after school arts program, Tamia strikes up an immediate friendship with Russell. Even though he is younger, the pair seem to resonate on a similar frequency. Both have deep and complex inner lives. Also, Tamia may envy Russell’s sense of wonder and innocence. As we go through periods of growth in our lives, as Tamia is, the exchange we often make for greater power and self-mastery often comes at the expense of our innocence.

 

Summoning the Fairie

Tamia and Russell share more than a budding, though innocent friendship. The two appear to be linked in an as-yet inexplicable way in their dreams.

Both Russell (as Teshue) and his cousin, Draymond (as Shiro) are capable of summoning familiars to their aid. Shiro’s brutish and assertive personality is matched by his pet, Enyo, a feral war-hound with a pair of curving horns atop her head. She is a loyal and ferocious wolf that obeys Shiro’s every command.

Teshue has a more difficult time summoning his familiar, the Fairie, who seems to have a will all her own. Russell is not yet aware that the Fairie does, indeed, have a will of her own because she is Tamia’s dreamworld avatar.

The difficulty that Tamia—and, by extension, Russell—have in harnessing the power of the Fairie is indicative of the extent of her power. As the Fairie continues to evolve, more powers and abilities will be revealed. But until then, both Tamia and Russell will struggle greatly to truly know themselves.

Perhaps it is some intuitive knowledge of this great yet deeply hidden power still locked within both Tamia and Russell that draws them together as allies in the seen and unseen worlds.

Their heroic journeys are quite different than that of Andre, who experiences his power in a sudden, almost uncontrollable rush. Even so, Andre is linked to the other two in ways he’s only beginning to figure out for himself.

The Call to Adventure Beyond Time and Space

When Andre is called to the craft of the Secret Chiefs, it is by a sound that resonates beyond this dimension. It is a single note from the music of the spheres, a tone that can only be heard by those chosen to hear it.

Andre eagerly answers his call to adventure. But, because of the non-linear nature of higher dimensional travel, it isn’t until a bit later that we learn the source of that call: Tamia in her Fairie-form.

Tamia was, in fact, summoned by Russell (as Teshue), who, at a key moment that would have sent many others into panic, Russell instead becomes calm and focused. His mind quieted by a deep sense of concentration from the still waters within his psyche, Teshue beckons the Fairie to join the battle.

The Fairie cries out her extra-dimensional alarm, back through time and up into the mysterious craft from which Andre incredulously observes the perilous goings-on below. When Andre emerges to save the day in his heightened, lion-form, the paradoxical time loop is closed. The cycle is complete.

Andre makes quick work of the bullies who threaten Teshue and Shiro. It’s at this point when an epiphany strikes Tamia, too. One of the thugs seems to have a connection to her philandering boyfriend, Wilson. Tamia’s intuitive dream senses provide her some glimpse of the truth. Natalie is pregnant with Wilson’s child.

Mr. Castaneda’s Guidance

Mr. Castaneda can see the potential brewing within all the students he’s personally chosen to take part in his after school arts program. Exactly who Mr. Castaneda is and what his connection might be to the bizarre, god-like travelers known as the Secret Chiefs is a story for another day. But whatever his ultimate purpose may be, his current agenda seems focused on pushing his students—like Tamia—to explore the bounds of their creative powers.

Tamia will develop a unique relationship with Mr. Castaneda, who will provide a comforting perspective as she struggles through her relationship troubles, and who will challenge her to become more when he believes she is ready to accept the truth about her power.

As she cries one night, after having had a fight with Wilson, she thinks to herself, between sobs, that art is how one can make their true selves visible to the world. This is more than Mr. Castaneda’s comforting wisdom, and more than a creative conceit of our far-out comic book adventure. It is Made Collaborative’s mission to make visible the hidden power of the project’s participating urban youth.

By helping to give a voice to the real kids in the Made Collaborative Project, we hope to unleash the limitless power within each of them.

Let’ s Collaborate!

Table of Contents

Related Studio Cards

Character
Cards

Who is…
Dex Coleman?

Character Card #7 – Dex Coleman

QR Code for Character Card #7 – Dex Coleman
Summary Traits
Dexter Coleman, or “Dex,” is one of the last of a previous generation of neighborhood troublemakers who are alive and not in prison. He’s gone (mostly) straight in his older years, trying his best to make amends for the bad deeds of his youth.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Dex is a wisecracker, a sharp dresser and a straight talker. Even though his moral compass has evolved over the years into that of a respectable citizen of Back of the Yards, he’s still known to indulge in a few vices.
Primary Archetype
The Rebel
Motto
“I ain’t got time for dreamin’. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
Collaboration Background
Dex was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Carl Castaneda?

Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda

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Summary Traits
Mr. Castañeda is a mysterious teacher and mentor who guides our main characters on their road to realization. Glimpses at his own foggy past reveal that he embarked on a similar journey long ago.
Core Personality Traits & Values
He clearly knows more than what he is saying, but the best teachers do not give they answers but merely point the way.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Your dreams are part of the same primal energy that brings all existence into being!”
Collaboration Background
Mr. Castañeda is a character developed by Len Kody. He is a way of tying the various narratives and characters created by the first wave of participating youth as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #2 of the Back of the Yards comic series
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Action
Cards

And Action!
Create a Hero’s Journey

Action Card #3: Create A Hero’s Journey!

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Collaboration Summary
Action Card #3 will challenge you develop your own Hero Journey storylines (based on concepts developed by Joseph Campbell) which you can use for own creative projects. You can also submit your Hero Journey storylines to us if you would like us to help further develop your ideas, and in some instances, include those storylines as part of Back of the Yards comic series.
Collaboration Background
At the heart of our project’s collaborative is the creation of Hero's Journey storylines. This all started as part of a supplemental art program in the West Side of Chicago where participating youth would help create the original characters of the Back of the Yards comic series, and with that, independent storylines for those characters, which we then synthesized into one integrated comic storyline. With this collaboration, we are simply trying to extend this same collaborative opportunity to others virtually.
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
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Source
Cards

Neighborhoods
& Their Residents!

Source Card #4: Neighborhoods and Their Residents

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What
With this Source Card collaborative production, we examine the unique characteristics of our urban neighborhoods, including their unique histories, events and residents.
When
We will examine past, present and future states of these neighborhoods in attempt to gain a better understanding of how these neighborhoods originally developed and evolved through the years.
Who
As part of this collaborative series, we will also examine the residents of these neighborhoods, including early immigrants to present day inhabitants, and their corresponding influence and impact to our urban communities.
Why
In order to more fully understand some of the complexities of our urban centers, we must understand their neighborhoods, including the evolution of those neighborhoods and their residents. And, of course, we plan to incorporate some of these related themes into our ongoing comic series, Back of the Yards, with your collaborations.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Draymond Carter?

Character Card #8 – Draymond Carter?

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Summary Traits
Draymond Carter is Russell Paterson’s fiery-tempered younger cousin. But the cousins are more like brothers ever since Russell moved in with his Auntie (Draymond’s mother).
Core Personality Traits & Values
Draymond’s extroverted and assertive personality is a stark contrast to Russell’s more gentle and introverted nature.
Primary Archetype
The Sidekick
Motto
“You're going to lose.”
Collaboration Background
Draymon was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Big Earl?

Character Card #5 – “Big” Earl Perkins

QR Code for Character Card #5 – “Big” Earl Perkins
Summary Traits
Big Earl is a big man with a big heart. Beloved by all in the neighborhood, everybody knows his name and has heard a story or two about this gentle giant.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Earl was the neighborhood football hero before an injury pushed him to the sidelines. And undiagnosed dyslexia prevented him for excelling in school. But Earl’s kind soul and balanced nature granted him resilience through life’s toughest struggles.
Primary Archetype
The Everyman
Motto
“If I didn’t get hurt, then I would never have found me.”
Collaboration Background
Big Earl was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Peaches?

Character Card #6 – Peaches

QR Code for Character Card #6 – Peaches
Summary Traits
For now, known only by his nickname, “Peaches,” he is one of the neighborhood’s “Elders” who observe and comment upon the activities of the younger folks. Peaches backstory is rich, deep and yet-to-be revealed!
Core Personality Traits & Values
Peaches is the dignified moral compass the Elders. Even though he is very much a realist, Peaches tends to see the best in people and he encourages them toward a righteous path.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Though our destiny is now our own, our search for that destiny has only just begun.”
Collaboration Background
Peaches was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Source
Cards

Carl Jung’s
Character Archetypes

Source Card #2 – Character Archetypes

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What
This Studio Card production features Carl Jung’s Archetypes of the Unconscious Mind. This Studio Card sets forth the 12 primary character archetypes.
When
These 12 character archetypes can be used by participating youth for their own independent collaborations, just as they have been used by others throughout the course of time, from the ancient Greek plays to modern day Star Wars trilogies.
Who
These character archetypes are important to understand because unlike character stereotypes, which are superficial generic generalizations, archetypes are said to have been deduced through the development of storytelling over tens of thousands of years, indicating repeating patterns of individual and group experience.
Why
Character Archetypes can help one gain a better understanding and development of literary characters and stories for not only our Made Collaborative comic publications, but also independent collaborations of any participating youth and others.
Read more
Source
Cards

A Map of the
Hero’s Journey

Source Card #3 – A Map of the Hero’s Journey

QR Code for Source Card #3 – A Map of the Hero’s Journey
What
With this inaugural Made Collaborative Studio Card production we introduce you to, well, the Made Collaborative Studio and with that, we take a quick glimpse of the early origins of this project.
When
The Made Collaborative Studio began as a modest grass roots project started by a ragtag group of participating artists in Chicago and was designed to provide a unique collaborative opportunity for after school programs and participating youth from our urban communities.
Who
This Made Collaborative Studio project technically started over 10 years ago as only a kernel of an idea in the mind of the project’s founder on one of his many bus rides home and through much trial and error over the years, evolved into the Made Collaborative Studio virtual model that exists today.
Why
The Made Collaborative Studio was created to help promote creative thought and provide a unique (and free) collaborative experience for afterschool programs and participating youth alike.
Read more
Source
Cards

Introducing
Back of the Yards!

Source Card #1: The Back of the Yards Comic Series!

QR Code for Source Card #1: The Back of the Yards Comic Series!
What
With this Source Card #1 overview, we introduce you to our first Comic story series, Back of the Yards!, a story about young man in the West Side of Chicago that has what he believes to be a supernatural encounter and his subsequent journey to understand what is real and what isn't within his neighborhood - the Back of the Yards!
When
We will examine past, present and future states of these neighborhoods in attempt to gain a better understanding of how these neighborhoods originally developed and evolved through the years.developed in collaboration with participating youth from the West Side of Chicago.
Who
As part of this collaborative series, we will also examine the residents of these neighborhoods, including early immigrants to present day inhabitants, and their corresponding influence and impact to our urban communities.
Why
In order to more fully understand some of the complexities of our urban centers, we must understand their neighborhoods, including the evolution of those neighborhoods and their residents. And, of course, we plan to incorporate some of these related themes into our ongoing comic series, Back of the Yards, with your collaborations.
Read more

Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda

Who is ...
Carl Castaneda?
Summary Traits Mr. Castañeda is a mysterious teacher and mentor who guides our main characters on their road to realization. Glimpses at his own foggy past reveal that he embarked on a similar journey long ago.
Core Personality Traits & Values He clearly knows more than what he is saying, but the best teachers do not give they answers but merely point the way.
Primary Archetype The Mentor
Motto “Your dreams are part of the same primal energy that brings all existence into being!”
Collaboration Background Mr. Castañeda is a character developed by Len Kody. He is a way of tying the various narratives and characters created by the first wave of participating youth as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut Issue #2 of the Back of the Yards comic series

Quick Introduction

Carl Castaneda - Did He Just Appear Out of Thin Air?

Mr. Castañeda has the poise and bearing of a seasoned teacher. But nobody knows who he is. Mr. Castañeda may or may not be a real teacher, but his afterschool arts program is ardently attended by those in the know. 

Their regular meetings in Room 23 are no secret, nor are they what one would call common knowledge. By all appearances, Mr. Castañeda handpicks young people of promise and extends them a personal invitation.

His recruitment efforts have been fruitful. Tamia and Russell are both already in the program. Andre was recently invited.

Mr. Castañeda knows more than what he is saying. Which is a little staggering, when you think about it, because he says an awful lot. He speaks to his students as a shaman would to his apprentices, seeming to prepare them for some future challenge. He encourages them to see the intrinsic power within themselves.

“Calm yourself,” he says to two fighting students, “Your anger is your weakness.”

In his classroom lecture, Mr. Castañeda alludes to celebrated comic book scholar Scott McCloud and his theory of art: “It is a happy fact of human existence that we simply can’t spend every waking hour eating and having sex!”

Art, Castañeda explains, is an elevated, almost sacred human activity, because it is not motivated by life’s two most compelling instincts—survival and reproduction. 

McCloud puts the whole artistic enterprise of our civilization into perspective, observing that art is what we expressive apes will inevitably do “when we just don’t have a thing to do!”

Be that as it may, McCloud only  leaves us with a pithy definition of art. As for its purpose? 

Mr. Castañeda has some thoughts to share on that, as well.

“Your dreams are part of the primal energy that brings all existence into being!”

A Young Carl Castaneda and His Rendezvous with the Secret Chiefs

The full catalog of Castañeda’s strange journeys shall remain mostly mysterious, for now. But the initiated among us may be granted a glimpse of his humble origins. Our story begins in (where else?) Chicago. The year is 1968

Young Carl Castañeda is an unmotivated, uninspired commercial artist who is experiencing a quarter-life crisis. He is an assembly-line creator of comic books, cartoon drawings and children’s advertising content. He was initially drawn to the work because of his innocent soul and his talent for illustration. But the real work of the job has turned out to be as cold and mechanical as any in Corporate America.

Worse!

He and his ink-stained ilk are looked at as little more than tradesmen. Carl has grander artistic ambitions. He keeps his most personal musings in an illuminated log, his crimson composition book, the scarlet sketch-dairy he refers to as the “Red Book.”

It is within the weathered pages of his Red Book, whilst deep in aesthetic meditation, that Castañeda decides to leave the Windy City behind in search of adventure!

Chicago to Mexico City

The full catalog of Castañeda’s strange journeys shall remain mostly mysterious, for now. But the initiated among us may be granted a glimpse of his humble origins. Our story begins in (where else?) Chicago. The year is 1968

Young Carl Castañeda is an unmotivated, uninspired commercial artist who is experiencing a quarter-life crisis. He is an assembly-line creator of comic books, cartoon drawings and children’s advertising content. He was initially drawn to the work because of his innocent soul and his talent for illustration. But the real work of the job has turned out to be as cold and mechanical as any in Corporate America.

Worse!

He and his ink-stained ilk are looked at as little more than tradesmen. Carl has grander artistic ambitions. He keeps his most personal musings in an illuminated log, his crimson composition book, the scarlet sketch-dairy he refers to as the “Red Book.”

It is within the weathered pages of his Red Book, whilst deep in aesthetic meditation, that Castañeda decides to leave the Windy City behind in search of adventure!

Sancho Panza and the Translucent Staircase

As they sip wine under the moon, Sancho determines exactly what it is that has brought Castañeda all these many miles. Better yet, he offers to help.

The next day, Sancho Panza begins his a harried attempt to prepare Carl Castañeda for an ineffable encounter with the Secret Chiefs.

Carl Castañeda is an ambitious aspirant. He meditates daily at the foot of the great pyramid. He refuses to leave until one of these so-called “Secret Chiefs” shows themselves!

After five days, the appearance of a familiar translucent staircase heralds the thunderous arrival of Castañeda’s cosmic appointment. Carl is pulled through a door to some higher, unfathomable dimension.

This might be more than our friend Carl bargained for.

He is quickly overwhelmed by the ornate immensity of what his inferior senses are able to relate to him. The Secret Chief manifests to Castañeda with such baroque intensity that he is devastated.

Carl is swatted like a fly from the gates of heaven.

The End of the Beginning

As his consciousness comes crashing back to Earth, Carl knows that he has paid the price for his impudence. In these first few steps of the many long voyages which will eventually lead Castañeda back home to Chicago (and to the hallways of New City High) the young man still has a lot to learn.

Let’s Collaborate!

Table of Contents

Related Studio Cards

Source
Cards

Law Enforcement
And Community Relations

Source Card #5: Law Enforcement and Community Relations

QR Code for Source Card #5: Law Enforcement and Community Relations
What
This collaborative series is a peek into the issues facing law enforcement and community relations within our urban communities.
When
We will begin Part I of this collaborative series with a snapshot of the early origins of modern day policing, setting the stage for a deeper dive into the present day issues in Part II of this series.
Who
This Source Card overview begins with a look at a man named Robert Peel who may not be a household name to many of us, but as it turns out, in many ways he may well be the founding father of today’s modern day police force as we know it.
Why
To facilitate a collaborative process that promotes just a little more understanding from all sides on a complicated set of issues facing our country’s urban centers. And along the way, with your help and input, incorporate some of these themes and issues into our Back of the Yards comic series.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Andre Davis?

Character Card #1 – Andre Davis

QR Code for Character Card #1 – Andre Davis
Summary Traits
Andre is a young African American high school youth who suddenly obtains god-like superpowers through an encounter he has in an alley within his Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Andre is bright, inquisitive and self-reliant, always searching for the truth and a greater understanding of himself and others … but he may also be susceptible to the trappings of his newfound power …
Archetype
The Hero
Motto
“To dare is to do.”
Collaboration Background
Andre’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Source
Cards

Carl Jung’s
Character Archetypes

Source Card #2 – Character Archetypes

QR Code for Source Card #2 – Character Archetypes
What
This Studio Card production features Carl Jung’s Archetypes of the Unconscious Mind. This Studio Card sets forth the 12 primary character archetypes.
When
These 12 character archetypes can be used by participating youth for their own independent collaborations, just as they have been used by others throughout the course of time, from the ancient Greek plays to modern day Star Wars trilogies.
Who
These character archetypes are important to understand because unlike character stereotypes, which are superficial generic generalizations, archetypes are said to have been deduced through the development of storytelling over tens of thousands of years, indicating repeating patterns of individual and group experience.
Why
Character Archetypes can help one gain a better understanding and development of literary characters and stories for not only our Made Collaborative comic publications, but also independent collaborations of any participating youth and others.
Read more
Action
Cards

A Call to Action
Join the Hero’s Journey

Action Card #3: The Hero’s Journey (LK)

QR Code for Action Card #3: The Hero’s Journey (LK)
Collaboration Summary
Action Card #3 will challenge you to develop your own Hero Journey storylines (based on concepts developed by Joseph Campbell) which you can use for own creative projects. You can also submit your Hero Journey storylines to us if you would like us to help further develop your ideas, and in some instances, include those storylines as part of Back of the Yards comic series.
Collaboration Background
At the heart of our project’s collaborative is the creation of Hero's Journey storylines. This all started as part of a supplemental art program in the West Side of Chicago where participating youth would help create the original characters of the Back of the Yards comic series, and with that, independent storylines for those characters, which we then synthesized into one integrated comic storyline. With this collaboration, we are simply trying to extend this same collaborative opportunity to others virtually.
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
Read more
Action
Cards

And Action!
Create an Illustration!

Action Card #4: Create an Illustration!

QR Code for Action Card #4: Create an Illustration!
Collaboration Summary
With this collaboration series, we will work with aspiring illustrators that may be interested in developing new illustrations that could ultimately be incorporated into our Back of the Yards comic series!
Collaboration Background
When we began this project, it was based on a simple premise that all of us have the ability to be creative. However, we also recognize that this creativity can come in many different forms and with that, some of you may actually be talented illustrators. So it is that with this Action Card collaboration series, we will present you with opportunities to submit your illustrations by providing you with possible comic scenes, newly developed characters and/or other comic settings to choose from, all updated regularly!
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Tamia Parker?

Character Card #2 – Tamia Parker

QR Code for Character Card #2 – Tamia Parker
Summary Traits
Tamia is a young African American high school youth who learns more about herself as she experiences the pain of betrayal and lost love.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Tamia is extremely bright, curious, introspective and creative. She is an artist at heart, with empathy that forms connections with others in ways that she even doesn’t fully understand yet…
Archetype
The Creator
Motto
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” - Leonard Cohen
Collaboration Background
Tamia’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Big Earl?

Character Card #5 – “Big” Earl Perkins

QR Code for Character Card #5 – “Big” Earl Perkins
Summary Traits
Big Earl is a big man with a big heart. Beloved by all in the neighborhood, everybody knows his name and has heard a story or two about this gentle giant.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Earl was the neighborhood football hero before an injury pushed him to the sidelines. And undiagnosed dyslexia prevented him for excelling in school. But Earl’s kind soul and balanced nature granted him resilience through life’s toughest struggles.
Primary Archetype
The Everyman
Motto
“If I didn’t get hurt, then I would never have found me.”
Collaboration Background
Big Earl was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Carl Castaneda?

Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda

QR Code for Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda
Summary Traits
Mr. Castañeda is a mysterious teacher and mentor who guides our main characters on their road to realization. Glimpses at his own foggy past reveal that he embarked on a similar journey long ago.
Core Personality Traits & Values
He clearly knows more than what he is saying, but the best teachers do not give they answers but merely point the way.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Your dreams are part of the same primal energy that brings all existence into being!”
Collaboration Background
Mr. Castañeda is a character developed by Len Kody. He is a way of tying the various narratives and characters created by the first wave of participating youth as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #2 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Russell Patterson?

Character Card #3 – Russell Patterson

QR Code for Character Card #3 – Russell Patterson
Summary Traits
Russell is a very shy and creative young man. He is a grade or two younger than the rest of our young principal characters.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Russell Patterson has an extremely vivid imagination and a very active dream life. He just may be the most talented and creative student at New City High, but he lacks confidence so he too often daydreams as a means of escape.
Archetype
The Dreamer
Motto
“It is okay to live a life that others don't understand”
Collaboration Background
Russell’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Dex Coleman?

Character Card #7 – Dex Coleman

QR Code for Character Card #7 – Dex Coleman
Summary Traits
Dexter Coleman, or “Dex,” is one of the last of a previous generation of neighborhood troublemakers who are alive and not in prison. He’s gone (mostly) straight in his older years, trying his best to make amends for the bad deeds of his youth.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Dex is a wisecracker, a sharp dresser and a straight talker. Even though his moral compass has evolved over the years into that of a respectable citizen of Back of the Yards, he’s still known to indulge in a few vices.
Primary Archetype
The Rebel
Motto
“I ain’t got time for dreamin’. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
Collaboration Background
Dex was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
My Skill
Web Designer 50%

Character Card #3 – Russell Patterson

Who is ...
Russell Patterson?
Summary Traits Russell is a very shy and creative young man. He is a grade or two younger than the rest of our young principal characters.
Core Personality Traits & Values Russell Patterson has an extremely vivid imagination and a very active dream life. He just may be the most talented and creative student at New City High, but he lacks confidence so he too often daydreams as a means of escape.
Archetype The Dreamer
Motto “It is okay to live a life that others don't understand”
Collaboration Background Russell’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series

Quick Introduction

Russell and Draymond: Closer Than Brothers

There’s a magical time in a young person’s life, before the opposite sex becomes quite so interesting, when the diaphanous membrane between dreams and reality is at its most permeable. It’s a time when dreams can be shared easily between those with whom we’ve forged a special, life-long bond.

Russel and Draymond are cousins—but more like brothers, really—and they share a common dream iconography made up of interwoven archetypes and meta-narratives. Together, they intermittently inhabit a whole universe of stories that are both created and experienced by the two. 

They participate avidly in video games, but their imagination is ultimately too big for the platform. Russell and Draymond collaborate in fully imaginative, visionary campaigns, more akin to the tabletop D&D adventures of a generation before. 

Their inner landscape is deep and vivid. Russell and Draymond express themselves through their imaginary ninja avatars, Teshue and Shiro, respectively.

Teshue and Shiro: Continuity of Dreaming

Russell and Draymond’s connection to the power of dreaming is strong. Perhaps it is their youthful innocence which grants them ease of access. Of all our Back of the Yards cast, so far, they are the most easily transported to the surreal depths of imaginative fantasy. 

Like Andre, whose awareness is unlocked by his encounter with one of the strange Secret Chiefs, the younger pair’s ninja visions have a continuity with the waking world—broomsticks become katana swords and a band of bullies is a marauding and villainous horde. But, Andre becomes lucid as he evolves; he begins to show signs of godlike control over the dreamscape. Russell and Draymond, on the other hand, are all but completely swept away in their recurring reveries. 

Draymond, in fact—the younger and more impetuous of the pair—completely forgets himself.

“Draymond!” his cousin Russell cries. 

“I am Shiro,” the mistaken middle schooler repeatedly insists.     

But the two young boys do possess some imaginative insight. Russell especially. Russell and Draymond are the first to discover the interconnectedness of the grander dream universe, even if they aren’t quite aware of it yet. Because their dreams aren’t only shared between the pair of them. Their dreams regularly include Tamia and eventually many others. 

Both dreams and stories can be a community asset because they reflect the world we know but they also show us something new.     

The Fairie and the War-Wolf

Russell and Draymond, as Teshue and Shiro, inhabit a world filled with more than rival bullies, they each have pet allies, as well—familiars which they summon to aid them in the heat of battle: Enyo, the loyal, horned war-wolf, and the strange and mysterious fairie. Captivating in their own right, these fantastic beings also highlight other points of interest.   

There’s a developing sense of camaraderie between Tamia and Russell. It goes at least as deep as their preference for the same sweet yet cinnamon-y snack: Red Hot Popcorn. Perhaps she envies his innocence. In the world of dreams, their connection is even more curious. Russell’s ninja avatar, Teshue, has the power to summon Tamia’s nascent fairie-form! 

Draymond’s wolf is more of an extension of his own contentious energies. Quite unlike Russell’s experience. Enyo the war-wolf is Shiro’s pugnacious partner. She is steadfast at his side as Shiro bravely (and sometimes recklessly) charges into battle.

Stories Show Us How to Think

Russell and Draymond are at first only immersed in their consuming world of fantasy. But in that bemused state, the boys’ powerful shared story grows to include many other players, even if most of them (including Russell and Draymond themselves) are hardly aware of it. 

Stories reflect the everyday world, but they can also change it. One wonders where young Russell’s path, particularly, may lead him as he joins other youth in beginning to “wake up” to the transformative power of dreams. 

Let’s Collaborate!

Table of Contents

Related Studio Cards

Character
Cards

Who is…
Carl Castaneda?

Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda

QR Code for Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda
Summary Traits
Mr. Castañeda is a mysterious teacher and mentor who guides our main characters on their road to realization. Glimpses at his own foggy past reveal that he embarked on a similar journey long ago.
Core Personality Traits & Values
He clearly knows more than what he is saying, but the best teachers do not give they answers but merely point the way.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Your dreams are part of the same primal energy that brings all existence into being!”
Collaboration Background
Mr. Castañeda is a character developed by Len Kody. He is a way of tying the various narratives and characters created by the first wave of participating youth as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #2 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Source
Cards

Neighborhoods
& Their Residents!

Source Card #4: Neighborhoods and Their Residents

QR Code for Source Card #4: Neighborhoods and Their Residents
What
With this Source Card collaborative production, we examine the unique characteristics of our urban neighborhoods, including their unique histories, events and residents.
When
We will examine past, present and future states of these neighborhoods in attempt to gain a better understanding of how these neighborhoods originally developed and evolved through the years.
Who
As part of this collaborative series, we will also examine the residents of these neighborhoods, including early immigrants to present day inhabitants, and their corresponding influence and impact to our urban communities.
Why
In order to more fully understand some of the complexities of our urban centers, we must understand their neighborhoods, including the evolution of those neighborhoods and their residents. And, of course, we plan to incorporate some of these related themes into our ongoing comic series, Back of the Yards, with your collaborations.
Read more
Source
Cards

Carl Jung’s
Character Archetypes

Source Card #2 – Character Archetypes

QR Code for Source Card #2 – Character Archetypes
What
This Studio Card production features Carl Jung’s Archetypes of the Unconscious Mind. This Studio Card sets forth the 12 primary character archetypes.
When
These 12 character archetypes can be used by participating youth for their own independent collaborations, just as they have been used by others throughout the course of time, from the ancient Greek plays to modern day Star Wars trilogies.
Who
These character archetypes are important to understand because unlike character stereotypes, which are superficial generic generalizations, archetypes are said to have been deduced through the development of storytelling over tens of thousands of years, indicating repeating patterns of individual and group experience.
Why
Character Archetypes can help one gain a better understanding and development of literary characters and stories for not only our Made Collaborative comic publications, but also independent collaborations of any participating youth and others.
Read more
Action
Cards

And Action!
Create a Hero’s Journey

Action Card #3: Create A Hero’s Journey!

QR Code for Action Card #3: Create A Hero’s Journey!
Collaboration Summary
Action Card #3 will challenge you develop your own Hero Journey storylines (based on concepts developed by Joseph Campbell) which you can use for own creative projects. You can also submit your Hero Journey storylines to us if you would like us to help further develop your ideas, and in some instances, include those storylines as part of Back of the Yards comic series.
Collaboration Background
At the heart of our project’s collaborative is the creation of Hero's Journey storylines. This all started as part of a supplemental art program in the West Side of Chicago where participating youth would help create the original characters of the Back of the Yards comic series, and with that, independent storylines for those characters, which we then synthesized into one integrated comic storyline. With this collaboration, we are simply trying to extend this same collaborative opportunity to others virtually.
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
Read more
Action
Cards

And Action!
Create a Character!

Action Card #2: Create A Character!

QR Code for Action Card #2: Create A Character!
Collaboration Summary
With this first collaboration, we will help you develop your own characters which you can use for own creative projects. You can also submit your newly created characters to us if you would like us to help further develop your character ideas, and in some instances, include these new characters as part of Back of the Yards comic series.
Collaboration Background
At the heart of our project’s collaborative is the creation of new fictional characters. This all started in 2013 as part of a supplemental art program in the West Side of Chicago where participating youth would help create the original characters of the Back of the Yards comic series. With this collaboration, we are simply trying to extend this same collaborative opportunity to others virtually.
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Draymond Carter?

Character Card #8 – Draymond Carter?

QR Code for Character Card #8 – Draymond Carter?
Summary Traits
Draymond Carter is Russell Paterson’s fiery-tempered younger cousin. But the cousins are more like brothers ever since Russell moved in with his Auntie (Draymond’s mother).
Core Personality Traits & Values
Draymond’s extroverted and assertive personality is a stark contrast to Russell’s more gentle and introverted nature.
Primary Archetype
The Sidekick
Motto
“You're going to lose.”
Collaboration Background
Draymon was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Tamia Parker?

Character Card #2 – Tamia Parker

QR Code for Character Card #2 – Tamia Parker
Summary Traits
Tamia is a young African American high school youth who learns more about herself as she experiences the pain of betrayal and lost love.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Tamia is extremely bright, curious, introspective and creative. She is an artist at heart, with empathy that forms connections with others in ways that she even doesn’t fully understand yet…
Archetype
The Creator
Motto
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” - Leonard Cohen
Collaboration Background
Tamia’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Source
Cards

Introducing
Back of the Yards!

Source Card #1: The Back of the Yards Comic Series!

QR Code for Source Card #1: The Back of the Yards Comic Series!
What
With this Source Card #1 overview, we introduce you to our first Comic story series, Back of the Yards!, a story about young man in the West Side of Chicago that has what he believes to be a supernatural encounter and his subsequent journey to understand what is real and what isn't within his neighborhood - the Back of the Yards!
When
We will examine past, present and future states of these neighborhoods in attempt to gain a better understanding of how these neighborhoods originally developed and evolved through the years.developed in collaboration with participating youth from the West Side of Chicago.
Who
As part of this collaborative series, we will also examine the residents of these neighborhoods, including early immigrants to present day inhabitants, and their corresponding influence and impact to our urban communities.
Why
In order to more fully understand some of the complexities of our urban centers, we must understand their neighborhoods, including the evolution of those neighborhoods and their residents. And, of course, we plan to incorporate some of these related themes into our ongoing comic series, Back of the Yards, with your collaborations.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Russell Patterson?

Character Card #3 – Russell Patterson

QR Code for Character Card #3 – Russell Patterson
Summary Traits
Russell is a very shy and creative young man. He is a grade or two younger than the rest of our young principal characters.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Russell Patterson has an extremely vivid imagination and a very active dream life. He just may be the most talented and creative student at New City High, but he lacks confidence so he too often daydreams as a means of escape.
Archetype
The Dreamer
Motto
“It is okay to live a life that others don't understand”
Collaboration Background
Russell’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Andre Davis?

Character Card #1 – Andre Davis

QR Code for Character Card #1 – Andre Davis
Summary Traits
Andre is a young African American high school youth who suddenly obtains god-like superpowers through an encounter he has in an alley within his Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Andre is bright, inquisitive and self-reliant, always searching for the truth and a greater understanding of himself and others … but he may also be susceptible to the trappings of his newfound power …
Archetype
The Hero
Motto
“To dare is to do.”
Collaboration Background
Andre’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
My Skill
Web Designer 50%

Character Card #8 – Draymond Carter?

Who is ...
Draymond Carter?
Summary Traits Draymond Carter is Russell Paterson’s fiery-tempered younger cousin. But the cousins are more like brothers ever since Russell moved in with his Auntie (Draymond’s mother).
Core Personality Traits & Values Draymond’s extroverted and assertive personality is a stark contrast to Russell’s more gentle and introverted nature.
Primary Archetype The Sidekick
Motto “You're going to lose.”
Collaboration Background Draymon was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series

Quick Introduction

The Funky Finger of Fate

Three wise-cracking wise guys man a permanent post around a pickle barrel in front of Kozlow’s General Store. They are Peaches, Dex and Big Earl. Although these distinguished gentlemen of the neighborhood are officially retired from whatever eclectic ventures kept them occupied (and mostly out of trouble) in their storied youth, the Elders, as we call them, continue to serve an important purpose in their community—and in our story!   

The intertwining threads of fate in Back of the Yards all intersect at the Elders’ humble pickle barrel, believe it or not. In ancient mythology, the Fates weren’t just observers and commentators but also tailors in life’s grand tapestry. Similarly, Peaches, Dex and Earl color the happenings of their Southside Chicago block with their piercing insight and cutting humor. They provide context, gravitas and perspective, reminding the reader and our younger characters that the world is big and history is long. 

How did Earl endure?

Before he packed on the pounds, Earl was towering 6’5” of solid muscle. He matured early, physically. But his otherwise brilliant brain is burdened by a severe case of dyslexia, which meant he would always struggle in his studies. Because of his large size and kind nature, Earl stood up to the local bullies. So, the other kids all pitched in to help him pass his classes. Thanks to their help, he remained eligible to play high school football.  

On the field, Earl was a champion. 

As an adult Earl, avoided the temptation to become muscle for the various Chicago criminal outfits. He tried to become a cop or a firefighter, but his reading and writing difficulties held him back once again. He couldn’t pass the entrance exams. 

Earl settled for a career in security, a position in which he excelled, until that fateful night…

The Everyman

Following his injury, Earl’s once-unstoppable metabolism slowed down. It became difficult for him to fight his weight. So, his old high school nickname, “Big Earl,” took on new meaning.  

Recovery was difficult for Earl, but he’s not bitter. His peace doesn’t come from ignorance or blind optimism but from deep understanding.

Earl’s journey of the Everyman is one that has taught him acceptance. Sometimes you’re up, and sometimes you get knocked down. Usually, life is pretty unfair. But, as long as you do right by your friends and loved ones, that’s all that really matters when the grim reaper comes a-calling!

Let’s Collaborate!

Table of Contents

Related Studio Cards

Action
Cards

And Action!
Create a Character!

Action Card #2: Create A Character!

QR Code for Action Card #2: Create A Character!
Collaboration Summary
With this first collaboration, we will help you develop your own characters which you can use for own creative projects. You can also submit your newly created characters to us if you would like us to help further develop your character ideas, and in some instances, include these new characters as part of Back of the Yards comic series.
Collaboration Background
At the heart of our project’s collaborative is the creation of new fictional characters. This all started in 2013 as part of a supplemental art program in the West Side of Chicago where participating youth would help create the original characters of the Back of the Yards comic series. With this collaboration, we are simply trying to extend this same collaborative opportunity to others virtually.
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Dex Coleman?

Character Card #7 – Dex Coleman

QR Code for Character Card #7 – Dex Coleman
Summary Traits
Dexter Coleman, or “Dex,” is one of the last of a previous generation of neighborhood troublemakers who are alive and not in prison. He’s gone (mostly) straight in his older years, trying his best to make amends for the bad deeds of his youth.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Dex is a wisecracker, a sharp dresser and a straight talker. Even though his moral compass has evolved over the years into that of a respectable citizen of Back of the Yards, he’s still known to indulge in a few vices.
Primary Archetype
The Rebel
Motto
“I ain’t got time for dreamin’. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
Collaboration Background
Dex was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Andre Davis?

Character Card #1 – Andre Davis

QR Code for Character Card #1 – Andre Davis
Summary Traits
Andre is a young African American high school youth who suddenly obtains god-like superpowers through an encounter he has in an alley within his Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Andre is bright, inquisitive and self-reliant, always searching for the truth and a greater understanding of himself and others … but he may also be susceptible to the trappings of his newfound power …
Archetype
The Hero
Motto
“To dare is to do.”
Collaboration Background
Andre’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Source
Cards

A Map of the
Hero’s Journey

Source Card #3 – A Map of the Hero’s Journey

QR Code for Source Card #3 – A Map of the Hero’s Journey
What
With this inaugural Made Collaborative Studio Card production we introduce you to, well, the Made Collaborative Studio and with that, we take a quick glimpse of the early origins of this project.
When
The Made Collaborative Studio began as a modest grass roots project started by a ragtag group of participating artists in Chicago and was designed to provide a unique collaborative opportunity for after school programs and participating youth from our urban communities.
Who
This Made Collaborative Studio project technically started over 10 years ago as only a kernel of an idea in the mind of the project’s founder on one of his many bus rides home and through much trial and error over the years, evolved into the Made Collaborative Studio virtual model that exists today.
Why
The Made Collaborative Studio was created to help promote creative thought and provide a unique (and free) collaborative experience for afterschool programs and participating youth alike.
Read more
Source
Cards

Neighborhoods
& Their Residents!

Source Card #4: Neighborhoods and Their Residents

QR Code for Source Card #4: Neighborhoods and Their Residents
What
With this Source Card collaborative production, we examine the unique characteristics of our urban neighborhoods, including their unique histories, events and residents.
When
We will examine past, present and future states of these neighborhoods in attempt to gain a better understanding of how these neighborhoods originally developed and evolved through the years.
Who
As part of this collaborative series, we will also examine the residents of these neighborhoods, including early immigrants to present day inhabitants, and their corresponding influence and impact to our urban communities.
Why
In order to more fully understand some of the complexities of our urban centers, we must understand their neighborhoods, including the evolution of those neighborhoods and their residents. And, of course, we plan to incorporate some of these related themes into our ongoing comic series, Back of the Yards, with your collaborations.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Peaches?

Character Card #6 – Peaches

QR Code for Character Card #6 – Peaches
Summary Traits
For now, known only by his nickname, “Peaches,” he is one of the neighborhood’s “Elders” who observe and comment upon the activities of the younger folks. Peaches backstory is rich, deep and yet-to-be revealed!
Core Personality Traits & Values
Peaches is the dignified moral compass the Elders. Even though he is very much a realist, Peaches tends to see the best in people and he encourages them toward a righteous path.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Though our destiny is now our own, our search for that destiny has only just begun.”
Collaboration Background
Peaches was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Carl Castaneda?

Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda

QR Code for Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda
Summary Traits
Mr. Castañeda is a mysterious teacher and mentor who guides our main characters on their road to realization. Glimpses at his own foggy past reveal that he embarked on a similar journey long ago.
Core Personality Traits & Values
He clearly knows more than what he is saying, but the best teachers do not give they answers but merely point the way.
Primary Archetype
The Mentor
Motto
“Your dreams are part of the same primal energy that brings all existence into being!”
Collaboration Background
Mr. Castañeda is a character developed by Len Kody. He is a way of tying the various narratives and characters created by the first wave of participating youth as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #2 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Source
Cards

Introducing
Back of the Yards!

Source Card #1: The Back of the Yards Comic Series!

QR Code for Source Card #1: The Back of the Yards Comic Series!
What
With this Source Card #1 overview, we introduce you to our first Comic story series, Back of the Yards!, a story about young man in the West Side of Chicago that has what he believes to be a supernatural encounter and his subsequent journey to understand what is real and what isn't within his neighborhood - the Back of the Yards!
When
We will examine past, present and future states of these neighborhoods in attempt to gain a better understanding of how these neighborhoods originally developed and evolved through the years.developed in collaboration with participating youth from the West Side of Chicago.
Who
As part of this collaborative series, we will also examine the residents of these neighborhoods, including early immigrants to present day inhabitants, and their corresponding influence and impact to our urban communities.
Why
In order to more fully understand some of the complexities of our urban centers, we must understand their neighborhoods, including the evolution of those neighborhoods and their residents. And, of course, we plan to incorporate some of these related themes into our ongoing comic series, Back of the Yards, with your collaborations.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Draymond Carter?

Character Card #8 – Draymond Carter?

QR Code for Character Card #8 – Draymond Carter?
Summary Traits
Draymond Carter is Russell Paterson’s fiery-tempered younger cousin. But the cousins are more like brothers ever since Russell moved in with his Auntie (Draymond’s mother).
Core Personality Traits & Values
Draymond’s extroverted and assertive personality is a stark contrast to Russell’s more gentle and introverted nature.
Primary Archetype
The Sidekick
Motto
“You're going to lose.”
Collaboration Background
Draymon was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Tamia Parker?

Character Card #2 – Tamia Parker

QR Code for Character Card #2 – Tamia Parker
Summary Traits
Tamia is a young African American high school youth who learns more about herself as she experiences the pain of betrayal and lost love.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Tamia is extremely bright, curious, introspective and creative. She is an artist at heart, with empathy that forms connections with others in ways that she even doesn’t fully understand yet…
Archetype
The Creator
Motto
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” - Leonard Cohen
Collaboration Background
Tamia’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
My Skill
Web Designer 50%

Character Card #5 – “Big” Earl Perkins

Who is ...
Big Earl?
Summary Traits Big Earl is a big man with a big heart. Beloved by all in the neighborhood, everybody knows his name and has heard a story or two about this gentle giant.
Core Personality Traits & Values Earl was the neighborhood football hero before an injury pushed him to the sidelines. And undiagnosed dyslexia prevented him for excelling in school. But Earl’s kind soul and balanced nature granted him resilience through life’s toughest struggles.
Primary Archetype The Everyman
Motto “If I didn’t get hurt, then I would never have found me.”
Collaboration Background Big Earl was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series

Quick Introduction

The Funky Finger of Fate

Three wise-cracking wise guys man a permanent post around a pickle barrel in front of Kozlow’s General Store. They are Peaches, Dex and Big Earl. Although these distinguished gentlemen of the neighborhood are officially retired from whatever eclectic ventures kept them occupied (and mostly out of trouble) in their storied youth, the Elders, as we call them, continue to serve an important purpose in their community—and in our story!   

The intertwining threads of fate in Back of the Yards all intersect at the Elders’ humble pickle barrel, believe it or not. In ancient mythology, the Fates weren’t just observers and commentators but also tailors in life’s grand tapestry. Similarly, Peaches, Dex and Earl color the happenings of their Southside Chicago block with their piercing insight and cutting humor. They provide context, gravitas and perspective, reminding the reader and our younger characters that the world is big and history is long. 

How did Earl endure?

Before he packed on the pounds, Earl was towering 6’5” of solid muscle. He matured early, physically. But his otherwise brilliant brain is burdened by a severe case of dyslexia, which meant he would always struggle in his studies. Because of his large size and kind nature, Earl stood up to the local bullies. So, the other kids all pitched in to help him pass his classes. Thanks to their help, he remained eligible to play high school football.  

On the field, Earl was a champion. 

As an adult Earl, avoided the temptation to become muscle for the various Chicago criminal outfits. He tried to become a cop or a firefighter, but his reading and writing difficulties held him back once again. He couldn’t pass the entrance exams. 

Earl settled for a career in security, a position in which he excelled, until that fateful night…

The Everyman

Following his injury, Earl’s once-unstoppable metabolism slowed down. It became difficult for him to fight his weight. So, his old high school nickname, “Big Earl,” took on new meaning.  

Recovery was difficult for Earl, but he’s not bitter. His peace doesn’t come from ignorance or blind optimism but from deep understanding.

Earl’s journey of the Everyman is one that has taught him acceptance. Sometimes you’re up, and sometimes you get knocked down. Usually, life is pretty unfair. But, as long as you do right by your friends and loved ones, that’s all that really matters when the grim reaper comes a-calling!

Let’s Collaborate!

Table of Contents

Related Studio Cards

Action
Cards

And Action!
Create a Hero’s Journey

Action Card #3: Create A Hero’s Journey!

QR Code for Action Card #3: Create A Hero’s Journey!
Collaboration Summary
Action Card #3 will challenge you develop your own Hero Journey storylines (based on concepts developed by Joseph Campbell) which you can use for own creative projects. You can also submit your Hero Journey storylines to us if you would like us to help further develop your ideas, and in some instances, include those storylines as part of Back of the Yards comic series.
Collaboration Background
At the heart of our project’s collaborative is the creation of Hero's Journey storylines. This all started as part of a supplemental art program in the West Side of Chicago where participating youth would help create the original characters of the Back of the Yards comic series, and with that, independent storylines for those characters, which we then synthesized into one integrated comic storyline. With this collaboration, we are simply trying to extend this same collaborative opportunity to others virtually.
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Andre Davis?

Character Card #1 – Andre Davis

QR Code for Character Card #1 – Andre Davis
Summary Traits
Andre is a young African American high school youth who suddenly obtains god-like superpowers through an encounter he has in an alley within his Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Andre is bright, inquisitive and self-reliant, always searching for the truth and a greater understanding of himself and others … but he may also be susceptible to the trappings of his newfound power …
Archetype
The Hero
Motto
“To dare is to do.”
Collaboration Background
Andre’s character was initially developed during the original Made Collaborative in-person classroom collaborations with youth in the fall and winter of 2013, as part of an after school program in the West-Side of Chicago.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Source
Cards

Law Enforcement
And Community Relations

Source Card #5: Law Enforcement and Community Relations

QR Code for Source Card #5: Law Enforcement and Community Relations
What
This collaborative series is a peek into the issues facing law enforcement and community relations within our urban communities.
When
We will begin Part I of this collaborative series with a snapshot of the early origins of modern day policing, setting the stage for a deeper dive into the present day issues in Part II of this series.
Who
This Source Card overview begins with a look at a man named Robert Peel who may not be a household name to many of us, but as it turns out, in many ways he may well be the founding father of today’s modern day police force as we know it.
Why
To facilitate a collaborative process that promotes just a little more understanding from all sides on a complicated set of issues facing our country’s urban centers. And along the way, with your help and input, incorporate some of these themes and issues into our Back of the Yards comic series.
Read more
Source
Cards

A Map of the
Hero’s Journey

Source Card #3 – A Map of the Hero’s Journey

QR Code for Source Card #3 – A Map of the Hero’s Journey
What
With this inaugural Made Collaborative Studio Card production we introduce you to, well, the Made Collaborative Studio and with that, we take a quick glimpse of the early origins of this project.
When
The Made Collaborative Studio began as a modest grass roots project started by a ragtag group of participating artists in Chicago and was designed to provide a unique collaborative opportunity for after school programs and participating youth from our urban communities.
Who
This Made Collaborative Studio project technically started over 10 years ago as only a kernel of an idea in the mind of the project’s founder on one of his many bus rides home and through much trial and error over the years, evolved into the Made Collaborative Studio virtual model that exists today.
Why
The Made Collaborative Studio was created to help promote creative thought and provide a unique (and free) collaborative experience for afterschool programs and participating youth alike.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Draymond Carter?

Character Card #8 – Draymond Carter?

QR Code for Character Card #8 – Draymond Carter?
Summary Traits
Draymond Carter is Russell Paterson’s fiery-tempered younger cousin. But the cousins are more like brothers ever since Russell moved in with his Auntie (Draymond’s mother).
Core Personality Traits & Values
Draymond’s extroverted and assertive personality is a stark contrast to Russell’s more gentle and introverted nature.
Primary Archetype
The Sidekick
Motto
“You're going to lose.”
Collaboration Background
Draymon was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Action
Cards

And Action!
Create an Illustration!

Action Card #4: Create an Illustration!

QR Code for Action Card #4: Create an Illustration!
Collaboration Summary
With this collaboration series, we will work with aspiring illustrators that may be interested in developing new illustrations that could ultimately be incorporated into our Back of the Yards comic series!
Collaboration Background
When we began this project, it was based on a simple premise that all of us have the ability to be creative. However, we also recognize that this creativity can come in many different forms and with that, some of you may actually be talented illustrators. So it is that with this Action Card collaboration series, we will present you with opportunities to submit your illustrations by providing you with possible comic scenes, newly developed characters and/or other comic settings to choose from, all updated regularly!
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Dex Coleman?

Character Card #7 – Dex Coleman

QR Code for Character Card #7 – Dex Coleman
Summary Traits
Dexter Coleman, or “Dex,” is one of the last of a previous generation of neighborhood troublemakers who are alive and not in prison. He’s gone (mostly) straight in his older years, trying his best to make amends for the bad deeds of his youth.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Dex is a wisecracker, a sharp dresser and a straight talker. Even though his moral compass has evolved over the years into that of a respectable citizen of Back of the Yards, he’s still known to indulge in a few vices.
Primary Archetype
The Rebel
Motto
“I ain’t got time for dreamin’. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
Collaboration Background
Dex was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Action
Cards

A Call to Action
Join the Hero’s Journey

Action Card #3: The Hero’s Journey (LK)

QR Code for Action Card #3: The Hero’s Journey (LK)
Collaboration Summary
Action Card #3 will challenge you to develop your own Hero Journey storylines (based on concepts developed by Joseph Campbell) which you can use for own creative projects. You can also submit your Hero Journey storylines to us if you would like us to help further develop your ideas, and in some instances, include those storylines as part of Back of the Yards comic series.
Collaboration Background
At the heart of our project’s collaborative is the creation of Hero's Journey storylines. This all started as part of a supplemental art program in the West Side of Chicago where participating youth would help create the original characters of the Back of the Yards comic series, and with that, independent storylines for those characters, which we then synthesized into one integrated comic storyline. With this collaboration, we are simply trying to extend this same collaborative opportunity to others virtually.
This & That
Action Card cover illustrated by Andrew Dimmett. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno, Len Kody and … you? Learn more on how by linking to the QR Code above.
Read more
Character
Cards

Who is…
Big Earl?

Character Card #5 – “Big” Earl Perkins

QR Code for Character Card #5 – “Big” Earl Perkins
Summary Traits
Big Earl is a big man with a big heart. Beloved by all in the neighborhood, everybody knows his name and has heard a story or two about this gentle giant.
Core Personality Traits & Values
Earl was the neighborhood football hero before an injury pushed him to the sidelines. And undiagnosed dyslexia prevented him for excelling in school. But Earl’s kind soul and balanced nature granted him resilience through life’s toughest struggles.
Primary Archetype
The Everyman
Motto
“If I didn’t get hurt, then I would never have found me.”
Collaboration Background
Big Earl was developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody in 2015 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more
Source
Cards

Neighborhoods
& Their Residents!

Source Card #4: Neighborhoods and Their Residents

QR Code for Source Card #4: Neighborhoods and Their Residents
What
With this Source Card collaborative production, we examine the unique characteristics of our urban neighborhoods, including their unique histories, events and residents.
When
We will examine past, present and future states of these neighborhoods in attempt to gain a better understanding of how these neighborhoods originally developed and evolved through the years.
Who
As part of this collaborative series, we will also examine the residents of these neighborhoods, including early immigrants to present day inhabitants, and their corresponding influence and impact to our urban communities.
Why
In order to more fully understand some of the complexities of our urban centers, we must understand their neighborhoods, including the evolution of those neighborhoods and their residents. And, of course, we plan to incorporate some of these related themes into our ongoing comic series, Back of the Yards, with your collaborations.
Read more
My Skill
Web Designer 50%