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

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.

Quick Introduction

Welcome to the adventure, fellow travellers. As we hope you’ll soon discover in the course of this Collaborative Series, stories and storytelling are an important part of our human existence. The natural, narrative flow of a story—from beginning, to middle, to end—seems to be part of our DNA. The stories we tell ourselves play a large role in how our brains make sense of the world.

Many stories throughout history and across cultures have followed the format of the “Hero’s Journey.” From Hamlet to Harry Potter, from Buddha to Spider-Man, the basic formula of the Hero’s Journey (and our intuitive, almost unconscious knowledge of it) appears to be universal across all humankind. That’s because, when you look closely, the Hero’s Journey isn’t just about how dreams and stories work. The Hero’s Journey is a roadmap for our lives, as well. That’s why stories are so important to us. It’s why some stories are so important they build nations, religions skyscrapers and cathedrals around them. 

Play Video

The Twelve Phases of the Hero’s Journey!

And so we begin sharing those concepts here, with this Studio Card Presentation, by giving you a broad overview of the 12 phases of the Hero’s Journey.  Joseph Campbell originally outlined 17 phases of the Hero’s Journey, but for our purposes, we will focus on the most recent iterations of the Hero’s Journey, which further distills the process into the 12 following phases:

Phase #1: The Ordinary World

The hero is introduced to us in their ordinary world. The mundane, ordinary world is presented in stark contrast with the “special world” that the hero will enter when they accept their quest.

In Spider-Man, Peter Parker is introduced as a regular, particularly nerdy teen in residential borough of Queens–quite the opposite of the New York-based superhero he becomes.

In our comic series, the “Ordinary World” is Back of the Yards, a fictionalized version of a real Chicago neighborhood with a community and a history all its own. Another of our collaborative projects about Neighborhoods and Their Residents deals exclusively with this aspect of the story.

Play Video

Phase #2: The Call to Adventure

This is the part of the story when there is an incident that essentially initiates the story by introducing our hero with a challenge or problem that their hero’s quest will seek to overcome.

In Star Wars, the call to adventure comes in the form of Princess Leia’s message, delivered by R2-D2, “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.

Our hero Andre hears a call to adventure the night he ascends a translucent staircase to a mysterious craft in a dark South Side alleyway.

Play Video

Phase #3: Refusal of the Call

The hero hesitates to accept the call to adventure. This could be because they don’t feel they have the skills to take on the quest or they don’t want to leave the life they know.

In The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Frodo is reluctant to leave his comfortable and familiar life in the Shire in order to face the unknown dangers that await him on his journey.

Play Video

Phase #4: Meeting The Mentor

The hero meets a wise, usually older, woman or man. The mentor guides the hero in gaining the supplies and knowledge needed to embark on the adventure. However, the mentor can only go so far with the hero.

In The Matrix, this is where Neo meets Morpheus, who tells him to take the red pill or the blue pill.

Mr. Casteneda is a mysterious mentor to creative young students of promise at New City High. Another of our collaborative projects will probe deeper into the intriguing background of this character.

Play Video

Phase #5: Crossing the Threshold!

The hero commits wholeheartedly to the adventure and integrates into the special world. There is no turning back from this point.  In Spider-Man, Peter crosses the threshold when he catches the thief who killed his Uncle Ben and realizes, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Play Video

Phase #6: Tests, Allies & Enemies

The hero explores the special world and faces trials, making friends and enemies along the way.  In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, this is the part where Harry adjusts to life in the Wizarding world, makes friends with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and becomes enemies with Draco Malfoy.  The hero explores the special world and faces trials, making friends and enemies along the way.

Play Video

Phase #7: The Innermost Cave

The hero draws closer to the center of the story and the special world. Often, this “innermost cave” is where the “object” or “elixir” of the quest is hidden. The object of the quest may be an actual treasure or a symbolic achievement.  The innermost cave takes the form of the Death Star in Star Wars; Luke and his companions must infiltrate the ship to save Leia.

Play Video

Phase #8: The Ordeal

The hero is pushed to the brink of death or loss and faces the greatest challenge yet. It is through this struggle that the hero experiences a process of death and rebirth (figuratively or literally).

In The Lion King, Simba’s ordeal means he must face the guilt he feels for his father’s death and reclaim his right to Pride Rock, which has been taken over by Scar.

 

 

Play Video

Phase #9: The Reward

The hero receives the boons of surviving death (figuratively or literally) and obtains the object of their quest. It’s often at this point that the hero has a love scene with their romantic interest and reconciles with their enemies.

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry passes the obstacles barring the Philosopher’s Stone and discovers that the stone has appeared in his pocket.

Play Video

Phase #10: The Return

The hero returns to the ordinary world or continues onward to an ultimate destination, but their trials aren’t over just yet. They are often pursued by a vengeful force that they must face.In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, this is where Gollum confronts Frodo at the ledge of the volcano and tries to take the Ring back from him.

Play Video

Phase #11: The Resurrection

The hero emerges from the special world fundamentally changed by their experiences.

In The Lion King, Simba learns the truth that it was Scar who orchestrated Mufasa’s death. Simba throws Scar off Pride Rock in order to reclaim his place as king.  

Play Video

Phase 12: The Return to Elixer

The hero brings with them the object of their quest, which they use to better the ordinary world in some way–whether it’s through knowledge, a cure, or some form of protection.

In The Matrix, armed with the knowledge of the truth, Neo delivers a message to the Matrix that he will save humanity.  

Play Video

Let’ s Collaborate!

Table of Contents

Related Studio Cards

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

Introducing Back of the Yards!
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.

A Quick Introduction

It doesn’t get more real than Back of the Yards, on the South Side of Chicago, when you’re growing up as a teen. It’s where fantasy and the power of story can build resilience, foster healing and lead to greater understanding. Based on the stories and experiences of real urban youth, the Made Collaborative Studio presents Back of the Yards, a story of gritty truth that’s beyond your wildest dreams.

A fictionalized version of the real Back of the Yards neighborhood serves as setting for the eponymous comic book series. Likewise, the stories and the characters themselves are based on the real lives and musings of Chicago youth. These stories were first conceived by students attending an after school arts program. They were collected by our main man, Jimmy Briseno, during Made Collaborative’s first round of urban outreach to inner-city schools. Jimmy had the bright idea to elevate these kids’ ideas in a way that few had contemplated before. By bringing professional comics artists and writers into the creative process, Jimmy hoped to validate the kids’ stories and experiences by weaving them together as the narrative threads of a real comic book series.

The result is a collaborative effort between artists and youth. It is the stuff of Back of the Yards’ first story arc: “Just Dreamin’.” But how, exactly, do kids’ ideas become comics pages? Read on.

 

First, A Prologue & Comic Series Origin Story

Before we jump into the actual development and related overview of the Back of the Yards comic series, we thought we’d start with a quick peak into how all of this first came about even prior to the comic itself – and be sure to expand to full screen (lower right hand corner within the window below) for the best reading experience… 

Back of the Yards Comic - The Early Development Process

By Len Kody

The magic of creativity begins with inspiration but it can only be sustained by unwavering dedication and tireless grinding. Project founder, Jimmy Briseno, has since recruited others to grind with him on the Made Collaborative journey (and we’re so glad he did!) but the journey began with him, all by himself, in front of a room full of kids all waiting for what he was going to say next.

It took a little coaxing, at first, to get things started, but once the kids caught the storytelling bug they were off and running. It only made sense to bring a small team of artists into the collaborative process to add greater depth and legitimacy to all that Jimmy had documented from his afterschool creative sessions with the youth.

Together—Jimmy, the artists and the youth—had refined and expanded upon a number of narrative threads. All of them fresh, original ideas from the kids, based on their lives and heightened by their favorite pop culture. Jimmy and his collaborators had compiled a “series bible,” of sorts, with model sheets, storyboards, descriptions of plot and characters. There were even some preliminary scripts that Jimmy had worked out with the youth.

It all amounted to the ingredients of a great comic book story. It had elements of romance, adventure and that all-too-elusive authenticity that came straight from the kids.But it wasn’t a comic book yet. Only the ingredients of one.

Telling a Story About Telling a Story

The first round of collaborations had produced a wide variety of narrative content. Which was wonderful. That’s exactly what the kids had been encouraged to do: tell whatever story they felt was worth telling. But it also presented a challenge in bringing all the disparate elements together into a harmonious whole. That was the challenge presented to the comics production team seeking to make “Back of Yards’” very much a reality.

An anthology of disconnected storylines would have been easier, but not nearly as engaging. We, on the comics production team, were inspired. We were inspired by the kids’ authentic, original stories and driven to produce something worthy of their courage. Because it takes courage to nurture the creative impulse and make something new in Chicago’s harsh urban environment. We wanted to reach a little higher.

But how?

Eureka!

We’d frame the Back of the Yards series in a context that mimics the one in which it was created! (Are you still with me?) In other words, the teenaged characters in kids’ stories would all go to the same school. And they would all be familiar with each other, too, because they are all part of the same afterschool arts program led by the same mysterious facilitator.

Introducing Carl Castaneda!

Presenting the comic book this way created two opportunities for the production team. First, it allowed us to incorporate elements of Made Collaborative’s amazing genesis into the comic itself. Because, as fascinating as the kids’ stories are, just as appealing is the story behind the story. That is, the story of the kids who created the stories.

On a deeper level, structuring Back of the Yards in this way forced the production team to search for the common themes influencing all the kids’ stories. They were by no means obvious. The stories ranged from heart-wrenchingly real to mind-blowingly fantastic. But the search, indeed, bore fruit, and it led us a journey starting on the Southside of Chicago and taking us to places beyond space and time.

So, how does a story of young love and betrayal connect to a story of secret chiefs from a higher dimension? How do the video game fantasies of two young cousins play into it? And how is the magic of creativity and storytelling somehow responsible?

Read on! …

 

Introducing Andre Davis! - A Young Man With Big Ideas

Andre is based on an intelligent and charismatic young man from Phase One of Made Collaborative’s youth outreach, and hence, he takes the lead role in our initial story arc of the Back of the Yards comic. Like the Chicago youth who inspired him, he is a curious and creative character, inclined to question, rather than take things at face value.

Andre finds himself the recipient of mysterious superpowers as a result of an amazing encounter with one of the inscrutable secret chiefs of all space and time. He learns that he has a certain mastery over the strange world that we all go to when we dream.

“You can make your dreams real,” he is told.

But, does that mastery carry over into the waking world, too? 

Moreover, what would Andre do with that kind of power?

In the dream dimension, Andre’s formidable intellect is given regal form when his whole essence is enhanced to resemble a lion-themed superhero with heightened powers of strength, agility and perception.

The question posed by the Back of the Yards comic story arc is whether Andre’s superhero adventures are simply an escapist power fantasy or a representation of his highest, truest self.  

And that’s just the start of the tale as Andre’s story will ultimately become intertwined with Tamia’s story of first love and betrayal …  

And Our Comic’s Heroine Tamia Parker! - A Story of Betrayal & Empowerment

The Back of the Yards comic character of Tamia Parker was also 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.

Tamia’s story is surely relatable, but it’s also based on the true-life experiences reported to us by participating urban youth. And, like many of the kids in our program, Tamia turns to creativity as both an outlet and an escape from her daily struggles. She is an avid artist and journaler. Her perspective gives the story emotional depth and balance.

Tamia is a powerful young woman still in search of her voice. Will she ever realize the heights of her potential or will she continue to be stifled by those who seek to take advantage of her?

In the dream dimension, Tamia’s efforts to find her own voice are personified by a tiny fairy with a siren call that reaches beyond the boundaries of linear time. Her potential is great, but still not fully realized, as the fairy form she inhabits is small, undeveloped and not yet a true agent in her own destiny. 

She has a special relationship with Russell, who can summon her for help when both of them are dreaming. The depth and the nature of this creative connection is yet to be explored in the pages of Back of the Yards. 

 

The Young Cousins - Russell & Draymond!

Cousins Russell and Draymond share a fraternal bond that is cemented by the fantastic world they both share. It’s a world inspired by the manga and video games so popular in today’s youth culture. The stories they create make them feel powerful when they are so often made to feel powerless by neighborhood bullies and other stressors.

Many of our Phase One participating youth had similarly intricate imaginary worlds, worlds they would create with others. Made Collaborative has provided a structured outlet for these stories and we’ve developed them into real comic books with the help of professional artists and writers.  

In the dream dimension, Russell and Draymond are Teshue and Shiro, powerful ninjas forever locked in mortal combat. They collaborate on an intricate storyline that incorporates both elements of the real world and the dream dimension. Their imagination is powerful, but, unlike Andre’s abilities, their shared narrative is not yet “self-aware” enough to have evolved beyond the potential for escape.

Give them time. They’re still young. 

Interestingly, Teshue, Russell’s alter ego, is capable of summoning Tamia’s fairy from for assistance. But the process is difficult for Russell to master. And since the fairy has a developing will of her own, she isn’t always helpful to Russell. At not helpful in ways that are immediately obvious. 

The Mysterious Lynchpin that Connects Them All - Mr. Carl Castaneda!

And as we previously described, to tie all of the youth characters together as part of a common comic story narrative, we developed the character of Carl Castaneda.

Mr. Castaneda, that is.

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.  And from there, a special bond between Andre and Mr. Castaneda begins formation from which we will build through future collaborations with participating youth.

And Last But Certainly Not Least, the Bedrock of the Neighborhood - The Elders!

And last but certainly not least, central to the Back of the Yards comic narrative are the Elders.  Created by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody to help provide further context for both the fictional Back of the Yards fictional neighborhood and the younger comic characters, the Elders are 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, 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 pageantry. 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.

 

Read Issue #1!

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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

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
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
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

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…
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…
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
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
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 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

Source Card #4: Neighborhoods and Their Residents

Neighborhoods & 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.

A Quick Introduction

Ahh, Chicago.  A city of neighborhoods as diverse as the residents that inhabit the city.  And I would see many of those neighborhoods and residents when I first started this project taking those bus rides to and from those early after school collaborations.  

And it is that tapestry of people, personalities and life experiences that makes every city special.  The food they serve and eat.  The history that betrays itself through each neighborhood’s architecture. The people and their journeys, both personal and ancestral.

And it’s in that context that we wanted to facilitate this Studio Card collaborative series, Neighborhoods and Their Residents, working with urban youth to create comic content for our Back of the Yards comic series based on some of the unique characteristics of our urban neighborhoods, especially given that the participating youth are often at the very heart of those urban neighborhoods.

Within this collaboration series, we will examine different urban neigborhoods throughout America with a look into their residents, their histories and culture.  And with that context, perhaps there’s no better place to start this neighborhood collaborative series with a quick look into the real neighborhood that inspired our comic series’ name, the Back of the Yards

 

The Real Back of the Yards Neighborhood!

The real Back of the Yards neighborhood extends from 39th to 55th Streets between Halsted and the railroad tracks along Leavitt Street in Chicago, and was until the 1950’s the largest livestock yards and meatpacking center in the country.  Attracting the attention of novelists and activists alike through much of the 20th century.

And in many ways, the real Back of the Yards neighborhood is symbolic of so many of our nation’s urban centers. An influx of European immigrants looking for a better life, back when manufacturing jobs were plentiful.  Followed closely by an influx of African-American migrants from the rural South.  All creating a vibrant melting pot of cultures unique to our nation’s great urban centers.

But, of course, those once plentiful jobs would soon begin to disappear due to economic forces beyond the control of those early residents.  Steel would leave Cleveland.  The auto industry would soon begin to abandon Detroit.  A general exodus of manufacturing from Baltimore.  It was just a different version of the same story for many of our nation’s urban centers.  

And in the Back of the Yards’ case, it was the stockyards that would leave Chicago, leaving behind economic strain for those who could not also depart to the suburbs or elsewhere.  And with that brief introduction to the real Back of the Yards neighborhood in mind, we thought we’d share with a quick video …

Play Video

A Short Comic Feature

We originally created the following little comic feature on the “real” Back of the Yards shortly after selecting Back of the Yards as the fictional setting for our comic series, the first of what we hope to be many more with your collaborations.  

And with that, we plan to do many more short comic features based on the neighborhoods of other participating youth as part of this ongoing Neighborhoods & Their Residents collaborative Studio Card series.  In our minds, you can’t really tell any comic story that set in an urban community without capturing some of the underlying elements and history of its neighborhood setting.  In many ways, the neighborhood is as important as any comic character.

So it was in that context we decided to put together a quick comic feature.  The writer for this comic feature is Len Kody, and the illustrator is Dan Dougherty.  Both very talented artists who have been early participants for this collaborative project.  

So, without further ado, just click to read the feature!

 

Chicago - A City of Neighborhoods

Before we conclude our tale about the Great Lager Riot of 1855, we thought we’d take a quick moment to appreciate just how far that little trading post town called Chicago has evolved. This video is truly eye opening in that regard as we follow drone footage hovering over this modern day metropolis that emerged from this not all that long ago:

Play Video

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

 

The Lager Riot of 1855

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Let’ s Collaborate!

Table of Contents

Related Studio Cards

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…
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

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

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
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…
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
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
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
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 Card #5: Law Enforcement and Community Relations

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.

Quick Introduction

First, a Quick Introduction and Origin Story About a Guy Name Robert Peel

Robert Peel

With this Source Card collaboration, we will be covering various topics related to law enforcement & community relations, together with your input. We’ll start this ongoing collaboration with a peek at the origins of our modern police forces, eventually transitioning to some of the many challenges our police forces face today, and then focus on the impact of those challenges within our black and brown communities in particular.    

And as we cover these various topics, we will invite you to the same, either on your own or collaboratively with others.  And we hope to not only collaborate with urban youth and their academic administrators, but also other subject matters experts along the way, and perhaps no more important in that regard than those on the very front lines we speak of, our police officers.

That’s the hope anyway.  But we’ll see exactly where this collaboration goes together.  For now, we’ll simply kick things off with a peak into the origins of the modern day police force.  

And as turns out, that tale starts with some guy named Robert Peel.  Who, you ask?  Well just turn the pages below we’ll dive right into it.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Play Video

From Peel to Modern Day Realities

Ahh, our man Peel.  Just what would he be thinking if he were alive today?

 

Of course, to say a lot has changed since Robert Peel’s day would be like saying a lot has changed for us generally over the last year.  Just a bit of an understatement.

In Peel’s day, the newly formed police (nicknamed “Bobbies” in honor of our man Robert Peel) would patrol metropolitan areas carrying only wooden batons and their most common encounters would be drunkenness and street fighting, with the hope all along that their mere presence would significantly reduce such crimes.

So, for some further context, here’s a list of some innovations developed since Peel’s day:

  • The electric motor
  • Color Photography
  • The incandescent light bulb
  • The zipper (very underrated)
  • Plastic (also on a related note, and perhaps more importantly, Legos)
  • Dynamite
  • Radio
  • TV
  • The automobile
  • Airplanes
  • Helicopters
  • Rockets!

Yes, indeed, lots of innovation since Peel’s day.  Which unfortunately brings us to some of the more somber realities of today.  In parallel with this modern day innovation, crime has seemed to evolve just as rapidly. In contrast to the Bobbies of Peel’s day, police officers of today must deal with a wide array of violent crime, and this is particularly true within our urban centers.

Violence in our Cities

In the summer of 2020, total Chicago shootings that July were at a 75% increase as compared to previous July.  And as I write this blog entry, just over the last weekend alone here in Chicago, at least 49 people were shot, seven fatally.

Violence in our cities is nothing new.  And to be fair, the fact of the matter is that violent crime within the United States has actually been on a steady decline over the last 15 years.  But that shouldn’t in any way diminish the very real challenges within our urban centers today, as further evidenced by a murder rate that was up 16.1 percent in America’s 25 largest cities in 2020.

And it is this volatility that police officers walk right into the front lines every day.  As Chicago’s former superintendent David Brown put it just after a shooting of 3 Chicago officers, “when they leave home, they leave their loved ones and put their stars on and risk everything.  They risk everything protecting us all.”

And the danger our police officers face every day is just part of the story.  As we will begin to cover more as this collaboration develops, in his book To Protect and Serve, author and former police chief Norm Stamper describes an environment for police that is entrenched in pressures to produce “numbers.”

“Numbers” often in the form of revenue.  Moving violations.  Speeding.  Running a red light.  This is particularly true in cities that have stressed budgets.  As Stamper describes it, there was no “quota” system per se, but the pressures from above are nonetheless very real.

 

Systematic Pressures on All Sides

All of this exacerbated by modern day drug enforcement laws that the police are, of course, further tasked to enforce on the front lines.

All of which tends to put our officers in the position where they must “produce” in order to comply with their job requirements, but in so doing, often an adversarial relationship is collectively formed within the very same communities they are assigned to patrol and protect.

 

In his book Justice Without Trial, Law Enforcement in Democratic Society (1967, latest edition 2015), sociologist Jerome Skolnick maintains that any job description that calls upon a person to exercise decision-making authority in the face of physical danger may simply be asking too much of the practitioner.

Combine that danger with the systematic pressures police officers feel from above and from within, it would seem to be a wholly undeniable understatement to say that the job of a police officer is a profoundly difficult one.

But as we will try to further explore as this collaboration develops, the same systematic pressures that our police officers feel from above and within, as they also put their lives on the line daily, may also be contributing to the widely disproportionately negative impacts within our black and brown communities that exist today, which are equally undeniable.

And from there, we will pick up this Source Card collaboration to learn more about this pressures and related issues together with you starting with the “Let’s Collaborate” section below, with the hope that we will be able to incorporate what we learn over time into the Back of the Yards comic.

Let’ s Collaborate!

Table of Contents

Related Studio Cards

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
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

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
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…
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

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
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
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
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

Source Card #2 – Character Archetypes

Carl Jung's 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.

Quick Introduction

Sometimes dreams are bizarre. Some dreams are scary. Others are downright silly. Most of the time, your dreams don’t have anything to say that is especially deep or profound. They simply echo your everyday experiences.

But Dr. Carl Gustav Jung was a 20th-century Swiss psychologist who thought that dreams had something more to tell us. He explored the hidden and mysterious aspects of the mind and found that some dreams are energized by timeless motifs that have echoes in art, poetry and music throughout all human existence. These dreams may hold intriguing new insights into life and the world, Jung believed, because they come from the “collective unconscious.”

The collective unconscious is bigger and more fundamental than the mind of any single individual; it is the profound and timeless wisdom that all humans share. But, because our waking minds aren’t able to directly communicate with the collective unconscious, it will sometimes send us unexpected signs and signals in our dreams.

When you decode the images in these important dreams you may find yourself the beneficiary of some new or hidden knowledge. In the classic cases of these instances, prophetic dreamers will receive esoteric knowledge that can help their community through a coming crisis.

With this Source Card production, we will provide you an overview of each of the 12 primary character archetypes, starting with The Hero. 

 

The Hero

Motto:
“I will achieve my goal.”
The Hero is the one the story is usually about. Some modern narratives have attempted to subvert this eternal expectation by featuring a villain or even side characters as the story’s main character. But even these “exceptions” must embrace a protagonist, and, practically speaking, a protagonist and the “Hero” are pretty much the same things. The Hero is the central figure of the story’s action and drama. The Hero has a problem to solve, or (very often) many problems. We will learn about the “Hero’s Journey” in the coming collaborations. 
The Hero’s Journey describes the different stages a Hero must be initiated through to achieve his or her ultimate goal. Heroes are easy to find in the stories and media you regularly consume, from superhero summer blockbusters featuring Marvel’s Avengers to more realistic dramas, like Selma, about the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by Martin Luther King Jr. Heroes are the classic initiators of change in both history and mythology. The Hero transforms their world and will usually go through a personal transformation, as well.
Play Video

The Mentor

Motto:
“I will guide and teach.”
The Mentor fulfills a very important role in the story (and in real life, for that matter). A Mentor is a wise old teacher or a guide whom many aspiring Heroes first encounter early in their journey, right before they cross the foreboding threshold into a strange new world of adventure. The Mentor provides motivation, insights and training to help the Hero overcome his or her doubts and fears. The Mentor prepares the Hero for the dangerous road ahead. The Hero may learn a new skill from his or her Mentor, or receive a magical gift. 
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda were both mentors to Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars Trilogy. Obi-Wan gave Luke his lightsabre and taught him how to use it. Later, Yoda teaches Luke how to further develop his mystical connection to the force. The Mentor role can change as the needs of the story and the characters change. The Mentor may have once been a Hero in another time or context. For instance, in many Marvel movies, Tony Stark (Iron Man) is Peter Parker’s (Spider-Man) Mentor, but Tony is also the Hero and protagonist in many Avengers movies.
Play Video

The Ruler

Motto:
“I will achieve my goal.”

The Ruler is also known as the King, the Queen, the Guardian, the Politician, etc. All of the archetypes go by many names because the simple and intuitive roles they describe belie significant complexity. Like real people, the archetypes of the unconscious contain both light and dark energy.

At their best, a Ruler provides structure and protection against the creeping threat of chaos and anarchy. But when does one’s quest for power make him or her a tyrant? At their worst, the Ruler’s “structure” is simply a prison. So you see that the Ruler especially, along with all the archetypes of the unconscious, has both good and bad aspects to them. Whichever aspects of the Ruler are manifest in a given story or situation depends a lot on context and the character that happens to be inhabiting the Ruler role at the time. 

Much of the resistance the Hero first encounters when they leave the familiar behind frequently comes in the form of institutional “red tape,” close-minded laws or irrational traditions. In fact, as part of their initial heroic baptism, the Hero might find his or herself having to take a stand against a corrupt Ruler, government or philosophy that defines the boundaries of the Ordinary World. 

In this way, Robin Hood classically combats the tyrannical Sheriff of Nottingham when the dashing archer and his Merrie Men rob from the rich and give to the poor on their quest to undermine the political and economic inequalities of their day. King Arthur, on the other hand, eventually became the Ruler as part of his Heroic Journey. A big theme of the Arthurian legends was Arthur’s quest to unite the feuding powers of medieval Britain to create a peaceful and stable homeland for his people. In some stories, the Hero rises to become Ruler but is eventually corrupted by that power. 

Play Video

The Explorer

Motto:
“What's That Over There?”

The Explorer wants to see the world! If every story is a journey of some sort, the Explorer embodies the willingness—nay, the eagerness—to seek the novel, the exotic and the intriguingly unfamiliar.

In life, dreams and in stories, characters are constantly changing roles, archetypes are always exchanging masks. If the Hero crosses paths with the Explorer, the Explorer may provide the Hero with some helpful information from the wider world, thus becoming a Mentor and guide. The Explorer’s wanderlust may be what sends him or her on a journey in the first place, across the threshold of adventure; thus the Explorer may become a Hero, in some cases. On the other hand, the lonely life of the Explorer may make them a permanent misfit, never at home wherever he goes. This makes the Explorer quite different than a Hero, depending on your perspective, because heroes are usually a champion of a particular community. 

In 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first human being to ever set foot on the moon. He eventually returned, of course. But, in that “one small step” he took onto the cold and distant lunar surface, he embodied the spirit of the Explorer for the 20th century. 

Renowned Explorer - Matthew Hanson (Click on the Image to Learn More)

The Dreamer

Motto:
“I have the faith of a child.”

All of us were innocent Dreamers once. As we learn the ways of the world and become wiser, there is something that is lost, too. 

The Dreamer experiences the world as we all did when we were wide-eyed children, when everything was still charged by the electric fairy dust of imagination. The Dreamer believes in a world beyond the one we can see. To some, these innocent young cherubs might seem very detached from the real world. The Dreamer can be incredibly naive. However, they do serve to constantly remind us (and possibly remind the Hero, as well) that paradise awaits at the end of the Journey when our present struggles have reached their conclusion. 

Even if their childish aphorisms are ultimately untrue, they’re worth fighting for. So, the Dreamer often reminds the Hero what he or she is fighting for. The Dreamer can be a focal point for all the transformative potential that transcends the restrictive structures of the Ordinary World, making them the stewards of some very potent energies, indeed. 

The adorable and innocent Baby Yoda character from the Mandalorian show is a good example of a Dreamer character. The show’s rugged protagonist fights to defend the green infant who unwittingly commands the powerful force.  And yet another Dreamer is a man named Tucker …

Play Video

The Rebel

Nelson Mandela
Motto:
“Rules are for fools.”

The rebel wants to change the world by tearing down the status quo. Many of the other archetypes have a strained relationship with “the ordinary world” that often sets the scene for dramatic changes and amazing journeys later in the story: the Hero, the Creator, the Explorer, etc. What distinguishes the Rebel from similar archetypes is his or her fiery passion for immediate change and their willingness to engage in disruptive, even destructive behavior in order to achieve their goals.

Whether you view a Rebel character as either good or evil depends a lot on your perspective—one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter. Many criminals engage in Rebel-like behavior when they break the law to advance their own agenda. Entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs, have a rebellious streak in them too, because they defy expectations and subvert conventions that would otherwise restrict innovation and creativity in their industry—that’s why Apple’s slogan is “Think Different.”

Civil rights leaders and activists must all be Rebels, too, because they are trying to topple the established structures of institutional racism.   


Play Video

The Magician

Motto:
“I will manifest my own destiny”

The Magician is the master of the universe. He or she is sometimes depicted with the forces of nature bending to their will. Also known as the Wizard, the Visionary or the Healer, we see these Shaman characters in fiction and in real life. 

The founders of the great Silicon Valley tech giants are often spoken of in the same terms as Wizards and Magicians—they imagined a different way of doing things and, using the mastery over occult forces (computer technology, in this case) they made those dreams a physical reality. Today, we are truly living in a world that was first dreamt of by Steve Jobs and the Google brain trust. 

In fantasy stories, like the Lord of the Rings, the Magician role is inhabited by a literal Wizard. Gandalf guides the journeys of his hobbit allies, also taking on the role of Mentor, on occasion. Some see the Magician as the inevitable conclusion of the Hero’s Journey, a journey which we’ll discuss in detail later. As the Hero is transformed through his or her trials of initiation, they transcend the boundaries of crude duality and basic conflict. 

Unlike the Hero, the Magician’s will is in accord with the will of the greater universe, and so they seek win-win solutions that dissolve differences rather than getting bound up in all that antagonistic tension. The Magician is sometimes the Hero’s shadow companion, using their unique talents to support the Hero’s crusade, as Merlin did with King Arthur.

The Trickster

Motto:
"Why so serious?”

There is a great tradition of comedy in American culture. We celebrate the Trickster because of his ability to speak truth to power and to turn expectations on their head. Also known as the Jester, the Joker, the Comedian or the Disruptor, this character does more than make us laugh. 

The Trickster brashly points out the unseen absurdities that govern all our lives. These absurdities are unseen because most “normal folks” are either unable or unwilling to acknowledge any incongruities in their boring existence until the Trickster’s cutting quips make them impossible to ignore. The classic observational comedy of Jerry Seinfeld is so fondly remembered for taking the mundane silliness of day-to-day life—things like airplane peanuts, searching for parking and going to a restaurant—and presenting them in a humorous way that makes us see the preposterous assumptions we make all the time. Comedians like Richard Prior and Dave Chapelle spotlight institutional racial injustices in a similar way. They challenged the invisible and unspeakable mechanisms of racism operating in every aspect of our society by making them look stupid (which they are). 

With their ability to help others see beyond the various veils of illusion, the Trickster often provides welcome “comic relief” in many movies and TV shows. They are the goofy friend or sidekick who release the pent-up tension of the pulse-pounding action and heart-rending drama with a few well-timed jokes. Trickster-Heroes like Deadpool use humor to outwit their opponents and confuse their rivals. Trickster-Villains like the Joker are a colorful contrast to absolute, black and white, law and order represented by Batman’s single-minded quest for vengeance.

Play Video

The Sidekick

Motto:
“I am at at my best when I'm with you.”

The “Sidekick” archetype is traditionally known as “the Lover,” but the “love” alluded to in this role can encompass many varieties of companionship. The Lover may literally be an intimate associate of the Hero, like a spouse or romantic partner. This role may also be inhabited by a dear friend or close associate to the protagonist. 

Robin is Batman’s Sidekick because they fight crime together. They share a mutual affection, admiration and respect for one another along with whatever professional bonds they’ve developed in the course of their superhero duties. The classic love shared between Romeo and Juliet certainly fulfills our expectations of the Lover role more closely. Even though it was forbidden by their feuding families, Romeo and Juliet’s flaming passion continued to develop until the two could not live without each other. They chose to squelch their own lives rather than live without each other. 

And therein lies the weakness of the Sidekick archetype. At his or her best, the Sidekick supports the Hero through the inevitable trials of the Journey. At their worst, the Sidekick can develop a self-destructive codependency as a result of their attachment to the Hero.

Play Video

The Caregiver

Motto:
“I will take care of you.”

The Caregiver can be a parent or an especially caring mother figure or father figure. More than a mere teacher (as the Mentor is), the Caregiver is a source of unconditional love and support. As such, the Caregiver often plays a vital role in the emotional stakes of a story. They personify the warm, loving feelings that are associated with home, which can motivate the Hero and in the last, most difficult steps of his or her Journey. 

The untimely passing of a Caregiver also lends energy to the narrative and may become a memorable inflection point in the development of a particular character. Batman and Spider-Man both lost important Caregivers as part of their tragic origin stories.

When taken to a dark extreme, the Caregiver role can become distorted into an overbearing, tyrannical figure that stands as an obstacle in the path of the Hero’s personal development. Who can forget when Darth Vader uttered the memorable words “I am your father” at the surprise ending of Return of the Jedi? In that moment, Vader became more than just a political adversary to the young Jedi, Luke Skywalker, and his newfound friends in the Rebellion. As a Caregiver gone bad, Darth lends frightful immanence and palpable peril to Luke’s internal struggle to come to terms with his own enigmatic past. 

Elsewhere in the Star Wars universe, on the popular Mandalorian TV show, we see an armored, gun-slinging bounty hunter become an unlikely Caregiver when he chooses to double-cross his client and instead save a strange, green, pointy-eared baby Yoda from being kidnapped by the mad doctors of the Galactic Empire.   

 

Play Video

The Everyperson

Motto:
“I like to keep it real.”

The Everyperson represents all that we have in common as fellow travelers through the human experience. They are the down-to-earth, “regular guy” or “girl next door” that does not have and great wealth or impressive power… and they don’t want then, either. That’s because the Everyperson is extremely fair. They are guided by a highly developed (though very conventional) moral code that stresses equality for all members of their community.

The Everyperson doesn’t appreciate it when either prejudice or privilege causes somebody to be treated unfairly. So, they sometimes find themselves as the unlikely champion of the oppressed. In these instances, the Everyperson moves towards the role of Hero not to seek glory or to revel in the glory of battle, but merely to set right the imbalances that would rob somebody of their basic human dignity. 

Frequently, politicians take on manners of speech and dress that make them appear like a “regular guy” because people tend to trust the mild-mannered ways of the Everyperson. As bespectacled reporter, Clark Kent, Superman pretends to be an Everyman when he moves about the crowds of Metropolis so that nobody suspects that he is a flying god from another planet.  

 

The Creator

Motto:
“I am master of my craft.”

Alternately known as the Artist, the Inventor, the Author and the Master of the Craft, this archetype is a visionary with the skills and the drive to make their vision a reality. Characters who inhabit the 

Creator archetypes may take on other roles, as well. Pablo Picasso was an artist with a unique perspective on the world who took a very distinctive approach to his art. He was a consummate Creator but parts of his story read like the Hero’s Journey as well. When Picasso started his career, all painting aspired to emulate real life as closely as possible. But, Picasso was on the vanguard of a sweeping change in art and expression in the 20th century. He and other brave “Heroes” like him had to leave familiar forms of expression behind as old-fashioned portraits and landscape paintings frankly became obsolete when the photographic technology had advanced enough to replace them. Like the Explorer, Picasso probed new aesthetic approaches and discovered a completely original, innovative, abstract approach to painting that presented drama and emotion in a way that does not compete with the camera’s lens. 

The Creator can also take on the roles of Sidekick, Magician or Trickster in your story, depending on what the scene requires. The Creator archetype is a popular one in movies and books because it provides an interesting opportunity to tell a story about telling a story. “Making of” documentaries and “Behind the Scenes” features capitalize on this same curiosity to see the Creator at work. 

Play Video

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
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
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
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…
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
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…
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

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
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.
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