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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

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The Lager Riot of 1855

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Let’ s Collaborate!

Table of Contents

Related Studio Cards

Action
Cards

A Call to Action
Join the Hero’s Journey

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

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

Who is…
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

Law Enforcement
And Community Relations

Source Card #5: Law Enforcement and Community Relations

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

Who is…
Dex Coleman?

Character Card #7 – Dex Coleman

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

Who is…
Carl Castaneda?

Character Card #4 – Carl Castaneda

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 a Character!

Action Card #2: Create A Character!

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

Who is…
Draymond Carter?

Character Card #8 – Draymond Carter?

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

Who is…
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…
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

Submit Your Artwork

Collaborate with professional artists by contributing some artwork of your own! Some special pieces may be selected to appear in the Back of the Yards comic book.

UPLOAD YOUR IMAGES BELOW