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Big Earl

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

Quick Introduction

The Funky Finger of Fate

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

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

How did Earl endure?

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

On the field, Earl was a champion. 

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

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

The Everyman

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

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

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

Let’s Collaborate!

A Straight and Narrow Path

In the early 1960’s, Big Earl Perkins felt like life was passing him by. 

 
It’s been a couple of years since he graduated high school, and all the promise of college football heroics have been dashed due to an unfortunate varsity injury. So, rather than go off to university, Earl stays in the neighborhood, stays out of trouble as best he can, and he tries to make a little money working security for a tow truck company.

Sometimes Trouble Finds You

But trouble has a way of finding you in Back of the Yards, especially when there’s a power struggle about to take place in the Southside of Chicago’s criminal underworld. The policy racket has been a long-established (if illegal) institution in the Black community. But now, the Italian mafia is seizing control of the racket. They’re upping the ante and raising the stakes. Alliances shift and bloody gang warfare breaks out.
 
Earl tries to walk the straight and narrow. But one dark and stormy night, Big Earl gets a call to back up a repo man for a job in a dangerous side of town… 

Let’s Collaborate!

A Made Collaborative Production

This Studio Card is part of the Back of the Yards comic series, a Creative Commons project developed by the Made Collaborative Studio. You can learn more about our Creative Commons license by visiting the Explore the Studio page, but in short, what this means is that as a Creative Commons project, you can copy, redistribute, remix, transform, and build upon the content for any purpose, even commercially, as long as you give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. And if you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license above.


If you’d like to explore the Back of the Yards comic further, you can see and access related Studio Cards below. And finally, you can also take a peek into our corresponding project board below, where you may find some of the collaborators tracking your input to our Studio Cards and related topics. Happy collaborating!

Table of Contents

Related Studio Cards

Law Enforcement
And Community Relations

Law Enforcement and Community Relations

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Summary
This Studio Card production part of the Back of the Yards comic series, a Creative Commons project produced by Made Collaborative. With this Studio Card production, we will begin to take peek into the issues facing law enforcement within our urban communities and with that, our hope is to build in these concepts and ongoing dialogue into our Creative Commons comic project, the Back of the Yards.
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

Who is…
Andre Davis?

Andre Davis

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

Action Card #4: Create an Illustration!

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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.
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Who is…
John Golden?

Who is John Golden?

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Summary Traits
John is a master illustrator who can take any transform any idea into illustrative magic. He is the owner of his own independent art studio, the Mortal Mirror Studio, and he was one of the early participating artists for Made Collaborative, his art featured in both Issues 1 and 2 of the Back of the Yards comic series.
Core Personality Traits & Values
John is smart, creative and always open for a new challenge. He hails from the great state of New York, moved to the windy city of Chicago, ending up where he is today in the mountain tops of Colorado, where he continues to apply his creativity to new creative projects. And if you'd like to collaborate with him, just hit the "Let's Collaborate" button on the left to start the conversation!
Archetype
The Magician
Motto
TBD
John's Projects
TBD
Debut
John started working with Jimmy Briseno and Manny Dominguez in the very early days of this Made Collaborative project back in 2014, during initial meetings with youth in the after school programs of Chicago.
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Who is…
Carl Castaneda?

Carl Castaneda

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

Carl Jung’s Character Archetypes

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

The Hero’s Journey – A Foundation for Story Telling

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Summary
This Studio Card production was developed by the Made Collaborative Studio as part of its comic series the Back of the Yards. With this Studio Card, we present you with a summary of the Hero's Journey, which is a framework that helped many to develop their own creative projects through the centuries and with that, it is our hope this summary may help participating youth with their own creative projects.
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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Who is…
Eric Nyamor?

Who is Eric Nyamor?

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Summary Traits
TBD
Core Personality Traits & Values
TBD
Archetype
The Magician
Motto
TBD
Collaboration Background
TBD
Debut
Eric started working with Jimmy Briseno and Manny Dominguez in the very early days of this Made Collaborative project back in 2014, during initial meetings with youth in the after school programs of Chicago.
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Who is…
Tamia Parker?

Tamia Parker

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Summary
Tamia Parker is a character developed as part of the Back of the Yards comic series, a Creative Commons project produced by Made Collaborative. 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
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My Skill
Web Designer 50%

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.

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