In this project, you will use the “Hero’s Journey” template to create characters and story elements based the dreams and real lives of participating urban youth. We will work with urban youth to use these elements to generate original story content, together with other collaborative group partners. Finally, alone or in a group, we work with urban youth to render all or some aspect of your Hero’s Journey story in sequential, comic format.
These comic book stories may be featured on the Made Collaborative website and also serve as inspiration for characters and plot twists yet to be revealed in the Back of the Yards comic book, starting with Issue 3!
With this exciting collaboration, we will undertake the following:
- In a “game board” format, create the circular sequence of the Hero’s Journey flowchart (detailed below).
- Create a “journey card” for each stage of the Hero’s Journey. Think of it like a baseball card, with a picture on the front and writing on the back.
- Illustrate a moment from a dream or from real life that best correlates with that moment. If you cannot think of one, use an example from a recent book or movie.
- Create a “hero card” for each of the character archetypes (described below).
- For each character archetype, portray a character from your dreams or from real life who you think best matches the character archetype. If you cannot think of one, use an example from a recent book or movie.
- Lay your journey cards and hero cards out on the journey board to create the outline of a story (see below).
- NEXT LEVEL: Join with one or more collaborative group members. Shuffle your hero cards and journey cards together. See what kind of story you outline when multiple people contribute characters and plot twists.
- Begin comics production…
Collaboration References and Background
- Intro Blog: [LINK TO THE TOP LEVEL INTRO WITH THE B.O.Y. SUMMARY (ISSUES 1 THROUGH 3) AND ITS CONNECTION TO THIS TOPIC, DREAMS AND HERO’S JOURNEY, INCLUDING THE JUNG STUFF AND ANY OTHER USEFUL CONTEXT TO HELP SET UP THIS COLLABORATION TEMPLATE]
- [ALSO, MAYBE PROVIDE LINKS TO OTHER JUNG + HEROS JOURNEY REFERENCES HERE]
- Summary of the Hero’s Journal Model, as follows:
The Stages of the Hero’s Journey
All stories consist of common structural elements of Stages found universally in myths, fairy tales, dreams and movies. These twelve Stages compose the Hero’s Journey. What follows is a simple overview of each stage, illustrating basic characteristics and functions.
The Ordinary World v. The Special World
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.
Every story involves a problem or Central Dramatic Question that disrupts the Ordinary World. The Hero must enter the Special World to solve the problem, answer the dramatic question, and return balance. The Ordinary World allows the storyteller to contrast the Ordinary and Special worlds. The Ordinary World is the Hero’s home, the safe haven upon which the Special World and the Journey’s outcome must be compared. Areas of contrast may include the Special World’s physical and emotional characteristics, its rules and inhabitants, as well as the Hero’s actions and growth while traveling through this Special World.
The Call to Adventure
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.
The Call to Adventure sets the story rolling by disrupting the comfort of the Hero’s Ordinary World, presenting a challenge or quest that must be undertaken. The Call throws the Ordinary World off balance, and establishes the stakes involved if the challenge is rejected.
Meeting the Mentor
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. The Hero Meets a Mentor to gain confidence, insight, advice, training, or magical gifts to overcome the initial fears and face the threshold of the adventure. A Hero may not wish to rush into a Special World blindly and, therefore, seeks the experience and wisdom of someone who has been there before. This Mentor has survived to provide the essential lessons and training needed to better face the Journey’s Tests and Ordeals. The Mentor may be a physical person, or an object such as a map, a logbook or hieroglyphics.
Tests, Allies and Enemies
In Back of the Yards, our heroes are not on their journey alone. Tamia and Russell are also experiencing strange phenomena related to their dreams. And who knows what other allies may make themselves known?
Will the wise old Elders, with their poignant pickle barrel commentary out front of Koz’s general store, have some significant role to play? Another collaborative project will explore the Elders more fully. More characters are coming, too.
What will Andre’s encounters with local law enforcement be like? Having crossed the Threshold, the Hero faces Tests, encounters Allies, confronts Enemies, and learns the rules of the Special World. This Stage is important for Hero and Audience alike. Whether entering the imaginary world of a future society or the emotional realm of romantic love, the Test Stage is our first look at the Special World and how its conditions and inhabitants contrast with the Hero’s Ordinary World.
The Hero needs to find out who can be trusted. Allies are earned, a Sidekick may join up, or an entire Hero Team forged. Enemies and Villains are encountered. A Rival to the Hero’s goal may reveal himself. The Hero must prepare himself for the greater Ordeals yet to come and needs this Stage to Test his skillsn and powers, or perhaps seek further training from the Mentor. This Initiation into the Special World also Tests the Hero’s commitment to the Journey, and questions whether he can succeed.
Archetypes describe the function or role a character plays in a story. Think of the Archetype as a mask a character wears in a particular scene. One character may serve primarily as the Mentor of a tale, wearing that single mask for the majority of the Journey. But just as we play many roles in our lifetime, or even change masks in a given day, a story’s characters have the potential to wear any of the Archetypal masks depending upon the demands of the story. Obi Wan Kenobi is the Mentor throughout Star Wars, and yet he must wear the Hero’s mask and sacrifice himself to Darth Vader in order to allow Luke to escape with the princess.
“to serve and sacrifice”
The Hero is our protagonist, or central character, whose primary purpose is to separate from the ordinary World and sacrifice himself for the service of the Journey at hand-to answer the challenge, complete the quest and restore the Ordinary World’s balance. The Hero’s Journey may be a challenge of personal growth: to win a competition, to heal a wound, or to find love. Heroes may also need to answer Calls to Adventure where physical lives and even the fate of the world are at stake. These Heroes must learn to accept the sacrifice of life and limb for the service of others.
An essential Archetype, the Mentor provides motivation, insights and training to help the Hero overcome his doubts and fears and prepare for the Journey. Often the Mentor has traveled the road before and can provide needed guidance to a Hero who is reluctant to face the unknown. If the Hero proves his commitment, the Mentor may reward him with magical gifts (a weapon, clothing, piece of advice, or a key) that will help him on the Journey ahead. The Mentor might present a powerful magical gift to lure the Hero to accept the challenge
Threshold Guardians protect the Special World and its secrets from the Hero, and provide essential tests to prove a Hero’s commitment and worth. The Hero must bypass these obstacles, and use any method available: ignoring, outwitting, overcoming, appeasing, or befriending.
Every collaboration we facilitate will follow the general process outlined below, with perhaps just slight variations depending on the subject matter or scope. And all such collaborations will be primarily facilitated via the Made Collaborative Facebook Workplace site (you can find out more about Workplace here.)
Develop the Template Manuscript
First, we will further research the topic (in this case “Dreams and the Hero’s Journey” based on the collaborative background provided above), brainstorm together, and begin to develop a basic manuscript/outline for the comic feature topic.
Solicit and Engage Artist & Writer Team
Once the manuscript is developed, we will solicit and engage a team of artists together and begin preliminary work, including concept sketches and further story development.
Develop Budget and Secure Funding
Once the manuscript is developed and the artist team is recruited, along with some preliminary work developed, we will develop a more definitive budget for the project and secure funding (either through a targeted crowdfunding campaign, or self-funded depending on the specific collaboration).
Once funding is secured, we will work together to bring the collaboration to life, with continuous input from the youth and other collaborators via the Workplace site and supplemented by Zoom calls when necessary.
Once completed, we will immediately publish on this website and in a future comic issue.
Collaboration Updates & Other Notes
This Collaboration will be available to any and all participants of the project! And we will post collaborative updates here for each one of those as they develop right up until publication.