This set of comic collaborations is part of an ongoing Made Collaborative series: Law Enforcement & Community Relations. With this set of comic collaborations, we will be working with youth from an interested after school program to develop three related comic collaborations described below. These collaborations will draw upon the “A Man Named Peel and His Vision” blog and the introductory blog to this collaborative series as reference points, and all resulting collaborations will be incorporated and published within the Back of the Yards comic series starting with the upcoming Issue #3.
The Comic Collaborations
1. Comic Feature on the Early American Police (Northern Watchmen and Southern Slave Patrols)
As described in A Man Named Peel and His Vision, before Robert Peel passed his Metropolitan Act of 1829 which would ultimately serve as the model for American cities to soon thereafter adopt, the early police in America were pretty rudimentary and differed between regions within the country.
With this collaboration, we will work with participating youth, artists and other collaborators to develop and produce of a short independent comic script (three to six pages in length) covering the historical origins of American police predating the adoption of England’s Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 by many American cities, including the Watchmen of the northern colonies and the Slave Patrols of the southern colonies.
This collaboration will include some basic collaborative research, followed by the development of a general story outline, dialogue, and then finally working with participating artists to create the corresponding illustrative panels. Depending on final length, this short comic feature may be included within the “This & That” supplement of Back of the Yards Issue 3.
2. Back of the Yards Comic Scene – Dialogue Between the Elders
With this collaboration, we will be the developing a comic scene that will be incorporated into the Back of the Yard comics series narrative between the Elders.
Within another related collaboration, we are developing a short independent comic feature covering the early American police before Robert Peel would pass the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829, which would eventually be the model that many American cities would adopt in forming their own metropolitan police forces.
With this collaboration, the Back of the Yards comic characters, the Elders, will be discussing different elements of the subject matter we uncover as part of the independent comic feature above involving the early American Police (including the Watchmen and Slave Patrols as referenced in A Man Named Peel & His Vision), and this new Elders scene will be incorporated into a future issue of the Back of the Yards series (with a focus on trying to incorporate into the Issue 3 script if possible, pending other collaborations).
This collaboration will include working with the project team with the development of the general outline, dialogue, and also working with artists to create the corresponding illustrative panels.
3. Creating a New Character for Back of the Yards – the Politician
As we described in A Man Named Peel and His Vision, Robert Peel proved to be a rather adroit politician in his day. He somehow managed to get his Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 passed despite strong resistance.
Politicians in general get a very bad name these days, and of course, some of that is absolutely deserved. However, Peel represents the power of an effective politician as in many ways, his policies have great influence even today. It is in that context that we’d like to collaborate with participating youth to create a new political comic character for the Back of the Yards comic series.
This new comic character will be referenced at least once or twice in Issue 3 as part of a broader inclusion in the future of the comic series. As part of this collaboration, we will create the politician’s name, personality traits, short bio with emphasis on the influence he/she has within the Back of the Yards neighborhood, as well as his/her positions on local issues including law enforcement and crime. In that regard, he or she could be an Alderman or city counsel member, or even the Mayor. In any case, we will leave that for the collaborators (participating youth, artists and others) to develop.
The following resources and references are provided as additional context for this set of collaborations. And we will add additional reference points as the collaborations develop going forward.
1. Project Blog
2. Book by Norm Stamper entitled “To Serve and Protect,” Copyright @2106 Norm Stamper
Norm Stamper is a former police chief himself, and as such, provides valuable insights into some of the challenges of modern day policing. We will be drawing upon some of that insight as we collaborate together, in addition to other reference materials identified through the collaborations.
3. A Short Comic Feature
We previously did on the real Back of the Yards neighborhood as an example of what the short comic feature may look like, an excerpt of which is included here:
4. Character Concept Sketches
As an example of the kind of concept sketches that will be part of the development process for this new politician comic character(s), including here the following concept sketches that were part of the early development of the Back of the Yards comic character, Carl Castaneda:
5. Comic Scene between the Elders
As an example of what the typical banter between the Elders might look look and sound like, here’s an excerpt from Issue 2 of Back of the Yards for further reference:
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.)
1. Develop the Template Manuscript
First, we will further research the topic, brainstorm together, and begin to develop a basic manuscript/outline for the comic feature topic.
2. 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.
3. 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 set of collaborations has not yet been assigned! If interested, you can learn more by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Once assigned, we will post collaborative updates here as they develop right up until publication.