Comic Overview

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, Made Collaborative and the Made Collaborative Scholarship Fund present 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.

Source Card #1 - A Full Comic Overview!

This Source Card #1 provides background on the development of the Back of the Yards comic series, as well as an overview of the main comic characters and participating artists. And because context matters for any comic collaboration, we also provide a quick peek into the early origins (the origin story!) of this comic project …

Issue #1​

The first issue of the Back of the Yards comic series was originally published in 2018. Within this inaugural issue we are introduced to to the Comic’s main characters Andre Davis, Tamia Parker, Russell Patterson and his cousin Draymond, and the Elders. And it is within this issue that Andre has an encounter that sets the foundation for this first part of this comic story.

Issue #2

Our second issue of the the Back of the Back of the Yards comic series was originally scripted and illustrated in 2019.  Unfortunately, when COVID hit, we had to put a temporary pause on final production as we reassessed our in-person classroom collaboration model (given that there were no classrooms to go to at the time).  The end result of that reassessment was our pivot to this virtual studio collaborative platform and the subsequent development of this website.  And it’s here that we will work to complete the final stages of Issue 2 production with you!  

Issue #3 - In Early Development!

In contrast to Issue 2, Issue 3 is in the very early stages of development.  And with that, you have an opportunity to collaborate with us on the ground floor!  You can do that by exploring any of our Action Cards to help us create new comic characters (Action Card #2), new storylines (Action Card #3), submit illustrations (Action Card #4) or help with other selected areas and topics for the comic production (Action Card #5). Just click on the link below to begin your own collaborative journey! …

Read the Digital Copy for Free!

Although final production of this Issue is in process, you don’t have to wait to read the fully illustrated 25 pages of the scripted Issue 2 story!  Just fill out this quick form and you will instantly access the full digital copy!

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.