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Studio Card #1

Welcome to the
Made Collaborative Studio!

Collaboration Background

This project 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.

Collaboration Summary

Behind the the comic scenes, Made Collaborative is an immersive virtual studio experience. Our Studio Cards facilitate collaboration with you by providing: (i) context for topics and concepts used to develop our comic  (“Source Cards”), (ii) context for the comic characters that we develop collaboratively with you (“Character Cards”) and finally, (iii) comprehensive opportunities for you to collaborate on the comic (“Action Cards”). With this Action Card collaboration set, we will provide an overview of each of these cards (via the Studio Notes summary below), and once have an understanding of the basics, you can begin your own collaborative journey by clicking on the back of any of the Studio, Character or Action Cards below!

This & That

Action Card cover illustrated by participating artist, Dan Dougherty. Content developed by Jimmy Briseno and Len Kody.

First a Little Background Before We Jump Into the Studio Itself

As described further in Studio Card #2 (Introduction to the Back of the Yards Comic Series), this project started as a modest grass roots after school supplemental program, with the project’s founder, Jimmy Briseno, along with participating artist, Manny Dominguez, meeting youth at an after-school program in the West Side of Chicago.

And as part of that project, Jimmy and Manny would ask the participating youth if they would be interested in developing collaborative art projects based on their own original ideas. 

As Jimmy and Manny began to meet the youth regularly, it became quickly apparent that the youth gravitated towards comic-style illustrations, characters, and storylines.  From there, Manny and Jimmy began working with the youth to develop characters and storylines based on their creative input and ideas.

Which was all great except for one minor detail: neither Jimmy (a below-average attorney by day) nor Manny (an illustrator and web designer by day, but not a comic publisher) had ever developed a full comic before.  Not to be deterred, Jimmy then began to recruit and retain other artists and writers (including Len Kody, John Golden, Eric Nyamor and Dan Dougherty) to help make this new collaborative comic project a reality. 

Eventually, despite the challenges that come with day jobs and life generally, Jimmy and the participating artists were able to create a new comic series from the collaborative roots that started out as a very simple idea in a classroom in the West Side of Chicago: The Back of the Yards.

And as we came closer to completing the second issue of this new comic series, our plan was to re-engage with a few afterschool programs in Chicago to collaboratively develop Issue #3 of the comic series.  And this time we wanted to more formally incorporate elements from Carl Jung’s character archetypes and  Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey as part of those planned collaborations.  But it was at that time that seemingly out of nowhere, COVID hit the world.

To say COVID changed everything for us would be an understatement.  Of course, COVID’s impact on this modest little comic project is obviously trivial compared to what has been experienced by so many throughout the world. But, in any case, any plans we had of re-engaging youth in classrooms and afterschool programs were also completely derailed because of COVID’s impact starting in 2020.

The truth is, even before COVID, we struggled with many aspects of the longer-term project plan.  In-person collaborations take time and require a high degree of coordination.  Not to mention a certain degree of commitment from participating youth who are deluged with other activities and interests competing for their attention daily, many virtually.  

Our solution?  Why not try to bring these collaborations from the classroom to the virtual realm? And that’s where we will pick up next below as we formally introduce you to this simple Made Collaborative virtual platform, but to wrap this background section up, here’s a quick little video we did back in the day during those first in-person after school collaborations!

Play Video

Now, Introducing the Made Collaborative Virtual Studio Platform!

Welcome to the Made Collaborative Studio, a virtual collaborative platform that we have patched together at our own dime and time by combining (i) established storytelling concepts like Carl Jung’s Character Archetypes and Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey with (ii) common third-party digital applications like Google Slides, Google Forms and WordPress.  And the goal of this virtual studio platform is to provide unique collaborative opportunities that are directly accessible by youth, any interested educational programs, and people like you at no cost.

Pick a Card, Any Card!

This entire virtual platform can probably best be summed up with one simple phrase: “Pick a card, any card!  It really boils down to that.  And more specifically, we are referring to picking any “Studio Cards,” which is the term we have created for the cards that we use as a portal to your collaborative opportunities.  And to help you learn how, we have created a short slide deck below (just use the < > arrows below to initiate).  

Time for a Quick Warmup Collaboration

Now that you have the basics down, here’s a quick Google Form to get you started.  This will be similar to many Google Forms that you will encounter throughout are various Studio Cards below and just like those other Google Forms, we will highlight some of your responses submitted below regularly on the “This & That” page!  [LEN TO CONSIDER WHAT GOOGLE FORM MIGHT WORK HERE AND STILL HAVE SOME CONNECTION TO COMICS / THE COMIC.]

The Project Miro Board and A Call To Artists!

In addition to creating this website for open collaboration with you, we also developed a separate project board for participating artists and administrators using the wonderful Miro third-party technology platform.  It is here that project artists and administrators will review, track and collaborate on your submissions.  And when you click on the board at any given time, you may see us doing that very thing in real time …

So, if you are an artist and/or writer, and would like to collaborate with us and others, just drop us a line here: [LEN TO CREATE A POP UP FORM SIMILAR TO WHAT HE HAS ALREADY CREATED FOR THE ILLUSTRATION SUBMISSIONS.  JIMMY TO FOLLOW UP WITH BELOV TO FIX THE DOMAIN/EMAIL ISSUE.]

Table of Contents

Now, Let's Collaborate!
Your Studio Cards Project Board

Pick a card, any card...

Introducing
Back of the Yards!

Studio Card #2

QR Code for Studio Card #2
What
With this Studio Card #2 overview, we introduce you to our first Comic story series, Back of the Yards!, a story about young man in the West Side of Chicago that has what he believes to be a supernatural encounter and his subsequent journey to understand what is real and what isn't within his neighborhood - the Back of the Yards!
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.developed in collaboration with participating youth from the West Side of Chicago.
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.
Read more

Who is…
Andre Davis?

Studio Card #3

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Summary Traits
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
Read more

Carl Jung’s
Character Archetypes

Studio Card #4

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What
This Studio Card production features Carl Jung’s Archetypes of the Unconscious Mind. This Studio Card sets forth the 12 primary character archetypes.
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.
Read more

Who is…
Tamia Parker?

Studio Card #5

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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

Who is…
Russell Patterson?

Studio Card #6

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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

A Map of The
Hero’s Journey

Source Card #7

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What
With this inaugural Made Collaborative Studio Card production we introduce you to, well, the Made Collaborative Studio and with that, we take a quick glimpse of the early origins of this project.
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.
Read more

Who is…
Carl Castaneda?

Studio Card #8

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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

Neighborhoods
& Their Residents!

Studio Card #9

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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.
Read more

Who is…
Peaches?

Studio Card #11

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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

Who is…
Big Earl?

Studio Card #12

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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

Who is…
Dex?

Studio Card #10

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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 as part of the initial Issue 1 scripting process.
Debut
Issue #1 of the Back of the Yards comic series
Read more

Law Enforcement
And Community Relations 

Source Card #13

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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

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