Since January, the Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) and Know Your City (KYC) have partnered on a new and exciting project, the Renter’s Rights: Evictions comic book. Due for publication in December, the book will include artistic illustrations, creative storytelling and important facts about different types of experiences and scary moments that tenants can face in an eviction.
With this project, we hope to engage and educate tenants and non-tenants alike. Tenants will be armed with information and helpful tips, so that they know how to respond if they ever receive a termination notice, get locked out by their landlord, or must go to evictions court. For many people, learning with words and pictures is a better way to understand and retain complex processes and information. Non-tenants will read fascinating stories with beautiful and thoughtful illustrations, both uplifting and heartbreaking, that they might share with friends and family who are renters. Hopefully, those who read these stories will come away with a sense that sometimes these evictions are not always fair or just, and can dramatically impact people’s lives and our communities, and that there are things we can do to to change it.
In May, we put out a Call to Artists, to invite artists to submit applications and bodies of work, so that we may select someone who is a good fit for the project. The response was great, and we enlisted some help from great volunteers and community leaders, to help us narrow down the field and ultimately select a winner. In the end, we selected Becky Hawkins, of French Toast Comix, due to her unique illustration style, creative storytelling abilities and personal background and story.
Becky was really excited to work with us, and we assembled an additional volunteer team to help us craft the narrative, and make sure that the publication is accessible, interesting and understandable to all different communities and audiences. We have been amazed at the thoughtfulness and creativity from Heather Morrill, Matt Kinshella, Susan Mund, Antonia Arciga and Dung Ho. Each brings a particular insight, expertise and personal experience to the project, and we are tremendously grateful for all their efforts.
The book is now in its first draft, and in the month of October, CAT and KYC will be checking in with different folks and groups for feedback and tips to make it better. If you are interested in participating, please contact Dung Ho at the Community Alliance of Tenants. Or you can join us at CAT’s member meeting (membership not required), on October 23rd, 6-8:30 pm at the Augustana Lutheran Church, 2710 NE 14th Ave. We will have posters of the comic book on display, so that participants can read it, talk about it and give feedback.
Interested in supporting this type of programming? Sign up to be a member of Know Your City! All members will be mailed a final copy of the Renter’s Rights comic. Your support ensures we’ll be able to provide these types of collaborative programs into the future – and helps us reach our goal of signing up 85 members by the end of the year.
Check out the promo video for Renter’s Rights below, and view some of Becky Hawkin’s sample storyboards on the book after the jump…