Detroit — When the Family Started Breaking Down

Detroit -- When Things Started to Get Bad

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
February 24, 2013

This is one of those cartoons where I thought my point was very clear. (Which is, just as a parent leaving a family generally makes life more difficult, manufacturing leaving Detroit made life as a whole there much more difficult.) But after drawing it and seeing it in print, I realized two things. First, I could have executed the concept more effectively. It is visually …blah. (That kinda bummed me out.) And second, that it could be interpreted many different ways — depending on cultural, political, or religious viewpoint. (That made me happier because when readers bring their own baggage, there’s a much better chance of sparking a reaction or thought.)


  1. Mark said,

    February 26, 2013 @ 8:19 am

    You are right. The loss of those blue collar jobs on top of all the other problems facing Detroit was devastating. The double meaning of the breakdown of the black nuclear family is also very sad to me.

  2. Kris said,

    February 26, 2013 @ 9:38 am

    I’ve been web surf-reading about Albert Kahn (the architect) lately. He is responsible for so many Detroit landmarks like the Fisher and GM headquarters, Ford River Rouge complex, auto executive homes, and many famous buildings and landmarks at the UofM. There was so much money going into the city for infrastructure and culture (Edsel Ford bankrolling the Diego Rivera fresco at DIA was a high point). There was also a very good documentary on Henry Ford on PBS recently. So I was all in nostalgia mode until I read your comic! It’s no fun to face the current reality.

  3. John said,

    February 26, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

    Sad indeed. That’s why I was expecting to get emails telling me the cartoon isn’t funny (which tends to happen with observational efforts like this one). So far, nothing. Wish I could do one for next week with an actual solution!

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