Happy Valentine’s Day! What better way to get into that romantic mood than examining Detroit’s murder rate? I don’t know of any!
So here’s the second Detroit Mock City created for the Cartoonist Studio contest. Once again I had to reduce the size a bit to fit it here, you can click on it for the full sized image.
Growing up basically all I knew about Detroit was that it was the most dangerous city in the US with a terrible rep for crime, and particularly murder. And I liked that. That’s what originally made me want to set Black Snow there.
After some examination you’ll find that this rep is well deserved. The only reason murder and crime seemed to drop in total numbers at all is because basically half the people left over the years when the jobs went away. The 2010 Census revealed that over the last decade the city lost a quarter of its population, averaging about 1 person ever 22 minutes! The population had declined to 713,777, which is the lowest since the 1910 census. They regressed an entire century! Of course this has much to do with the abandoned buildings we talked about in DMC 1.
The stats aren’t officially tallied, but it looks like the murder rate jumped up 15% in 2011 after 2010’s optimistic decrease. Here’s a murder fun fact, from January 2003 through Nov. 6 2011, more people were killed in Detroit — 3,313 — than have died among U.S. forces in 10 years of fighting in Afghanistan. 8 years in Detroit resulted in more deaths than 10 years in a war! Detroit’s homicide rate led the nation’s 25 largest cities in 2010 and looks to repeat in 2011.
Often called the Murder City and the Official Murder Capitol of the U.S., Detroit has earned these nicknames by consistently leading the nations murder rates since at least the 1960s including the infamous 1967 riots. That’s about 50 years of outrageous amounts of killing. Damn. A tough crowd. Hope we don’t offend them!
Oh, and in 2011 it was estimated that Detroit only solves about 21% of their homicides, vs a major city like San Diego that solves 94%. Perhaps we’ll learn more about why that is when we examine Detroit’s politics and police department in a few comics.
Like I’ve always said, if any city ever needed a superhero it’s Detroit. Maybe those Robocop movies were a more accurate depiction than we realized. Bleak.
As far as the art here, I like the reveal and of Happy’s pose and location a lot. I think it’s really funny. I also love his pride. And yes, that crappy alley is a real Detroit alley, though I did add the chalk outlines. I’m pretty proud of the way that alley turned out, another fun example of minimalism in shading mixed with some fairly detailed line work. But not as detailed as you might think if you examine it closely.
Simplicity through minimalism.