Reader Response

From (name censored),

I am curious as to what is the point of portraying Detroit in such a negative light. Will this do good for the city? Maybe you should spend more time in thinking of how to improve its conditions versus further derailing it. I live in Detroit, and I know how shitty of a place it can be, but seriously, do we need to be reminded? Further more, do people need to see this and look down on us?

I’m also curious if you have any ideas or..perhaps, plan to take your comic somewhere as to go about rebuilding Detroit. Any person can criticize, but it is another topic to actually be able to do something.

Hi (name censored),

You bring up some good points.  I’ll refer you to something I wrote on the subject about a month and a half ago.

We’ve been working on comics set in Detroit for about 10 years now, and basically, as someone who lives on the west coast, I’ve found that most people here (and the places I’ve traveled) do not really know anything about Detroit beyond the “it sucks” idea.  No one seems to really know why or much else about it beyond it’s dangerous.  So our first goal is to simply make people aware of some of the situations in Detroit that the rest of the country seems content to ignore, and hopefully that first basic awareness can lead to caring instead of blissful ignorance.

Beyond that the goal is to slowly shift the message over towards the positives of the city and improvement.  Once people care maybe we can get them to act.  The first run of Detroit Mock City, which was created specifically for a contest, will actually end with a couple of positive, yet hopefully still funny, comics.  It is, of course, easier to be entertaining while making fun of something, but I think you’ll find if you stick with us you’ll be pleasantly surprised with where we take things.

I do actually write quite a bit about Detroit in my blog, and try to mix some positives amongst the negatives.

Detroit also serves as the backdrop of Black Snow, and we increasingly try to work towards a more accurate depiction of the city, again to make people aware of it, and to care.  While it is still a somewhat dark depiction, I think it also goes beyond that to make you invest in the characters and their city through the story and art.

All that being said, we have not been to Detroit and are outsiders looking in, so it is really great to here from people who live there.  If you have any specific ideas you’d like to see us incorporate, or other thoughts you’d like to share, we always love feedback and take it seriously.  So please keep reading and let us know what you think.


Michael Balistreri Jr.
Black Snow Comics


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