My Story and The creation of Street Journal:
First off, I must let you in on a secret. I am an eighty’s baby. I was born in 1974 and grew up in the Bronx, just a few blocks from where this story is set. My father was a police officer and my mother worked for AT&T, but at age five my mother passed away of cancer and I became, (as many younger men and women had in the eighties and nighties) the child of an one parent home! I later attended Mercy College in Ardsley, NY and attained my Behavioral Science degree. Many of days I have walked down the street of 145th and 3rd Ave, hooked a right and went right by the home we used as Tyreke’s’ home in the opening shot of the book. Many, if not all of the characters are either loosely based on(or were) an amalgamation of people I knew and(or)grew up with.
But that is not the sole inspiration for the development of “Street Journal,” in and of itself. Literature, for many young man and women (and certainly for me) is a place to go, a way to get away from the brick walls of the south Bronx. The blank page became a place to feel empowered in a world which might make one feel powerless. Tyreke’s Street Journal is the beautiful personification of that power, giving a strong authenticity to Tyreke’s particular struggle, along with a rich truth to the environment that he lives in, a real richness to the supporting characters and a authenticity to the period in which the story takes place.
Tyreke Miles, an young, eighteen year old kid tell his story by documenting his daily events in a journal, and, inadvertently use language as a possible way to break free of a home ravaged with alcoholism and abuse, while building a new life for himself, his two year old daughter and the mother of his child, Trish. This is his story! But there is more.
Jorge and I, along with creative input by one Anbial Arroyo made a conscientious effort to not make this Street Journal, Graphic Novel ”your basic, stereotypical urban tale, (a graphic novel that took a minimum of 7 years to write. Story and character development key!
And it has built a strong following within the independent comic community. Themes such as faith, love and family marks this as an inspirational tour-de-force, waiting to be elevated yet to a higher level.
Our hero is as real as that younger college bound, inner city kid coming up in an environment where a solid education seems impossible or that teenage father or mother raising their child from a single home. Just as Tyreke push forward, so do we; each of us are inspired, I hope to dig deep down and find a way to push forward when all our own dreams seems virtually unattainable! It is the alternative to the superhero in tights. With this urban tale, we hope to be part of the spawning of a new comic book story line that gives a literary medium to,( while providing opportunities for) upcoming, talented creators.
This is the heart of Street Journal and all that it hopes to accomplish.
This is everyone’s story!