SUBTITLE: Making Lemonade from a Lemon
Chicago, IL USA: After launching the Comic Art & Cartoon Group, CARTOONISTS AGAINST CRIME ©1991 whose Motto was:
"We Draw Cartoons - NOT Guns!" ®
it was time to let Governors across America know that common law-abiding Citizens (as myself )were out to help 'protect and serve' the People. And it was on this Day in 1993 -- 15 years ago today that Governor Jim Edgar (of the State of IL) signed into Action a Gubernatorial Proclamation declaring that
December 3 would now be known as: DAY WITHOUT CRIME ©1993
for the Residents of the State of IL. This Red-Ribbon Gold Seal Proclamation is one of the Milestones secured for the Campaign to show its Credibility on a larger platform. CAC's Premise was SIMPLE and quite amusing. Although hard-core criminals may not abide by it, it was designed for Petty Thieves. In essencee, whatever your chosen Crime was -- even stealing or lifting Sweet n Lows from your favorite diner -- just don't DO IT. Do NOT do it on December 3 -- only for a Day -- much like followng the Steps in an AA Program. Don't overwhelm yourself. An added Bonus is that Sanity would be restored to a Population. Civilization would again be able to be labeled as CIVILIZED.
As Background (so you will understand the Intensity of this Campaign), I was returning home from work on Monday, December 23, 1991 at 6 PM and while retrieving my mail in the lobby of my apartment building (where I am still residing), was violently assaulted, robbed and left for dead -- in a pool of blood -- my own. I was unconscious, grasping my housekeys in my left hand as my attacker ran off with my black tote bag. After being taken to the nearaby hospital where I spent the night (having lost so much blood and coming home), I went through all the STEPS of what I should have done to prevent this horrible attack that had instantly changed the Course of my Life.
SUDDENLY IT STRUCK: When I realized that I was creating a Cartoon Character who NEVER experienced the Crimes We have today, it immediately occured to me that I should start a CRUSADE and all it:
CARTOONISTS AGAINST CRIME
thus raising the Medium of Comic Art to an Educational Tool. I had always enjoyed The Comics since I was able to read. Before that, I'd glance at the pictures and marvel at the characters. This was my Mission and Goal -- so that other innocent People (many just trying to get home) would not GET as hurt as I had. And it worked....and still works today as an extremely clever way to be safe with just a SINGLE GLANCE. Physical Awareness in your surroundings is now more important than ever before as we hear the gruesome stories broadcast each day.
TV TO THE RESCUE: A Great Message
Coincidentally, NBC/National News in New York City aired a reel on their GET OUT ALIVE Segment with Jenna Wolf (as Reporter) on how Crime has not lessened all these years. A few of their 2008 Stats included these:
* every 6 seconds a person becomes a victim of a violent crime;
* 1 murder happens every 32 minutes;
* 1 physical assault happens every 7 seconds;
* 1 robbery takes place every 57 seconds in the USA.
If anything with innocent people now losing their jobs; the drug trade in full-force and the easy accessibility of guns, the Crime Rate can be expected to rise as the economy spins into a Depression. Also, the Holidays are a favorite time for thieves to hold up and break-in. Therefore, it's advantageous to have a PLAN in case you are caught up in any sort of Crime, whether it's violent or not.
The Premise of CAC: Cartoonists Against Crime ©1991 stemmed from my Cartoon Character, CAVE MAN NEVER ©1990 in which I used Comic Art to relay the MESSAGE that People must be aware of every thing happening in their Surroundings. A Cartoon's Facial Expression can emote so well that a Person does not even HAVE TO KNOW the given Language to understand what The Cartoon Character is trying to get across, in either a single panel or strip. What could be a more ideal way to instill an important Life-saving Fact than this?
This Campaign culminated in 3 Shows for the course of its Span:
One at Daley Place;
One at City Hall and
One at the Around The Coyote Art Space ... all in Chicago.
INTERNATIONAL APPEAL: Cartoonists from outside the USA who wanted representation and Shows within the Continental USA were eager to help me get this LIFE OR DEATH Message across, as well as many other Artists, Cartoonists and Graphic Designers - from amateurs to seasoned professionals.
ASTONISHINGLY ENOUGH: Even Prisoners incarcerated who heard about CARTOONISTS AGAINST CRIME (who were remorseful) drew Pictures and sent them to me for inclusion in Shows and Literary Material that was being produced and distributed. And this, I must remind you was before eMail caught on which would have made the Process much simpler. All Monies used for this Campaign came solely from my pocket.
The Crusade clearly showed what a Person could do to REMAIN SAFE in an often-times unexplainable world. Since CRIME PREVENTION was #1 on President Bill Clinton's Agenda, 3 Letters of Endorsement were received from him as well as support from Mayor Richard M. Daley (0f Chicago) who also declared (at my beckoning) that October 25 be known as:
CARTOONISTS AGAINST CRIME ©91 Day.
If there ever was a Vision to use The Arts as a Catharctic Way to recover after a horrible Crime, CARTOONISTS AGAINST CRIME ©1991 was that Vehicle.
Be safe, not sorry.
ASK: Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith
Founder: CAC (C)91
Chicago, IL USA
Wed: December 3, 2008 - 9:41 AM
* Derived from Archival Works by ASK on CAC.