So here is a little backdrop on the illustrations to follow. Stockton is pretty much the hub of happenings in California's Central Valley between Sacramento and the Bay Area. All around Stockton are a bunch of little towns and some smaller cities that try to have a small town feel. Lodi is one of the cities that is smaller (though not too much smaller than Stockton.) Common Lodi attitude has it being an idealistic, Mayberry-like town were no one locks their doors and crime doesn't exist. On top of that, no one in Lodi would every dream of venturing to the evil land of crime-ridden, drug and gang infested Stockton. "Lion, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!"
So, the reality check is that crime, drugs and gangs actually do exist in the Land of Lodi, just like most cities. In fact, racism is still pretty prevalent at the heart of it's culture though not as bad as 20 or 30 years ago. And when my family lived there, we absolutely locked the doors, even though we lived on the "good" side of the tracks. Unfortunately, that didn't prevent our bikes from getting stolen off our second story porch.
So that leads me to this month's 3rd Thursday illustration challenge put on by the Society of Visual Storytelling. The challenge was to recreate four characters from the Wizard of Oz, not necessarily the four main characters. Since my creativity works in weird ways, I'm not quite sure how I came up with this idea. But I thought that using Lodi's shunning attitude toward's Stockton, and Stockton's ghetto reputation would be satirically funny, at least to me! My intention is not really to offend anyone, but if it does, well then, it's not my problem.
In the end of my hypothetical Wizard of Lodi story, La Dorothy clicks her faux ruby stiletto heels together and says, "There's no place like Stockton." I might just have to pursue this story idea.