November 19th, 2008


STREET CODE logic in The National Post

Hogtown Lowdown Sneakers In The Sky
Steve Murray, National Post Published: Saturday, November 15, 2008

Q: I've heard that running shoes hanging on power lines means "drugs sold near here." Is that really true? Because I've seen a LOT of shoes around town. -- Martha Tomas

A: "I've heard that before, but I'd say it's more of an urban legend." So declares Det. Const. Brian Kay of the Toronto Police Department's drug squad. Case closed! Which is a shame, really. I was hoping that it was an elaborate system where different shoes mean different things.

Like red Nikes mean uppers and cowboy boots mean chewing tobacco. Could there be another reason for the sneakers, then? Case reopened! I contacted cartoonist Dean Haspiel, whose webcomic Street Code deals with his experiences living in Brooklyn and features shoes hanging from a wire on the first page. "I've heard the drug thing before,"

Haspiel says. "But I've always seen the sneakers as a territorial thing, a warning to people that don't live in the neighbourhood." Another urban legend? Regardless, don't hand anyone your shoes, even if they ask really nicely.

Ketchikan Public Library reviews THE ALCOHOLIC

"The Alcoholic is the graphic novel debut of acclaimed writer Jonathan Ames. His main character - acclaimed mystery writer Jonathan A. - recounts his long slide into alcoholism and drug abuse. The crisp line drawings of Dean Haspiel add a starkness to the story of a confused young man who initially uses alcohol as entertainment, but then turns to the bottle to compensate for losses in his life. A nicely written account that doesn't shy away from the degrading details of alcoholism, but still conveys the essential humanity of the character."