Buffalo: High Hopes & Dead Elm Trees
Three cheers for Caitlin, who I hope later makes a pile of money by getting these educational but still thoroughly entertaining comics into the school system somehow. This is the rough, stupid history of Buffalo which, come to think of it, is probably why it will never be taught in schools. It’s too grim for the kiddies to learn how stupid and shortsighted the designers of this city were after cars came along. To make a long story short, some dummy came along who didn’t live in Buffalo and then redesigned it around the cars, taking out most of the elm trees (one of the main claims to fame for Buffalo before that) and eventually taking out most of the houses around downtown. And then wondering why people were no longer walking to shops. The elm trees get their revenge later, sort of, but I’ll leave that for you to discover. She also goes into detail about President McKinley and his unfortunate visit to Buffalo, where he was assassinated. What I didn’t know about that assassination was that he was there for a fair, and after he was killed the enthusiasm for the fair had understandably dimmed. And that the financing for the fair was tied up pretty strongly in the future of Buffalo. Anyway, yeah, that’s a lot for a tiny comic to unpack, but she does a fantastic job of it. If you’re curious about the specifics of the printing, this is a fairly basic (but full color) mini comic, with a fold-out insert included. One side of it details the history of the elm trees, the other shows Mckinley’s assassination and the local aftermath. If you want to put both of them up on your wall, you’ll need to get two copies!