LA Weekly had a cheeky article a few years back titled “The Evidence Room: Five Signs You’re Gentrifying.” At the time, the primary target of gentrification was Los Feliz, Silver Lake, and Echo Park. I don’t think there’s a gelato parlor downtown yet, but clearly, for better or worse, downtown is being “revitalized” faster than you can say “doggie day care.” Enter Gary Phillips, a community activist turned mystery and comic book writer who will debut the first three pages of his webcomic, Bicycle Cop Dave, next week on October 28 on Four Story. Bicycle Cop Dave will follow LAPD officer David Richter as he patrols downtown LA and “encounters interesting characters from a lawyer smoking crack in a port-a-potty to a one-armed prophet in a Skid Row bar with his wooden tablet of odd commandments.” Phillips also promises upside down bodies below the Sixth Street bridge, an inevitable Big Bad Developer villain, and at least a comment or two about the displacement of the poor as result of old gentrifying politics finding a new battleground downtown. The story will unfold over the course of several weeks, as new pages will be published every other Wednesday until the entire comic is online. I’m hoping he’ll stray away from hyper liberal tendencies to simply demonize gentrification without providing a more weighty critique; in any case, the comic is worth a bookmark and hopefully some good discussion.
The other day Paul Bringetto got fed up with cars almost hitting him again and again while riding in the dangerous yet citie designated “bike lanes” and decided to look for other options. What he found was a much safer bike lane already exists on the 10. Looks like some vandals must have stolen or painted over the signage though – the city should get on fixing that quick. Maybe it’s a job for the department of DIY.