St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood illustrates area plan through comic book

From its ethnically diverse population to the immigrant-owned businesses that line University Avenue, St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood has seen its share of changes over the last 150 years.

Now, its residents have come up with a unique way to illustrate the changes they'd like to see in their community over the next decade.

The Frogtown Neighborhood Association submitted a 125-page comic book to the city, illustrating the Small Area Plan (or "SmaPl") and their plans for the community's future. Mychal Batson, the artist behind the comic book, is a former Frogtown resident.

“It’s amazing. I think it gave a true example of how artists and community can come together to create such a beautiful product,” said Tia Williams with the Frogtown Neighborhood Association. 

The comic book uses characters to represent various issues neighbors are facing. For example, Sayama, the "Original Frogtown Granny" focuses on transportation issues, advocating for heated bus shelters and more pedestrian-friendly streets.

“That came from local artists saying we are going to change the way this document is digested. Not just for us as staff, but for the community," Williams said. “If a 9-year-old and an elected official can read the same document and understand and love it, I think this is a great idea."

The council and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter must formally accept the plan before it's added to the city's Comprehensive Plan.

To see the comic book online, click here.