- RATS!: Captain Sewer reps Little Rock Wastewater.
All kinds of stuff drifts into the offices of the Arkansas Times on a daily basis. Some of it even has a media bent.
This week's highlight: “The Adventures of Captain Sewer,” a coloring and activity book for kids, distributed by Little Rock Wastewater. Never has the word “bio-solids” been so much fun!
Schaffner (who is, when not arrayed in rat fur and pirate wear, the community relations coordinator for Little Rock Wastewater) said that Capt. Sewer started out as a joke at Wastewater back in the 1980s. However, after officials there decided there was a need for a character to reach out to school kids with a water conservation message, the captain morphed into a comic-book-style, tights-wearing clog fighter, complete with his own comic book.
“It's geared toward kindergarten through fifth, and some people came up with the idea that a superhero is a bit old for that audience,” he said. “So, we came up with an animal type character. We thought, hey: Sewer. Sewer rat!” With that, the captain morphed from man to rodent, with the pirate theme added to make him a little less … you know … ratty.
“The kids get a kick out of it,” he said. “We make certificates that say you're an honorary first mate. … They want to hug me, they want to shake my hand. It's fun.”
We came back from the July 4 holiday to sad news: The books are closing on Little Rock's influential arts and music pub Localist Magazine.
“I feel like we have brought the changes and the attention we were aiming to get,” Deeter writes. “Now we have the coverage of ‘Rock Candy,' the blog by Lindsey Millar of the Arkansas Times. Kyle Brazzel at the Dem/Gaz has done a great job writing about happenings in the weekend section, and onthagrind.net is making its place covering the growing hip hop scene.”
“I do, however, reserve the right to come back with Localist,” Deeter says, “if I ever feel the need to do so because there is still no coverage of the art shows and artists in Arkansas.”