Creative Leader Positively Impacts Community: Jason Deeble’s Story
August 28, 2021
By: Irving D. Steel
Comics are creating positive changes. East Lyme resident, Jason Deeble, has morphed his passion for the community, education, policy, and his own creativity to develop an increasingly popular comic strip called Connecticat.
Cate Steel and Jason have known each other for over 10 years and first met through Toastmasters in Niantic where both were refining their public speaking abilities that have bode well in their other public service endeavors. Jason was impressed by the positive energy of Cate Steel and they instantly became friends.
Little did they know, nearly a decade later, they would both be putting their passions into the real world making an impact in their own creative ways. Jason was recently the star guest on Cate’s TV Show called Stories Worth Telling, now with over 1,000 subscribers on its YouTube channel.
Jason is a multi talented creative, musician, teacher, father, and holds public office as an appointed member of the increasingly important Inland Wetlands Agency helping to protect the environment, clean air, and perhaps most importantly, the water in town.
“Everybody loves the water, right?” Jason said in the interview.
“Especially clean water,” responded Cate Steel.
Over the last few months, Jason connected with the Publisher and Editor at the Connecticut Examiner, Gregory Stroud, with an idea to use his creative talents to highlight some policy issues and learning in the community.
Soon thereafter, a weekly political comic called Connect-i-cat started that’s published weekly at the Connecticut Examiner, a locally focused, unbiased, and online news source for Connecticut.
In fact, Jason has always been involved in comics.
He took a year off and stayed with his daughter as a stay at home dad.
“It’s A little mind numbing at times,” he remarked staying at home with his daughter.
To keep his head together, he started to make a comic about he experience staying at home, and blogged about it, documenting it with milestones of a little baby.
Scholastic reached out to him and there was some interest in his blog and creativity. There were discussions on taking the relationship to the next level, but unfortunately nothing materialized.
When it came time to say goodbye to the comic and creative pursuit, he just said goodbye and moved on.
It wasn’t forgotten quickly though, as he pursued a few other potential avenues and ideas like a Monster HAIKU.
Deeble loved the way that CT Examiner did their reporting and comprehensive stories of the issues important to the local community: they were fair and balanced, unlike many media outlets now that are blamed for being too right or left wing with inherent bias whether through ownership, sponsorship, or political affiliations of the leadership.
He then pitched the idea of a comic strip to Greg Stroud and the leadership at CT examiner.
He was quickly accepted, and then came up with a few ideas like Yankee Doodle, Lime and Lime (or Lyme and Lyme) talking to each other, and then settled on Connecticat to launch a weekly comic strip.
Deeble comes up with different ideas that are important for him, his family, and those in the community he is interacting and listening to. Topics range from the importance of the environment, Farmers Market, and how some strategies are better for the environment.
Through his experience and abilities as an educator in public schools, Deeble teaches different comic classes as well, workshops for students, and libraries. Companies have even shown an interest to bring him in as a creative consultant and innovation leader. His own webpage is here, which is in the process of being updated over the next several months.
“Art is very much about how we learn, and I’ve experimented some of that with social emotional learning,” Deeble explained.
“Throughout the pandemic, there has been an even greater emphasis on social emotional learning from the ground up all the way to the Governor’s office in Connecticut,” he remarked.
“What would any of our lives be like if we didn’t have art?” Jason posed the question.
“Art makes anything you like a little better,” he said.
He also has used his creativity in teaching chemistry early on with bringing life to the carbon and nitrogen atoms.
The opportunities with creativity are truly endless.