Writer shares history of black superheroes with students - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Writer shares history of black superheroes with students


Throughout February, Bluefield College has hosted special speakers, in honor of Black History Month. Today, the topic of novels and comics featuring black characters took center stage. 

For some, Brotherman might be a cliche used when referring to a close friend. But for Dr. Guy Sims, it's the name for the black superhero featured in graphic novels produced by him and his brothers. Sims explains how black characters were often incidental in comic books when he was a kid. "If they were there, they were stereotypical. They were the sidekicks. They weren't the characters that you came to the books to see. And I think that really, opened my brother's eyes, opened my eyes."
Sims and his brothers brought their Brotherman superhero novels to the market in 1990. He says both publishers and stores were not open to the idea of a black superhero at the time. "I will say the mainstream wasn't very... um, embracing. But we weren't worried about that. We found a niche market. We really just worked outside the mainstream."
A recent surge of black characters in LEADING roles, both in books and movies, has encouraged Sims. But he believes there are other positions that remain predominantly white. "There's not a lot of people of color who can green-light a film. So they're not owners of major companies, after all these years... major studios."
The motion picture Black Panther started out as a graphic novel for Marvel Comics. Sims is hoping that Brotherman can also be made into a movie, at some point.

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