A message to writers, artists, and creators. Don’t ever feel your work is in vain. We do have the ability to impact our communities. Here’s a letter a young man wrote after reading Brotherman Revelation. His words remind me to keep on keepin’ on.
I just received an email that touched my soul last night. This amazing and gifted young lady is also an incredible animator and one of the many gifted people that I have had the pleasure to mentor in her journey to greatness. She and her sister (another brilliant young mind that is destined for greatness – pictured left) just received their BROTHERMAN: REVELATION Graphic Novel and this is what she had to share with Brian McGee, Guy A. Sims and myself. Their mom took these pics so that they can share the message about Brotherman to the world. They gave me permission to share this so they too can be part of the movement to help spread the word about Antonio Valor and the citizens of Big City. So for the parents who wonder if this is something good for their children . . . read on. Enough of what I have to say just read for yourself!
“I would like to start this email off by saying that you both have done an AMAZING job piecing this together. From the story to the art, everything flows together naturally, as if there wasn’t much thought taken into the whole idea of Big City. It feels as if it had existed in your minds naturally–that it didn’t take much to get it down on paper.
Mr.Sims, you’ve blown me away with your metaphors. I’ve understood many of them, and I marveled at their complexity, yet obvious meanings in the real world. I’ve had to re-read a few pages, though, just to make sure I fully understood what was said. I love your description of the city’s citizens as you described how most were really victims, caught in a false sense of security. The poem at the beginning was powerful! I had to re-read that a couple times, too, but I initially understood the main idea. It really inspires me to be more like Leonard’s description of Brotherman. If that poem itself was shared with the entire conscious black community, I feel like our entire world as a race would shift in its energy.
Leonard’s past gives me insight on many of these “ghetto thugs” out here–people who I hate to avoid and judge. For once, we get a first-hand view on what society has labeled a Thug–a social disgrace. Sometimes I wish people wouldn’t be so quick to judge and stereotype, but sadly, that’s the society we live in today. It was about time there was a hero of African descent. Not only a hero with special powers and a cape, but a hero with a greater moral meaning behind his actions. A hero with a TRUE motive for creating peace in his realm, rather than a hero who only seeks to destroy crime as it occurs. Thank you for bringing this graphic novel, which would have been a cluster of amazing pictures otherwise, into a beautiful work of art, neatly pieced together with an interesting use of metaphors and narrative storytelling.
Dawud, you’ve done an outstanding job with the artwork. Both you and Mr. Brian McGee did an amazing job of bringing the story to life. This is also a thank you to Mr. McGee. I love the backgrounds, and as mentioned before, I really, really wish Softy’s was an actual place. Who could turn down free fries with any meal, and three greasy chips for one dollar? (unless of course the currency differs from ours, and everything is cheaper in terms of money… or the food is cheap and the currency is the same.) I love the reference to your being a vegetarian, Dawud. I spent a good five minutes laughing about that. It suddenly dawned on me, too that Leonard’s gang takes place by an abandoned factory!
. . . And from how gorgeous everything is looking now, your readers will have their heads locked within the pages themselves. My head was nearly swallowed by them. It was a combination of the breathtaking artwork and the fresh, new book smell that’s still wafting off the pages right now.
I mainly wanted to send this email to say that you’ve all done an outstanding job. It feels good, doesn’t it? To have created such an inspiring work of art for our people to read and become inspired… I look up to all of you. Dawud, you and your brother are amazing people. Please, keep being amazing! (I’ve had a wonderful first impression on you, Mr. Sims, and I hope to meet you someday in person. You sound really amazing!) Thank you so much for bringing this book to my palms. I value it dearly. This email wasn’t intentionally made into a long, long essay; I’m sorry if it’s taking much of your time. I know you’re all busy and time is of the essence. I just wanted to take a moment and share my thoughts on this incredible book.”
Artists of all genres! Keep on your grind! Keep on Impacting!