Last month I got a chance to interview the Brotherman comic team at the Schomburg Black Comic Book Festival. The team consists of artist Dawud Anyabwile, colorist Brian McGee, and writer Guy A. Sims. Not only is Sims the writer of Brotherman and the spinoff novel Duke Denim, by day he is an administrator at Bluefield State College. (Where I got a chance to visit and speak last year). In that video interview, you’ll hear Sims talk about a webcomic that he created with artist Angael Davis (whom Dawud recommended). That webcomic is K.E.I.S.H.A. read on to learn more.
Scientists create a robot. Robot increases intelligence. Robot goes berserk. You may be familiar with a story such as this but have you heard of the robot who falls in love thanks to listening to hours of old school R & B love ballads? This twist is the latest addition to the science fiction genre or better known as sci-fi. This science-soul-fiction is the exciting web series entitled, K.E.I.S.H.A. by college administrator and writer, Guy A. Sims.
Dr. Guy A. Sims of Bluefield State College was inspired in two ways to create this story. “I was attending a grant symposium put on by the U.S. Department of Defense and one of the speakers remarked that robots are getting smarter and smarter every day. As a writer, I found that statement to be intriguing and put it in the back of my mind for another time.” It was in his role as a board member of the West Virginia NASA Space Consortium he saw firsthand the lack of minority students involving themselves in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities. “Not only were there a very few minority scientists for the children to meet and interact with, in the media, but I also found the same. In television, movies, in books, they simply just didn’t exist.”
It was the merging of these two experiences that inspired Sims to create the story of K.E.I.S.H.A..
“I am not a scientist, but I do know that role models come in many different fashions so I decided to create some that young boys and girls could read about, experience their adventure, and hopefully will see themselves as future scientists.” – Guy A. Sims
According to data from Change the Equation, the stem workforce is no more diverse today than back in 2001 despite a national focus directing more students to science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Despite comprising 26% of the workforce, African Americans and Hispanics represent only 11% of all STEM employees.
Sims solicited the artistic talents of Angael Davis to serve as the artist and contracted with the Black Science Fiction Network to host the web series. The K.E.I.S.H.A. web series will run similar to the comic strips in the newspaper. Beginning in February 2017, readers will be treated to the adventures of Eman the physics & mechanical engineer, Brina the electrical engineer, Bami the computer systems designer, and of course, K.E.I.S.H.A.. “I want to show a group of scientists who are young, smart, cool, driven, and most of all, relatable. They’re the kind of scientists the youth would want to be.”
Guy A. Sims – co-creator and head writer of the Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline comic book series, the Brotherman graphic novel, Revelation, and the graphic novel adaptation of Walter Dean Myers’ youth novel, Monster.
Angael Davis – Davis has appeared in several anthologies, including the VIZ MEDIA ‘s seek and find anthology BRAVEST WARRIORS: The Search for Catbug and Kickstarter anthologies GAME ON: The Respawn and HORIZON. Her skills and techniques work to bring an exciting, dramatic, and humor-filled sci-fi adventure. K.E.I.S.H.A. is set to be the first soulful take on artificial intelligence. See more of her work on her site ACD Studios.