ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s a book about diversity, inclusion and science, with a comedic superhero spin.
“Stink Bomb Man and the Brain Kids” comic book was released in February, but the idea is decades-old.
“I created homemade comic books when I was a child ... I don’t think I ever intended for this to be published. I would share this with my family and friends and they would read it and return it when they were done, like a library,” author Jaylen Christie said.
The stories were imagined while Christie was a young cartoonist, and now brought to life by successful public relations expert, motivational speaker and now author Jaylen Christie.
It was the experiences Christie had as a child that inspired him to create his own comic books with characters who look like him.
“I remember being a kid on the playground and, this had to have been when I was in the first or second grade, we were playing X-Men and I wanted to be Cyclops and I remember a little white boy told me that I could not be Cyclops because Cyclops is white and I’m Black. That made me think, ‘Sheesh, there aren’t a lot of Black superheroes.’ That had a profound impact on me as a kid and it just stuck with me as I aged,” Christie said.
The comic is meant to be funny. The superhero is named Stink Bomb Man with the letters ‘PU’ on his suit in the illustrations.
“It’s not what you think. It stands for protection unit, but people think it means ‘pee-ew,’” Christie said. “Stinkbombman is an intergalactic peacekeeper from the planet Stinkopulous and crash landed on Earth and saw that the Brain Kids are working to keep the city of Princeton Bay safe. So he decided to stay on the planet to assist them. The Brain Kids are siblings with high IQs coming from a family of science.”
The story also educates its readers through the Brain Kids.
“This is Brittany McBrilliant and this is her brother, Jesse McBrilliant. This is when they shift into the Brain Kids,” Christie said. “What’s unique is that they are superheroes with no superpowers, but they fight crime using science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
“The book features quotes from notable African Americans. Each quote sets up the following story,” Christie said.
Christie describes the story as an unapologetic celebration of diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Jesse McBrilliant has a friend, Elle Yamamoto, who is a young Japanese-American girl who attends school with the Brain Kids. Her best friend, Trish, is disabled, and their dad is an openly gay man,” Christie said. “When children read it and adults digest it, they’re able to see themselves reflected on the pages because when I was a little boy, I didn’t necessarily have that.”
Christie’s comic book was released in February and he’s already receiving positive feedback from young readers.
“So many of my friends sent me photos and videos of their children reading my comic book... I cried copious tears. It’s been immensely rewarding,” Christie said.
News 6 Creative Services producer Kyle Reese also helped bring Christie’s story to life, digitally illustrating parts of the comic book.
CLICK HERE to order a copy of “Stink Bomb Man and the Brain Kids.”
Christie revealed that he is currently working on volume 2 of the series where the superheroes will battle Dr. Tish-Toc, a villain with the ability to time travel.
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