Cartoons and comics have always been important for one man in Brooklyn, but he longed for the day he saw a superhero that looked like him.
Growing up in Crown Heights, Haile David loved watching cartoons and reading comic books, but he rarely saw a person that looked like him.
“The first comic person I could relate to was Static Shock because he had dreadlocks, he was just cool, he was just a young black kid and he was just normal and that's the first time I had really seen myself represented in a cartoon on such a big scale and I’ve been inspired ever since,” says David.
For two and a half years, the 29-year-old worked on Aloe Adventures
“I just had to literally make stick figures of what I seen in my head and then I found an artist,” says David.
The story follows the character Aloe as he makes his way through New York City. It includes real life experiences, which David was reluctant to share initially.
“Your job as an artist is to be vulnerable, is to show the world who you really are because you never know who you're helping or who's going through similar things that you're going through,” says David.
The author's family hails from Trinidad and Tobago, a culture he wanted to infuse into the book.
“A lot of the language is basically West Indian within the book, there's a lot of urban words in the book but then there's also a glossary to help you understand what we're saying and what's going on,” says David.
He hopes it will be relatable to people of color but appreciated by everyone.
“New York is such a diverse place. It has everybody who you come across in New York within the comic book,” says David.
David hopes it can one day be a cartoon and is considering producing more books.