Alan • Graphic Novelist & Comic Writer

Alan Brooks, graphic novelist and author of The Burning Metronome, has lived in Denver for more than a decade. Today, he is the writer of the “What’d I Miss?” comic for The Colorado Sun newspaper; host of the MotherF**ker In A Cape comics podcast, which focuses on marginalized members of the geek world; and starting in June he is entering the world of higher education as a professor at Regis University. Here’s what he shared with me about being black in Denver.

What does it mean to you to be black in Denver?

That’s a complicated question, of course. I’m from Atlanta, where I hardly knew anyone but black people, so it’s definitely different being here. I think if I were searching for cultural validation in Denver, I’d be deprived. But since I was raised with it, I can enjoy so much of what this city has to offer, without the shackles of such heavy, overt racism and hate as I found in the South. So I think being black in Denver means paying attention to your own cultural identity, working hard not to let the bullshit outside of you define your blackness, and being determined to shine your brightest within the gift of your blackness.

What do you love most about living in Denver?

The laid back and supportive creative community.

How have your experiences in Denver shaped you?

Denver has been a blessing to my soul, and I’m glad I came here.

When Alan isn’t wearing one of his many hats, you can find him performing under the moniker Soul Daddy twice-a-month at Ophelia’s Open Mic Jam.