by MILEN MEHARI
I, like many young folks, love scrolling through tumblr, collecting and curating my niche little identity in a corner of the web.
I tend to follow Black artist, vegan food blogs, and generally funny progressive content creators. It was on this platform that I found out about the book BRUH: Black Renditions of Universal Heroes, a collection of drawings by Marcus Prime. Prime renders iconic characters ranging from the Mario Brothers to Naruto as Black women.
While I am not well versed or particularly interested in these cartoons, the concept really intrigued me. There is often conversation about the importance of diversity and inclusion, and some of my classmates have even written about it on this site regarding race and gender.
Whats intriguing about Prime’s work is that he is re-imagining existing pop culture characters. While he also creates his own unique content as well, the reason BRUH is notable is because of the iconic nature of the characters it imitates.
We don’t need much but hats with a large M on them and blue overalls to know that the characters are the Mario Brothers.
The point seems, to me at least, is that these fictional characters are created by humans, thus, we are in control of what and who is seen.