The Project

Emory Center for Digital Scholarship's enhanced map of Big City

About the Project


The Big City Map Project is a digital platform created by Emory University’s Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) in collaboration with Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Library and the creators of the independent comic, Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline, Dawud Anyabwile and Guy Sims. This platform serves as a prototype that explores the possibilities of GIS mapping and various immersive techniques to highlight the creative process and design elements associated with developing fictional worlds. We propose that such a tool is useful when teaching different texts, particularly speculative fiction, because it is often difficult to highlight all of the artistic and technical choices made by authors to create their fantasy worlds.


Big City


Our project focuses on the fictional setting of Big City, the location where several interrelated narratives created by Dawud Anyabwile and Guy Sims take place. All of the texts used to develop the Big City Universe are archived at Emory’s Stuart A. Rose Library as part of the Black Comix Collection.


In addition to discussing a story’s plot, character development, and other narrative devices in the classroom setting, this project introduces pathways to enter Big City, interrogate spacial relationships, and take an active role in the Brotherman Universe. Such a platform allows for people to not only read a text, but also experience the world through sensory perception provided by 360 panoramic views of Big City. This tool also provides a realistic GIS map where readers have the ability to map out narratives and provide annotations for specific locations as seen in the text. Through this process, individual experiences of the fantasy worlds like Brotherman become far more acute and allow readers to experience the distortion that exists between any fictional rendering and the real world.

Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline #1 Cover

Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline


Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline (1990) consists of eleven groundbreaking black and white issues. This independent comic book series tells the continuing story of a man drawn deeper into the darkness to bring light to those who have lost all hope. Armed only with his strength, wit, intellect, and his drive, Antonio Valor, straddles the line of being both the keeper and dispenser of the law. Supported by a sprinkling of friends, colleagues, and confidants, the residents of Big City can begin to find peace in a place under siege. As it is written on the subway walls, He’s here…and everything’s gonna be alright!

Brotherman: Revelation


Brotherman: Revelation (2016) is a full color graphic novel and the first installment of the inception of Big City’s mysterious purveyor of hope, Brotherman. This long-awaited origin story of the superhero reaches back through the generations to set the foundation for the future. Anyabwile, Sims, and McGee deliver the dynamic first part of a hero’s saga…bursting with action, suspense, pain, and triumph. The wait is over! The revelation is revealed.

Brotherman: Dictator of Discipline: Revelation (Book One)
The Cold Hard Cases of Duke Denim: Hold 'Em Close

Duke Denim


Duke Denim Volumes 1-5 (2013) are a series of novels written by Guy Sims that expand the Brotherman universe by following the early career of Duke Denim, Antonio Valor’s boss in Brotherman. After mysteriously leaving the Big City Police Department, Private detective, Duke Denim has dedicated himself to solving the crimes others have forgotten. From his small office, halfway down the alley and on the left, Duke faces cries for help and punches to the gut…overcharging cabs and cops with a grudge…trying to stay alive and trying to get a date.