Making his rounds at schools, hospitals and charity events, Hope Man has been making his rounds across Rhode Island. The brainchild of an entrepreneurial attorney, Hope Man was created to inspire residents’ hope in the state through comics, costumed appearances, a web series and an activity book, all centered on the character.
Kevin B. Murphy, Esq., of Warwick, is the man behind Hope Man and the superhero’s activity books, costumes and more. He developed the character through comics, by working with Daniel Highet, founder and president of Firesign Media in Newport. Highet had a costume created that was designed by various artists, including a RISD student, then launched a six-episode live action web series on YouTube.
Co-founded by Murphy and his brothers, Jay, Brian and Daniel, Hatch Entrepreneurial Center is in Downtown Providence (right next to PPAC). Murphy had left the firm of Adler, Pollock & Sheehan P.C. (AP&S) to start his own law at his downtown location.
“Soon thereafter, I founded a company based on a superhero [Hope Man] and the idea that I could use Hope Man to save Rhode Island and spread hope in our state,” said Murphy. “The company was originally called Hope Comics, and then I morphed the entity into Hope Media and finally into a Rhode Island nonprofit called Hope Actions Inc., with the idea that "hope" requires not just one action but countless "actions" that eventually spread and increase the self-esteem in our state. In short, I founded Hope Actions to show people [Rhode Islanders and non-Rhode Islanders] that R.I. is a great place to live, work, establish and grow businesses, etc.,” said Murphy.
The illustrator of the Hope Man Activity Book was Frank Galasso, who was born and raised in Cranston, where he still resides. The printer was Image Printing in Warwick. The Hope Man Activity Book includes some state history as well as facts about R.I. – all pages are also set up for coloring, puzzles and quizzes from the state bird to Roger Williams. The books also illustrate good things about Rhode Island.
“My wife, Kate, was instrumental in giving me the courage to create the Hope Man superhero character and my kids were equally important in terms of testing the activities in the activity book and even editing the pages, so it was easier for kids to read,” said Murphy.
Kate Barba Murphy is the vice president at Regan Communications.
Hope Man has appeared at hospitals and schools and has made appearances throughout Rhode Island, including Our Lady of Mercy School (reading books to kindergarten students), Hendricken (for the Hendricken Car Show), Hasbro Children’s Hospital (during its “Nerf Day” at the hospital), McCoy Stadium (for PawSox games and special events), and the Dunkin Donuts Center (during its “Mascot Day” as well as other appearances at The Dunk and with the Providence Bruins).
Murphy’s Hope Man was just recognized on Feb. 2 by Rep. Robert Lancia (Dist. 16) at the State House for his dedicated work and vision and calling for Hope Man to be the official mascot of Rhode Island.
"Rhode Island is a beautiful state,” Rep. Robert Lancia (R-Cranston) said. “We have so much going for us and so much to offer. However, there are many, who are still struggling. Meeting someone like Kevin, who also sees how much we have to offer and be proud of, but also acknowledges the need to offer help to those struggling, for whatever reason, brought us together in this endeavor.”
Lancia stated that Hope Man has participated in his annual Hope for the Holidays event at Panera Bread benefiting Gotta Have Sole Foundation, which is in his district. It was an official citation given to Murphy on behalf of Lancia and Murphy’s Warwick Representative, Evan Shanley.
Recently, Hope Man Activity Books were delivered to all the members of the House of Representatives at the Rhode Island State House.
“My family and I were thrilled to be invited by Rep. Lancia to visit the State House and receive the citation from the R.I. House of Representatives. Bob and I have formed a special relationship ever since we met and worked together for his ‘Gotta Have Sole’ event at Panera Bread in Cranston. He’s a wonderful man, filled with love and hope for our state and its future,” said Murphy.
He added, “It’s a wonderful feeling to be recognized for years of dedication and hard work for not only forming my 501(c)(3) Hope Actions Inc. but also creating the legend of Hope Man, Rhode Island’s first superhero. It’s been a joy creating Hope Man and the Hope Man Activity Book as a way of spreading hope throughout our great state.”
As of now, the Hope Man Activity Books are just being delivered to hospitals and schools for free. You may visit www.hopemedia.com and www.hopeactions.org or call Kevin at 578-6462 for more information and to book Hope Man at your next charitable event and to inquire about the Hope Man Activity Books.