Who Is Hope Man?
A Spandex-clad superhero fights negativity in the Ocean State.
Photography by Chris Vaccaro
Rhode Island has its own superhero in the form of Hope Man. The brainchild of entrepreneurial lawyer and Hatch Entrepreneurial Center cofounder Kevin Murphy, Hope Man inspires hope in the state through comics, costumed appearances, a web series and an activity book, all themed around the character. Murphy founded the nonprofit Hope Actions to raise the collective consciousness of Rhode Islanders through stories and figures that inspire economic growth. “I wanted to show people that there’s hope in our state. It’s ironic, because you see hope everywhere, on street signs, on our state flag and geographic locations like Hope Valley, and yet it’s nowhere to be found in the hearts and minds of some Rhode Islanders,” Murphy says. “I know people have hope and love our state. When you put it out there, it’s great to find people like you.” Hope Man is the force behind rousing action. Murphy envisioned the superhero while working at a law firm as a way to defeat negativity in the Ocean State. He developed the idea through comics, had a costume created that was designed by various artists including a Rhode Island School of Design student, then launched a six-episode live action web series on YouTube. Next came the Hope Man activity and coloring book — illustrated by Rhode Island native and renowned artist Frank Galasso and written by Daniel Highet — which is distributed for free at hospitals and schools. “We created the book to touch upon Rhode Island history and culture through a fictitious superhero,” he says. “It’s a way of shining a light on what’s great about Rhode Island to give residents and kids a sense of pride in our state.” facebook.com/hopeactions401