In the world of comic books and fantasy, Boston native Khary Randolph draws for entertainment giants like Marvel and DC Comics, helping fans enter a world of make-believe. But now, he's getting real.
"I'm from a single parent household," he explained. "Lot of violence in the neighborhood."
Randolph is talking about his past to help students in the city's Mattapan neighborhood confront the challenges that still exist.
"I love Mattapan," Randolph said. "It's where I come from, it's made me who I am. But you still see the poverty, you still see things that could get better."
To help make things better, he's leading a master class this weekend inside the Teen Center at the Mattapan Boys and Girls Club, answering questions about pursuing an art career and simply being available.
Ronald Carrol is the executive director, and says he needs more Khary Randolphs to step up.
"There's a lack of positive mentors, I would say," Carrol explained.
Carroll says the success stories from the hood don't always come back or give back to the hood.
"Educational flight, success flight, I'm always at the forefront of having conversations about how to change that," said Carroll.
Randolph now lives in New York and is back in town just this weekend as one of the featured artists at Boston Comic Con. But he plans on staying in touch with the students.