Over the past 30 years Simmons has been a professional actor and writer. He’s penned (and in some cases also created) a number of juvenile mysteries under a variety of pseudonyms for many well-known publishers. He’s also written several educational documentaries and stage plays. One of his plays, Sherlock Holmes & the Hands of Othello, received critical praise and was published in an anthology by Signet/Mentor Books.
Simmons has written three movie novelizations for Disney and three biographies for Steck-Vaughn, including one on Denzel Washington. He has also created/written and independently published a critically acclaimed adventure comic book series, BLACKJACK, about an African-American soldier of fortune in the 1930s.
Simmons co-created Orpheus for DC Comics Batman books, authored Scooby-Doo comic book stories, three mini series for Archie Comics; created 12 interactive mysteries for the Tiger Toys’ WHO DONE IT; and has co-written a middle grade mystery series, The Raven League for Penguin Books.
Simmons, along with BCC director of collaborative education Gene Adams, recently created the Kids’ Media Arts and Graphic Design Studio. The Studio was established for the exclusive use of public school children. Through this, collaborative workshops, career seminars, art exhibits, and the annual Kids’ Comic Book Convention over 3000 students, teachers, and parents have participated in literacy based comic book programs.
Simmons travels the country as a guest speaker and teaching artist. He conducts workshops in creative writing (prose, comics, and playwriting), as well as performing and producing for theater. He has conducted creative arts professional development workshops for middle and high school teachers throughout New York State. Simmons has received several awards for his work with young people, and consulted on a number of creative arts programs and curricula for children.
Currently, Simmons is the consulting Arts in Education Director for the Children’s Art Carnival, NYC. He is also a founder and producer of the Kid’s Comic Con; an educational advisor for the Museum for Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) in NYC, and on the board of the New York State Alliance for Arts and Education. He is also a member of the New York Writer’s Workshop.