Do you remember my reading post about Batman 80-Page Giant 2011, and an adventure story about a boy with autism? …Well today I heard about a writer creating the first superheroes with autism.
Dave Kot is the founder of Face Value Comics, Inc. which recently changed the legal business name to “Autism at Face Value” to reflect the company’s social agenda for autism awareness and acceptance.
Dave Kot founded the nonprofit business while working on his PhD in psychology. Combining his research, professional work with kids in therapy, a childhood hobby of reading comic books, and his own understanding of his autism diagnosis, Dave created the concept behind Face Value Comics for kids with autism to enjoy and look forward to reading.
Through the detailed scripting from Dave and his wife Angela, in addition to the artistic talents of Sky O and his 30 years of experience in the comic industry, Face Value Comics has created a family-friendly comic that is equally entertaining, visually remarkable, and educational.
Each of Dave and Angela’s characters are based off clinical diagnostic criteria and face real-life challenges like autism, anxiety and depression. Facial features represent various emotions, so autistic readers can learn and understand the meaning behind behaviours and recognise emotions that each character portrays
The steam punk themed comic features captivating pictures, a meaningful story, and a relatable main character in Michael – who is autistic. Through Michael’s adventures and seeing how he overcomes situations, readers will be able to relate and see that even though Michael has autism, he can make friends, go to school, and become the hero he was meant to be.
“All kids need more heroes like themselves,” said creator and founder Dave Kot. “The comic is about creating a better sense of community in helping kids recognise emotions through a fun story and characters. We want the readers to realize that, like the main character, they too can be their own hero and face the world.”
Why did they choose to become a non-profit organisation?
Incorporating as a non-profit was the best fit for them, because they felt it was the best way to disseminate their mission of Autism Advocacy and Acceptance. They believe that all kids deserve to feel safe, wanted and successful in their homes, schools and communities. As a non-profit entity we have been able to build creative partnerships with other small-and-large non-profit organizations with like-minded goals.
‘’We believe all children have the right to feel safe, wanted, and successful in their homes, schools, and communities. Understanding their own and others’ emotions boosts confidences needed for improved social behaviors. Facial feature recognition builds predictive behaviors, and freezing these faces on a static page lets readers go back and re-evaluate the emotions for comparison. Face Value Comics reinforces these beliefs by telling a social story using a comic book for children.’’
What age range are your comics for?
The comic is family-friendly comic book for all ages. However Face value hope parents will read the comic book with their children. They also hope teachers feel comfortable with the backstory for use in classrooms.
The main character is Michael. He begins his first day at middle school. His bio-engineered service droid, “TESS,” helps him adjust. Michael tries to understand himself and his new friends. This experience takes places against a backdrop of an intergalactic invasion by despots wanting to eradicate useless human emotion.
Since releasing fans across the world have bought and read the comic, and share heartfelt letters of gratitude. Suddenly, they have been thrust into the forefront as positive autism advocates. Professionals want to partner with them for education and community outreach including local community support groups, educators, police departments, and others from all across the globe!
Dave Favorite pages from issue one
Dave’s favorite page from issue one is upside down. This wasn’t a printing problem- it was intentional. Michael begins his first day at middle school, and has lots of questions. Although Michael is upside down, nothing special happens when people re-orient the page, except people transform THEMSELVES! Readers may have to literally change their view to see a person with autism differently than they may expect.
This is only the beginning. There are many adventures in store for Michael and his friends as well as Autism at Face Value.
It is now September and already issue 2 has had a release party back in July 2014. After reading issue one here is my review :
I really enjoyed it! I will recommend it to others on the Autistic Spectrum. And people who just want to read a good comic. I think it really grasps some of the issues.