Saturday, February 7, 2009

Autism as a subject in Comics

I wonder . . .

Autism is really getting around these days. I have a nephew who is autistic, and I have Asperger's Syndrome. My brother has an idea on doing a story about autism since his son is full blown autistic.

He wanted to write about autism using the werewolf trope, stating that a Werewolf story is a Victorian Erotic Romance. I'm thinking the same thing, but in a superhero vein (not a Victorian Erotic Romance). I wondered if Kirkman's Astounding Wolf-Man had that potential. After reading the previews and the free first issue, there is nothing autistic about the Astounding Wolf-Man. It's very tragic, but nothing explicitly romantic about it.

However, Autism can be expressed for all comic book readers, even without the Werewolf (besides, my Werewolf would probably be heavily influenced by the Werewolf: the Apocalypse RPG, so it would be a tad different than Kirkman's Wolf-Man; but then I could be wrong).

The best thing about comics now a days, you can write about positively any issue through the independent, creator owned comic world. You can put any spin you'd like on it. Shadowhawk is a superhero with AIDS, he's like Doc Halloway -- a man with a Death Sentence (Doc had TB). That's something that can't be explored in DC or Marvel at the time. Now that Stan Lee might introduce a gay Superhero, I say that character belongs at Image.

Image and Darkhorse cater to the right demographic according to Kirkman (30 year olds, which is making me rethink my own demographic for my own comic). Creators at Image and Darkhorse should explore such powerful issues for the Adult Audience. After all, Dragon is back to being one of Chicago's finest. In Marvel and DC's universes, none of the Crimefighting superheroes work for the Police Departments in their own cities. Batman is a quasi-exception.

Marvel and DC should return to stories that speak to young kids, about 9 to 13 years old. Image Comics and Dark Horse should appeal to older readers. In the mean time, while I prepare a proposal for Factor 1, I believe it should speak to my current generation.

I don't have a gay hero on the Factor 1 roster, but I will eventually have an autistic one. Maybe even said werewolf.

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