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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 62
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Posts: 19,598
Location: Long Island, New York

23 Apr 2019, 2:10 am

'A positive light on human diversity': FanX embraces the world's first autistic superhero

Amidst all the celebrities, mythical worlds, fandoms and elaborate costumes at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, one new superhero stood out.

"Focus Comic" features one of the world's first autistic superheroes.

"We're trying to put a positive light on autism by creating an autistic superhero," Yvonne Wan, a social cultural anthropologist and the creator, writer and artist for the comic, said.

The action adventure horror comic follows Focus who can predict the future by using the skill of probability. Wan says his superpower is his autism. While writing with a positive perspective, the comic also addresses issues children and young adults may face, like bullying.

Tony Todd, a character actor known for his roles as Zoom in "The Flash" and voicing The Fallen in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," says this project hits home for him.

"I have family members that are on the spectrum... [My] older brother is mentally challenged and [he] passed away three years ago."

Thato Axikiwe, a member of the United Nations and director of the secret lineage, is Todd's character in the comic.

Not only does the project feature an autistic lead character, but some of the artists behind the scenes are also on the spectrum.

Douglas Hebert, the lead artist and certified teacher, runs an internship program that gives children and young adults diagnosed with autism the opportunity to create comic book art.

21-year-old Tabidi Elkhalil and 12-year-old Malekith George have had their worked featured. Tabidi even received a promotion and now works as a contributing artist on the main "Focus Comic" story. Zoe Marie, 7, is non-verbal and helped draw art for the French issue.

Legendary Paul Mounts, who is famous for working on comic books like "Spider-Man," "Fantastic Four" and "Ultimates," colors some of the artwork for "Focus Comic." In a video interview, Mounts said autistic kids shouldn't be neglected because they are different.

The entire "Focus Comic" is meant to empower people on the spectrum and let them know they can contribute to society in meaningful ways, Wan says.

"Being special is more than being different. It just means finding a contribution in the world and finding a place in the world," Todd said.

Bolding mine

Focus Comic Webpage

Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

"The lunatics have taken over the asylum" - The Specials

Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

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26 Apr 2019, 10:35 am

It’s a pity it probably won’t be made into a movie and become populariZed

Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

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26 Apr 2019, 4:43 pm

I would think it was funny if it was, like, the autistic reporter from The Onion with eye lasers

Benjamin the Donkey

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15 May 2019, 10:54 pm

Does he also have autistic weaknesses? (Even Superman had kryptonite.) Can villains disable him with over-stimulation? Does he get lost on his way to crime scenes and end up at birthday parties instead? Does he get so absorbed in talking about medieval history or dinosaur evolution that he doesn't notice a robbery happening right behind him?

"Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey."