2014-01-30 / Local & State

Autism Comic Book Released In Stores

By Mollie Durkin

THE YORK DISPATCH

YORK, Pa. (AP) – For something as simple as a comic book, Dover resident Dave Kot’s work has planted a lot of seeds.

The organization he founded, Autism at Face Value, recently released the first comic to feature an autistic superhero.

When the comic hit store shelves around York on Dec. 24, it sold out in less than a week.

Since then, he said, local middle schools have requested copies to use for social skills courses for students with special needs. Doctor want copies to put in their waiting rooms, he said.

“I am overwhelmed, in a good way,” he said. “I could not have dreamt this amount of positive outreach.”

Kot writes the script, and the scene he is proudest of comes when the main character, Michael, goes to his middle school for the first time. The experience turns his world – and the comic panel – upside down.

“It forces readers to literally look at somebody with autism differently than they may have expected,” he said.

There are four anticipated issues of the comic, and Kot is now working on the script for Issue No. 2, he said.

The organization, which legally changed its name from Face Value Comics to Autism at Face Value, looks to tackle more than just comics, Kot said.

The nonprofit will also continue research and community outreach, partnering with other businesses and organizations to reach a wider audience, he said.

The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders asked Kot to submit a copy of the comic for review, he said.

“It’s kind of unique that a comic book would be reviewed by a journal of that professional caliber,” he said.

After some restocking, Issue No. 1 is available at three local comic book stores: Comix Connection in West Manchester Township, Planet X Comics in York Township and Comic Store West in Springettsbury Township. Managers said they’ll continue to carry future issues.

Jared Wolf, manager of Comix Connection, said his store sold about 60 copies.

“I think people really responded well to it,” Wolf said. “I think it achieved what they set out to achieve.”

And for Alex Levitsky, manager of Planet X, it’s a partnership that will continue.

“We want to do more with them down the road,” he said. “They’re really nice people with good motivation.”

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