The inspiration for this project was mainly due to the fact that I have a close friend (requested to remain anonymous) with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Along with this, I’ve become more aware of how autism is portrayed in the media through film and television.
My main focus throughout the research for this project was a case study that I conducted on my close friend with autism. However, because I’m choosing to portray a character in a comic book, I also focused on autism media representation. The research I conducted for this part of the project specifically focused on watching different documentaries on autism, as well as comparing different movies that feature autistic characters.
Although the portrayal of these characters tends to be in a more positive light compared to older film and television, there’s still a running theme that feels disingenuous; the characters with ASD usually have some sort of “ability” that almost makes it seem like people with autism are geniuses or people with some kind of superpower.
I wanted to create a story where the main character is a normal person who faces a problem that neurotypical people wouldn’t have to deal with. In this case, that’s a professor who isn’t willing to accommodate the character’s needs when it comes to classroom instruction. Although this short story only goes over one issue that comes up in the main character’s life, it makes you think about what other kinds of obstacles this person has to face simply because they’re ‘different’.
I hope you enjoy reading this comic!