Comic book creator breaks ground with autistic hero - abc27 WHTM

Comic book creator breaks ground with autistic hero

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) -

Inside Planet X Comics in York, you will find your traditional comics, but there is one comic book on the shelves that stands alone.

Its writer may be unknown, but his story is starting to open some eyes.

"I definitely see it has the potential to further grow," Planet X manager Alex Levitsky said.

David Kot's love for comic books dates back to his childhood. They gave him the ability to lose himself in a fantasy world with endless possibilities. Never did he imagine one day he would create his own.

"I've had more success with a comic book than I have ever had professionally," Kot said.

Kot, a former therapist, is creator of Face Value Comics, a science-fiction steampunk comic that has sold close to a 1,000 issues in less than two months.

"It's rather surreal," he said. "Sometimes I feel like I am living in a comic book."

Kot took a risk and wanted his comic to be different.

"We come right out and say our main character has autism, let's go," said Kot.

"He said he had this idea, this one dream to make a comic book for kids to help them understand facial expressions better, and I was like, 'Wow that's amazing!' " said David's wife, Angie Kot.

His hero has imperfections, making him more relatable than the Man of Steel or the Caped Crusader.

"Kids need and want heroes like themselves," Kot said. "We are in a comic book store. I challenge you to find one other comic book that has an autistic character, not just feature but even as a support character. There are none."

The 27-page comic book is not only full of adventure and humor, it stands to bridge the gap between autism and acceptance.

"We have fans in the UK, Australia, all over the world that have sent me comments, emails, even pictures of their kids reading the comic book," said Kot.

"So many families have shared their story with gratitude that we wrote it," Angie Kot said.

It could be viewed as a risk, creating a superhero with autism, but Kot draws from his own life.

"Some people would think a person with autism couldn't write a comic book, they're wrong," he said. "It's a cathartic way for me to be able to talk about that, too."

Just five years ago, a doctor diagnosed Kot with autism.

"For me, it was kind of an 'a-ha' moment that helped me understand why some social situations were different," he said.

His passion is comic books. His cause is awareness. Both are now combined to change the way outsiders view autism.

"The scope of what I am doing now has touched people across the world, and it's a very humbling thing," Kot said.

The superhero in the comic is Michael.

"He doesn't always succeed," said Kot.

But that character and Kot are one in the same in redefining what it means to be a hero.

"Sometimes he falls flat on his face, sometimes literally," said Kot, "but he tries and he gets up, and that's what a hero is."

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