PHOENIX — Valley comic creator and artist Yvonne Wan is using comic books to inspire children with autism and other disabilities to see more in themselves.
“My names Yvonne Wan, I’m the creator of Focus Comic, and I created one of the world's first autistic superheroes,” said Wan inside Brandon’s Comics Wednesday.
It’s a hero that speaks to children in a different way. Sending a message of what they can do, rather than what they can’t.
“Autism is being shown as a superpower and not some disability that some people think,” said one of her students in a video sent to ABC15.
Later this month, children with autism and other special needs ages six to 15 who live and learn in Tempe can enroll in a free five-week class beginning September 26.
The course will teach them to draw their own comic strip. The funding for the program coming in part from the City of Tempe.
“Art helps children gain a lot of self-esteem and self-confidence in their abilities, it’s very expressive,” said Wan.
The Zoom class walks the kids through the building blocks of comic creation - from story development to drawing and coloring.
“The kids just really want to draw characters that they can relate to, and immerse themselves in a world where possibilities are endless and they can be superheroes,” said Wan.
It also offers a place for blossoming friendships, getting to know one another, and offering encouragement. The culmination of their hard work concluding with presentations at Brandon’s Comics off McClintock and Southern in Tempe.
“And I’ll be actually coloring their artwork professionally so that they can feel really inspired to see what their artwork looks like all polished up,” said Wan.
And just maybe one day, the heroes inside each one of these children, find their way into the pages of comic books around the world.
Families have until September 25 to sign up for the class. Wan also offers a number of free drawing classes for children living outside of Tempe.