One of the important goals of Face Value Comics is to build comic awareness. What does this mean? On one level, comic awareness simply means promoting comics as a means for spreading and sharing a message – and more specifically the message of autism awareness.
However, it can also be a means of helping people with ASD decode emotions through careful study of facial expressions – they become “aware” through “comics.” By using Paul Ekman’s theory of microexpression in our drawings, we hope to teach people with ASD to communicate better with others.
People with ASD often feel awkward and confused in social situations, due in no small part to their difficulty in reading the emotions of others. Most neurotypical people learn this skill as children, simply by observation and intuition. They don’t need special instruction. While it can seem incredible to neurotypical people that people with ASD would need specific instruction to read facial expressions and emotions, it’s true. By building comic awareness through the drawings in our comics, we hope to offer a fun way for people with ASD to study and learn to decode facial expressions.
Comic awareness also means building empathy and compassion. This goes for people with ASD learning how to empathize better. It also goes for neurotypical people getting a clearer understanding of the challenges of people with ASD. Most people want to be kind and empathetic, but it can be difficult for people with ASD to even express their struggles. The adventures of Michael and his friends give both people with ASD and neurotypical people a method and language for understanding each other.
© Face Value Comics 2013