Face Value Comics recognizes its duty to provide quality entertainment. We addressed our scientific theories about teaching empathy to children using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). Psychologists world-wide now recognize the importance of facial feature recognition as a communication tool for autistics. This theory’s the foundation of my own PhD research, started two years ago.
However, I doubt kids want a(nother) therapy tool when they open a comic book! When I buy comics, I seek great art, driving storylines, and a hero in whom I can believe. In this spirit, Face Value Comics delivers The Zephyr!
A comic-within-a-comic, The Zephyr becomes a favorite heroic story for Michael and his middle-school friends. They enjoy talking about his recent exploits against the ferocious Bear-Man, Ziggy Tusks, and other opponents. He serves as a role-model for justice. The Zephyr is our nod to the traditional costumed superhero we still cheer…and is inside of us.
I believe independent publishing has its own ethical responsibilities. Unchained from massive editorial boards, brash comics can do whatever they want and pay for publications. We opt for a kid-friendly approach. As a non-profit organization, we have a social responsibility, too. Kids with autism already face communication hurdles inherent in their diagnosis. Therefore, we want to avoid ambiguity about crimes, immodesty, and other potentially confusing social misunderstandings.
Face Value Comics loosely adopts the antiquated Comics Code Authority. Comic book publishers policed themselves to avoid government censorship, and actively sought the literal stamp-of-approval by this governing body. In 2011, the last adherent to the Code broke. However, many tips provide a foundation for ethical and family-friendly products. Therefore, we pledge that:
1. Crimes and criminals are clearly sordid and unsympathetic, with no specific details available for re-enactment.
2. Criminals are punished for their misdeeds…eventually.
3. Educational institutions, fair laws, (human) races and religions are respectfully addressed, if or when presented.
4. Good grammar, and never profanity, shall be employed in most cases.
5. Gruesome bloodshed and excessive details or glamorization of combat are unnecessary to drive plot.
6. Sexual crimes, indecencies and immodest dress are prohibited.
7. The social backbone of families, in any context, is addressed with compassion and tact.
8. Semi-vocal or silent characters’ thoughts and behaviors will be shown with a presumption of competence and respect for their contributions.
9. We respect diversity in many forms, including autism. Using clinical diagnostic criteria as an autistic script writer, our author hopes to convey an accurate and legitimate experience.
Face Value Comics hopes these guidelines help make a socially responsible comic book for young readers, and those who love them.
© Face Value Comics 2015