Friday, September 18, 2015

An Ideal Experience with Disability in Comics at the Comicon: A Photoblog, By Alec Frazier and Autistic Reality

Hello! Today I would like to talk to show you a photo blog on a wonderful experience I had that ideally reflects disability in comics being promoted at comic book conventions. This is not a blog entry about accessibility at conventions, but rather on successful promotion of comics and other creations involving disability, as exemplified by my experience.

The convention in question is RocCon in Rochester, New York. I have been friends with its manager, Alicia Lurye, for some years now. This is my second year guesting at her show, but it is my first year guesting for the entire three day convention weekend, which includes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I was staying with a friend who is a local advocate for people with traumatic brain injuries. At the convention itself, I would be representing my firm, Autistic Reality, and selling my book, Without Fear: The First Autistic Superhero, which I have discussed in a previous blog post, as well as the first anthology for Visions Comic Art Group, for which I am the publicist.
After I got to the show, Alicia easily found me a table that was right in the middle of passenger traffic, but still off to the side of the room so that I would get little breathers here and there.

Countless other creators were there, including my friend Liz Prichard, who has also created autism-related work.

Later in the day on Friday, I chose to get the autographs of two of the main guests while the lines were still short. I am a lifelong fan of Star Trek, so I went to get their autographs. I am in possession of the 40th anniversary book for Star Trek. In this book I got the autographs of two key Star Trek actresses. The first is Nichelle Nichols, who played Communications Officer Uhura on the original series of Star Trek. More on her later. The second is Marina Sirtis, who played Counselor Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation. I grew up watching her in the late 80s and early 90s.

I was scheduled to give a talk the next day, Saturday, so I arrived in costume as the character from my book, Tim Urich, the second Daredevil. My version of the costume was based off of the recent costume of the first Daredevil, Matt Murdock, who had taken to fighting without a mask in a very elegant suit, plus his trademark billy club. It is the most kick ass costume I have ever seen! Before my speech, an autistic couple posed for photos with me, which I gave them for free. It should be noted that most convention guests charge a fee for an autograph or a photo.

During my talk, I showed a presentation that I had developed for Syracuse University on how the comics reflect autism, the making of the book, and an encouraging message for autistic people.

After that, it was back to my table, where I sold a great many books!

I was also dealt a swift blow by a super villain

...and saved by one of my all-time favorite superheroes! The gentleman in the Batman costume was autistic, and was going on the reasonable assumption that Bruce Wayne must be autistic as well, due to his inventive nature and perseverance on good deeds. After all, Bill Gates is much the same, and he is autistic!

Back to Nichelle Nichols, who played Communications Officer Uhura on the original series of Star Trek. I mentioned while getting her autograph the previous day that I was promoting the autistic advocacy cause. Her agent said that she is all for that cause, and that I should stop back to see her on Saturday and pose for a photo with her! This photo will also be used for public city purposes by both of us. Meeting Ms. Nichols and getting her photo and autograph has been a dream for me for more than a decade! You see, she is more than an actress. She is a civil rights hero from its heyday back in the 1960s. If there is any celebrity who I idolize the most as both a fan and the person, it is Nichelle Nichols! She even took part in the first interracial kiss on TV!

The next day, Sunday, was slower than Saturday, but not as slow as Friday. It was an ideal day to explore the convention! This girl showed up in a Totoro costume that was so cute and cuddly that I had to get a photo of me hugging her!

One of the vendors even had Pusheen dolls! I am a firm lover of cats, and Pusheen is just the cutest!

Before the convention ended, someone asked me for an autograph and presented a blank page, so I decided to do some artwork, provided that they could pay five dollars. This will be standard at other conventions in the future. I drew a grinning face with a domino mask typical of many heroes such as Green Lantern and the Spirit. I also drew a tie, because the tie is very important in my characters costume. I added the logo for autistic reality, my autograph, and my characters autograph.

I hope you have all enjoyed this blog post on my visit to RocCon!

This blog posting is both the personal opinion of Alec Frazier, and the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! We are very proud of this opinion!

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