Last week, Spectrum Fusion was invited to cover a story about neurodiversity at Comicpalooza 2022 and we set up a table to spread the word about autism and hidden talent! With press passes in hand, the team set out to conduct interviews and share their story.
Comicpalooza is Houston’s premiere comic book and pop culture convention, focusing on things like science fiction, fantasy, superhero comic books, anime, gaming, tabletop RPG’s, cosplay, and much much more! Conventions like these are found all over the world, and are beloved by all sorts of people.
Notably, comic books, anime, and other kinds of speculative fiction tend to be particularly beloved by people on the autism spectrum, or with other neurodivergent conditions.
It is not exactly known why, but it seems to be a relatively common experience for people with ASD to be attracted to the bright, colorful, larger-than-life characters found in comic books, anime, cartoons, and other forms of media celebrated at conventions like Comicpalooza. Here at Spectrum Fusion, for example, we’ve had many conversations in the break room about what kinds of movies or TV shows we’d like to write for companies like DC or Marvel, and we’ve talked at length about franchises like Transformers, Ghostbusters, and Knight Rider.
So it was with a lot of excitement that we set up our booth at Comicpalooza So it was with a lot of excitement that we set up our booth at Comicpalooza 2022. We prepped for the event by prepping flyers and reading material for people who might be interested in learning more about neurodiversity, and who might be interested in supporting organizations designed to empower adults on the autism spectrum. We also took some time gathering together a lot of our merchandise to hand out to con-goers, and setting them up as prizes for a little quiz that we would hand out about autism, its myths and misconceptions, and how it’s presented in pop-culture. It was a huge hit!!
Comicpalooza is a great event to showcase just how much people on the spectrum love this kind of speculative fiction and how they can turn it into a strength, and even make a career out of it. This love of fantasy and sci-fi can be turned towards creative pursuits such as drawing, painting, sculpting, story writing, and much more. During our time at Comicpalooza, the media team managed to interview several members of the neurodiverse community who had managed to do just that.
Rachel Joanna, who is also a member of the Spectrum Fusion Studios media team as their graphic designer and artist, was present at Comicpalooza 2022 to promote her webcomic, “Bird Brain,” which is a tale about a bird girl living in a fantasy world, struggling with the fact that she cannot fly where all of her peers can. Rachel was thrilled to be able to promote her webcomic to a wider audience, and was happy to speak about where her inspiration comes from and how her autism has played into her work and writing. Her webcomic can be found on Webtoon at https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/bird-brain/list?title_no=612244&page=1.
Also present at Comicpalooza was Addie Pierce, known on the internet as ADHD Sketcher. Addie previously worked as a Special Education Teacher and now works as a tutor for children with special needs, but also creates art that she has designed to specifically play into the tactile and kinesthetic nature of people with ADHD. She also went on to tell us about her upcoming webcomic, which stars a cast of mushroom people. Pierce’s art can be found at https://adhdsketcher.com/.
Our Spectrum Fusion member, Noah Mischael, was also there alongside the Spectrum Fusion booth. Noah took this opportunity to promote his burgeoning company, “Pipe Cleaner Party,” where he makes sculptures out of pipe cleaners. During the event, Noah took requests from various con-goers and spent the days making custom figures for people.
We are all very thrilled to have had the chance to promote Spectrum Fusion at Comicpalooza 2022, and are so happy to have met so many beautiful neurodivergent people there. It’s clear that conventions like Comicpalooza do a lot to bring the neurodiverse community together, and we are eager to continue attending events like this in the future.