The new superhero comic from Autism at Face Value, an advocacy group aimed at promoting autism awareness, is really making a splash.

Face Value Comics, the first issue of which is currently available in comic shops, has completely sold out, according to a blog post from the organization. Autism at Face Value attributes much of the comic's success to a segment on NBC Nightly News that highlighted the comic and its protagonist, Michael, who creators Dave Kot, Angela Kot, and Sky Owens tout as comics' first-ever autistic superhero.

The official description of Face Value Comics describes the setting of the story as "a steampunk world with aliens and robots, and lots of misunderstanding." The creators further explain the setting in another blog post: "People with an ASD diagnosis are often very comfortable with technology and complex detail," they wrote.

The post continues:

By placing our characters in a world that’s just a bit off kilter, even for our neurotypical readers, we’re able to help them better understand what it’s like to navigate the neurotypical world with an ASD diagnosis.  For our autistic readers, we can use the steampunk world to engage their attention while using Paul Ekman’s theory of expression to help them better read others’ facial emotions.

So it's not just because steampunk is trendy. There's a real reason.

And Michael isn't the only character who exhibits signs of autism in the book. Each character exhibits or has a basis in a different clinical diagnostic criteria for autism.

Kot says more copies of Face Value Comics issue #1 are on the way, but in the meantime, you can pick up a digital version of issue one at DriveThru Comics.

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