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Michael and Tess at the ParkKot: Face Value Comics, Inc. debuts its self-funded, self-titled issue #1 later this year. Our working subtitle is: "The Sky is the Limit." Readers will discover how middle-school aged children handle a galactic alien invasion, as well as typical stresses like bullying and pre-teen romantic interest. Me: Why did you decide to make this Steampunk? Kot: Like our target audience, a steampunk comic book lacks accessible and prominent title lines. Futuristic steampunk also allows us to make important environmental commentaries about energy conservation and (ab)use of natural resources. A steampunk world presents a different-looking world without being too alien or complex. Me: Can you describe some of the supporting characters, like Dr. Darling Moebius, Francis Shaheen and Claudia Faust, to name a few? Kot: "LIKE" Face Value Comics on Facebook! Every Tuesday, or "Who's-Day," we provide unique art and short character biographies leading up to Issue #1's release. Currently, we have over 550 fans on Facebook over the last ten weeks. Our FB "Likes" are all organic. Another business decision was to avoid paid promotions for "Likes" or Twitter "Followers." We draw names from classic literature and personal experiences. For example, Francis Shaheen shares the last name of a character with whom we have already planned a collaborative effort. In the future, Face Value Comics and another comic book writer will feature the experiences of a young, completely non-verbal girl with autism. Me: Why did you decide to make Michael, your protagonist, have autism, versus something else like being blindness, having social anxiety disorder, etc.? Kot: Growing statistics suggest most everyone knows someone who has an autism spectrum disorder. Until Face Value Comics, this special population lacked a voice in comic books; we offer ONE voice amidst a crowd who advocates more admiration and understanding for people living with autism. Having an independent comic book promotes fan appreciation without supposition of larger businesses' gimmicks.
Cassiopeia and ChipperAdditionally, many of our characters also struggle with personal problems. We use ideas like social anxiety disorder (Frank the Tank) and depression (Cassiopeia) to help guide characters' backstories and subsequent behaviors. Diagnoses cannot completely define any person, but remain a piece of their life that we respectfully portray. Me: When, where and for how much can people get their hands on Face Value Comics? Kot: We optimistically await word from our distributer/printer. Our goal is to have Issue #1 – a 22 page color comic book – available in November 2013. Although we offer educational and therapeutic material in addition to a fun storyline, we aim to keep costs close to $5 per issue. Please follow us on Facebook (Face Value Comics) for more details about upcoming availability, including digital downloads and worldwide distribution! Me: Thanks for your time Mr. Kot, and best of luck getting your comic out there! You can follow Face Value Comics on Twitter (@FaceValueComics) or "Like" them on Facebook.