Sunday, October 24, 2010

Peoplings - autism, education, and the Savage of Aveyron

Hi, Jeff Benham here. I've been part of PRO-Comics from the start, but this is my first post. I've been toiling away with 7000 BC, making comics, teaching, organizing events, as well as working on my many jobs outside of the comics world. Hi, y'all.

This post is about my main comic project for the past couple years - a graphic novel about autism called Peoplings that I'm making with Courtney Angermeier. Peoplings weaves the stories of two children - Max, a contemporary kindergartner, and Victor, also known as the Savage of Aveyron, a feral child found in the woods of France in 1800. Both are based on real children.

Many of Victor's symptoms were related to autism. Young doctor Jean-Marc Gaspard Itard worked with Victor for five years, and through it he developed what became the basis of not only modern treatment for autism, but special education and many other educational approaches, including Montessori teaching.  Through Max's story, we get to see where all of this has led, as well as those things outside of the formal treatment structure that come into play - family, friends, social support structures, and so forth.

Below I've got a short section - Victor's story leading into Max's, in the very different styles that I'm using for their stories and their perspectives. We have the first section (about 70 pages) completed and posted as a pdf on our website,, and we also just got the project posted on to do some fundraising towards completion.  We always love feedback of any kind.  Comment or send us an email through the website.

Thanks for looking, and thanks to Mike for making the blog.

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