Fareham dad creates comic book with disabled superheroes for his daughter
IN A galaxy far far away (in Fareham), one dad is on a mission to give his daughter a superhero just like her.
Dan White was left distraught after his 12-year-old daughter Emily, born with spina bifida, where there is a gap in the spine, and hydrocephalis – water on the brain – thought people with disabilities weren’t allowed in comic books or on TV.
The 46-year-old said: ‘I just saw red. It made me really mad that she thought that and so I decided to do something about it.’
Dan set out about creating a comic book universe full of characters with a range of disabilities and three years later the first teaser of the Department of Ability is now ready to buy.
He said: ‘Emily is the central character and she has a flying wheelchair. She helped me to create the other characters as well and make sure other youngsters with different disabilities would be represented and be able to say that is someone like me.’
The 44-page comic follows the story of Emily, Pawsy, a cheetah with a running blade, Azzi, an extra-terrestrial with a mechanic prosthetic arm, Billy the dog, who has carbon wheels and a mechanic back tail and Claypole, a blind ghost who uses a cane.
Their slogan ‘Born to be different, born to save the world’ sums up their journey as they try to find out more about a mysterious object placed on Earth by an alien.
Dan said: ‘There is 93m children with disabilities across the world and they should all be able to see themselves represented in the things they like whether that is comic books, social media, TV or sport.
‘I think people need to remember disabilities are not all about charities, these kids don’t want people to feel sorry for them or think they are victims, they just want to be included and be part of everything just anyone else.’
The comic book is a teaser for a graphic novel which Dan hopes he can get published with the proceeds.
He added: ‘There is so much more to the story and any money I make from the comic will go back into getting the novel published and onto the shelves and giving kids superheroes just like them.’
Dan recently teamed up with disability equality charity Scope to lobby the government to appoint a minister for disabled children to help thousands of families across the country.
To purchase the comic book visit departmentofability.com/store/Department-Of-Ability-Comic-p133122574