Doug TenNapel Blog: Graphic Novels are great for autistic readers.

March 4, 2014

“Hi! I know this is random and you probably won’t even see this but I just had to write. My son really loves your books, cartoons and video games. The most amazing thing is that he came home from school today and ran upstairs to read about the ‘Cardboard boy’  book he got for Christmas. My son is autistic, so getting him to read is s HUGE struggle…this is the first time I saw him not only do so without any prompting but he did it with joy and said, “I love Doug TenNapel” he’s awesome at everything!!” So thank you for being awesome and inspiring my son.

Sincerely, a grateful Mom

One of the strange benefits I’ve had to writing graphic novels is the number of reluctant readers, autistic kids and people who struggle with dyslexia that have written me about their love of my work. I never intended to write gateway books to reading, but I’ve had so much feedback now that I’m convinced this graphic novel medium is a top candidate for literacy programs everywhere.

I have another special joy in having these kids in my audience… it’s that I was never normal. I’m happy to call this audience my peers because I remember what it was like to feel like a bit of an outsider even in my own skin. I had a few comforts of my own to help me get through those tough years and they came in the form of The Bible, Ray Harryhausen movies and raising amphibians.


4 Responses to “Doug TenNapel Blog: Graphic Novels are great for autistic readers.”

  1. That’s awesome! I (a 40 year old) and my daughter (9) both love your work. She will love even more of the early stuff when she’s a little older. She told me the other day she wants more, so if you could get on that that’d be great.

    I’ve had similar feedback in the podcasting world recently. The show I did with Ethan for about a year about Axe Cop where we read the comics, described them, and interacted with the content… I’ve found out that blind people are listening to the archives of the show because they can’t do web comics any other way. Makes me want to start a show where we just read like 20 web comics for folks who can’t see. Point being, It’s amazing how the work you put out to the world is consumed and experienced in ways you never thought possible. Keep it up! :)

  2. Gene DeCicco Says:

    Awesome Doug!

    Another check on the list of making the world a better place.

    So thrilled for you buddy!

    This must fill you with joy!

    Thanks for sharing!

    -Gene DeCicco

  3. Chris Says:

    Does your graphic novel work incorporate your christian understanding of things? I’ve got an autistic kid in my churches youth group wanting to be discipled and I’ve been at a loss finding material to go through with him.

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