Halloween isn't just for being spooky -- apparently, it's for supporting local talent.
Hometown comic book company Face Value Comics will make a public appearance at this weekend's Halloween sale at Comix Connection.
Known as the world's first and only comic book to feature a hero with autism, the first issue is due out in a few weeks, said founder Dave Kot of Dover Township.
Saturday's meet-and-greet goes all day and will feature members of the Face Value team, from artists to script writers, he said.
Attendees can expect free candy for costumed kids, a coloring page contest, prize giveaways and special merchandise, such as T-shirts, postcards and exclusive glow-in-the-dark yo-yos, Kot said. Guests will also be able to reserve their copies of Issue No. 1 in person.
The book: The four-part comic series explores emotional understanding in social situations with young readers and their families.
The comic uses science in the form of psychologist Paul Ekman's Facial Action Coding System to explain the seven kinds of basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, contempt and disgust.
It uses common middle-school motifs, such as bullies, crushes and homework, and weaves them into a science-fiction steampunk world, Kot said -- all for the kids' sake.
"Our mission remains the same: help children feel safe, wanted and
successful in their homes, schools and communities," he said.
And the books are for anyone: You don't have to be autistic to benefit from learning about emotions, Kot said.
"Most importantly, fans see a hero who is just like them," he said.
Growing fast: Face Value, a 2-year-old company, has picked up momentum in the past couple of months: Issue No. 1 has grown from 16 pages to 28 full-color pages since the project began, Kot said.
The staff and artists have switched up a little, and the new team of writers and artists has 50 years of collective professional experience in the comic book industry, he said.
The Face Value Facebook page has gone from 250 likes in mid-September to almost 600, and the company has taken 400 worldwide pre-orders for Issue No. 1, Kot said. He anticipates up to 500 visitors at Saturday's event.
And since fan mail has asked for new products, Face Value recently began negotiations about a possible toy line based on its characters, he said.
"However, our most rewarding experiences include fans' stories," Kot said.
His favorite email includes a video taken by a United Kingdom mom who has an autistic child who is largely nonverbal, he said. When the child saw the Face Value website with character art and fictional biographies, he pointed to himself, Kot said.
"I cried when I saw the impact our comic can make," he said. "How many people pursue their dreams and make their hobbies a new career?"
-- Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comix Connection's annual Halloween Sale-ebration will take place Saturday and Sunday at the store's location in the West Manchester Mall. Store hours are 10 a.m. till 9 p.m. There will be costume contests, comic book specials and prizes.