Posted Monday, October 10, 2005 3:14:53 PM by Chris Flick
He and I have at least two things in common:
1) We both are artists and
2) We both have a young son who has been diagnosed with autism.
Those two things, in and of themselves, probably doesn't seem all that remarkable. Given the statistics I now know about autism, there are probably far too many artists in the world today who have sons or daughters that have been diagnosed with autism. So you may be sitting at your computer right now asking yourself this question: If that's the case, what makes Nic Carcieri so unique that Chris would feel the need to write a blog about him?
Obviously, the fact that we both have very young sons who have austism connects us in a very unique way but that's not why I'm writing about Nic. As my title of this blog says, I've never met Nic before. I've never talked to him before. In fact, just a few short weeks ago, I didn't even know who Nic was - just as I'm sure he didn't know who I was either.
But, being the artist that I am, I happened to be crushing through one of my favorite comic book-related web sites, Digital Webbing when I came across a pencil sketch of this piece of artwork:
Nic posted an open call for any interested artists to submit artwork for a charity book he was creating in order to raise proceeds for the Autism Society of America. Sounds simple enough, right? It was just a small little post on a very popular comic book web site. But this little post demonstrates exactly how powerful, how useful and how incredibly beneficial the web can be - especially when that message is also combined with a personal blog.
Nic was extremely wise to create a blog detailing this very unique project in a blog because now, this project has started to pick up incredible amounts of steam. It's one thing for relatively unknown artists who are looking for any kind of showcase for their talents (and yes, that includes me too) to donate their time and energy, but it's another thing entirely when big names like Tim Sale who hear about this and decide it's such a worthy cause that THEY want to be a part of it too.
Now, for me, the difficult part comes. I already have a rough idea of what I'd like to draw. Being a child of the 70's, I grew up watching Ultraman and another show that was a favorite of my brother's... "Johnny Sokko and his flying robot". So I am thinking about doing a take-off on something like that - along with an illustration of my son in his super hero persona (Doctor Destructo). I'm thinking Doctor Destructo and his crime fighting flying robot... something along those lines. The trouble is, I'm not normally accustomed to drawing "technical things". My comfort level is in drawing human faces - that probably comes from drawing caricatures for so much of my life. Added to that, how do you draw a humorous looking robot and not have people think of the recent computer-animated movie, "Bots"?
And, even though illustrating a mechanical robot of some sort will be a challenge for me, it's nothing compared to the challenges of dealing with autism. Noticed that I haven't used the words "disease" or "suffer" yet? Well, that's because I don't believe autism is a "disease" or that my son Tyler - or any other person who has autism - "suffers" from it. Sometimes the people who care for an individual who has autism - a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister, an aunt or uncle perhaps - sometimes we go through hardships but it's not really that we "suffer" because of Tyler as much as we make very conscious sacrificial choices.
Autism though, can be very hard to deal with sometimes. The mood swings. The stubbornness. The refusal or inability to communicate to and with the outside world... that can be incredibly hard to deal with. Especially since we know so little about autism... where it comes from... why some family members have it and others don't. That's why research - and education - are so very, very important.
And that's exactly why Nic's project is so special too.