If there's one comic I'm most excited for in the coming year, it's Solestar. It's currently in the Kickstarter phase, but it deserves your attention and your support.
Writer/creator Siike Donnelly is a friend of mine, who I met first on Facebook and later in person at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles. Siike is a survivor of a brain aneurysm, a cerebral eruption that left him severely debilitated. Despite this, he's managed to relearn basic functions that most of us take for granted, such as walking and talking. He's also kept very active in the comics community, having written a few novels, doing a regular Nerd Nation podcast with Gene Hoyle , adopting an adorable stray dog named Echo, and even doing some real-life superheroing.
Usually discussions of people "overcoming" disability are incredibly patronizing, treating the disabled subject as an object of pity, and using the narrative to shame able-bodied/minded people in a way that has the opposite effect (i.e. "this person can't walk but has done so much with their life, therefore you should be able to do even better than this cripple"). They also tend to gloss over the actual challenges of disability by treating them like a super-villain that can be conquered. I'm trying to avoid that here, because I know that Siike struggles on a daily basis, and lives with a lot of pain. His many achievements do not lessen what I know he has to endure, but they do show a man who's become much stronger than most for his hardships. I believe the two defining characteristics of any person are their compassion and their willpower, both of which transcend any physical or cognitive difficulties. Siike has plenty of both.
And Solestar is the culmination of Siike's achievements, a story about a superhero's final days. It's a charity project for the Brain Aneurysm foundation, with all proceeds helping that organization and by extension the people who have suffered that insidious condition. It started as a pitch for a Superman story, but was later reworked into an original character's saga, and came out even stronger for it. And it's got artwork by over 60 people, including yours truly. (Siike gave me a script for a page that was written to my talents, so expect to see a lot of kitties doing kitty things). The artist roster has a wide array of men and women, all of them with unique abilities but each bringing their own voice to the project. There are even some big names in the mix, such as Bill Morrison of Bongo Comics, Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, and Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman.
I've read part of the script for this and really want Solestar to be published. Solestar is co-titled "the Naive Project", due to the inherent naiveté of trying to change the world with art and comics. But it's only naive if we let it be naive. Please consider adding some funds to the Kickstarter to bring Siike's story to the entire world.
Here's the link once again.