NYCC Panelists Have Sound Advice on Writing Characters with Disabilities

Like real life, some people in comic books have disabilities. Usually they’re the main and tend to be secondary or tertiary at best and villains at worst. More importantly, many of these are unrealistic, and Saturday’s (and Why) To Create Disabled panel at New York Comic Con was about discussing what defines good or bad portrayal of character with disabilities in popular media. And these weren’t just random panelists pulling random names of a hat; the panelists either had disabilities, worked with people with disabilities, disability activists, or a combination of the three, so they knew what they talking about. So, let’s start with what the panelists think are good positive representations of people with disabilities and why. Well, Charles Xavier is an obvious choice, not because he uses a wheelchair. Professor X is actually a good representation because, like many people with disabilities, he’s an activist, albeit for mutants and not people with disabilities. Regardless, Professor X reaches out to his mutants and uses technology to create a safe, comfortable environment, which isn’t too different from what disability activists do. […]

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