Comic books are one of my greatest passions. I read comics almost every day, and even if I am not reading them I am certainly thinking about them. I love the versatility that the medium has to tell different types of stories, both fictional and personal, and how they showcase diverse ways of being to the audience before them. I am especially happy to see more narratives, especially those which have previously been ignored or untold, gaining more interest and attention. One example of this is the growing number of comics and graphic novels focused on examining and discussing the topic of neurodivergence and mental illness.
Among my favourite examples of a comic that has accomplished this is Daniela Schreiter’s The World Beyond My Shadow, a graphic novel discussing Schreiter’s experiences of being a woman on the autistic spectrum. Originally published, in German, by Panini Comics Deutschland as Schattenspringer: Wie es ist anders zu sein in 2014, the comic received an official English translation by Panini Comics in 2016. The book is a graphic memoir detailing Schreiter’s everyday life and childhood experiences as an autistic woman, specifically describing her experiences with sensory overload, navigating the confusing and contradictory social world of neurotypicals, and, most importantly, highlighting how much she loves being an autistic person.