Mylène or AspiGurl and her partner Jean-Nicolas who behind WTFrame Comics create adorable comics with a personal take on autism. Jean- Nikolas has a background in 3D animation and CGI. To show her experience with autism, Mylene says that there are two creations in particular that have inspired her to dare and try to illustrate experiences and ideas she has difficulties finding words.
“There are the comic ‘Invisible Differences’ by Julie Dachez( originally published in French) which showed me that it is possible to talk about autism from the first-person point of view without dramatizing it. The webcomic ‘Assigned Male’ also made a big impression on me for its courage, but also for its format. I liked the freedom provided by the webcomic format compared t the constraints of more traditional comics. I must also say that without the online community, I would never have dared,” shared the artist when reached out by Earthwonders.
“Speech is a daily challenge! Not only are words (especially when spoken) not quite natural for me (I think more visually), but there is a huge lack of words to express the daily lives of autistic people. Miranda Fricker, a researcher in philosophy, has written about what is called “epistemic injustices” (the term “epistemic” basically refers to knowledge). She noticed two types of injustices around the knowledge that affect marginalized groups. First, cases where people are not listened to because they’re wrongfully judged as noncredible (testimonial injustice). Second, there are lacks in our shared vocabularies or concepts for naming certain marginalized realities (hermeneutic injustice), Miranda Fricker’s example is the phenomenon of sexual harassment which could hardly be discussed before the concept (or term) “sexual harassment”.
I believe that autistic people are particularly susceptible to these types of injustices. Allists (non-autistic people) will often speak for autistic people (whether they are clinicians, professionals, or parents). It is also difficult to describe certain experiences, I am still looking for a way to express sensory overloads into words! All this to say: it is actually easier for me to illustrate experiences than it is to describe them! And to be honest, everyday life is an infinite source of ideas! The most difficult thing was (and still is!) not to feel obliged to reproduce standard formats. Early on, for example, I had the reflex to use words in the comics because that’s ‘how it’s done,” shared the artist for Earthwonders.
The artist highlighted the importance of surrounding yourself with people who shared their experiences in the first person and also mentioned the Canada Research Chair on Epistemic Injustice and Agency has some really cool projects on this issue.
Scroll down below to see more of her inspiring work.