The book is a 200 page graphic novel about a man called Tugboat, a small island town and a very weird storm. It deals with the themes of autism and the ‘social model of disability’. The social model of disability suggests ways society should be organised to remove barriers that restrict and define people with a disability.
My story takes place on one particular typical day where the protagonist goes about his routine despite his awareness of an oncoming storm. This is interesting because Tugboat is hypersensitive to cold, rain, and loud noises. The interactions that take place highlight both the towns importance to him and his importance to the town. The present day scenes are alternated with scenes from Tugboats past, These begin with his birth and show key development challenges and milestones that make him into the person we see today. The final act of the book takes place during the ‘Unforgettable Storm’. The storm affects each resident of the island in a different and perilous way and although Tugboat is busy dealing with the challenges of his autism he has a positive influence on each persons plight. The story is narrated through letters, essay notes, newspaper articles, scrapbook pages and photo albums, which give a real depth and changing perspective about the themes I am dealing with. A website dedicated to the development of this project (including sketches, downloadable pdf’s and a video trailer) can be found through the link below.
These images are from the first issue, plus some samples from future issues. More will be added as the project develops.