“Comic books are a perfect way to raise awareness, educate and represent people facing all sorts of challenges, including neurofibromatosis and other rare diseases.”
NEW YORK (WEB PR)
April 20, 2022
Meet Grace Alondra, whose hearing loss is caused by the genetic disease NF2
Archie Comics and the Children’s Tumor Foundation are pleased to announce that the latest issue of ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST will feature the first member of its iconic cast of characters to suffer from hearing loss. Meet Grace Alondra, who also marks the first time a character living with neurofibromatosis (NF) has appeared in the pages of a major publisher’s comic book. Grace will debut in an eight-page short titled “Sounds Like Music” which will appear in ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #329 in comic stores April 20, 2022.
Archie worked with the Children’s Tumor Foundation to create this character to highlight the many people who have NF2, a genetic condition that causes tumors to grow on nerves in the body and often results in hearing loss. The disease affects 1 in 25,000 births equally in all populations. The comic is part of the Foundation’s global awareness campaign which kicks off in late April and runs through May, which is NF Awareness Month.
In “Sounds like Music”, Archie and the gang meet Grace, a young Latina woman who loves music and especially her favorite band, The Archies. Brave and intelligent, Grace doesn’t let her journey to hearing loss define her. Instead, she’s looking forward to hearing all the good music she can, while she can.
Grace’s journey is all too familiar to people with this diagnosis, which is most often discovered between adolescence and young adulthood. “As a lifelong music fan, I first learned that I would lose my hearing in college, so I decided to listen to all the music I could so I could keep it deep in my heart. memory,” said Matt Hay, who lives with NF2. “I was creating a soundtrack for a life I had yet to live.” Matt was diagnosed early in his college years and eventually lost all hearing due to NF2.
The inclusion of Grace continues Archie’s commitment to introducing diverse and differently-abled characters into his various ongoing comic book series. Archie Comics editor Mike Pellerito is excited to bring this character into the classic Archie universe. “Grace is a talented, smart teenager,” he said. “The fact that she has hearing loss is only part of her story. To me, that’s what really matters, and we’re proud to work with the Children’s Tumor Foundation on an important story like this.
“Sounds like Music” was written by veteran comic book writer Alex Simmons whose Archie Comics work has been hailed as both entertaining and educational. Art is by Bill Galvan, Ben Galvan, Glenn Whitmore and Jack Morelli.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of Archie Comics in our mission to increase awareness of NF to new audiences, especially comic book readers,” said Simon Vukelj, Chief Marketing Officer of the Children’s Tumor Foundation. “In addition to the health issues that NF patients face in their daily lives, they also find that many people have simply never heard of NF. This partnership with Archie will go a long way to changing that and will help give voice to all NF patients.
The Children’s Tumor Foundation has independently developed and published three previous comic book stories, and three more are currently in the works. “Comic books are a great way to raise awareness, educate and represent people facing all sorts of challenges, including neurofibromatosis and other rare diseases,” said Vanessa Younger, director of communications at the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which oversees the Foundation’s comic book program. “The inclusion of a character living with NF2 in this Archie story is the next step in this initiative, and we are actively working on it.”
Current CTF ‘NF Comics’ titles include ‘Understanding NF2’, ‘Moxie and Sparx Explain NF1’ and ‘Moxie and Sparx Introduce the Accelerator’; Foundation comics, including Archie’s “Sounds Like Music,” can be downloaded or read for free on the CTF website at ctf.org/comics.
ABOUT ARCHIE COMICS
Archie Comics is the world’s leading mainstream comic book publisher and home to a wide range of entertainment’s most popular comedy, action-adventure and superhero characters, including Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, Reggie , Kevin Keller, Josie and the Pussycats, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Afterlife With Archie, Dark Circle Comics superhero characters (The Black Hood, The Fox, The Shield, Sam Hill and more), Li’l Jinx and many others. Archie Comics has sold over 2 billion comic books worldwide and is published worldwide in multiple languages. In addition to the comic books, Archie Comics characters are featured weekly on The CW’s Riverdale television series and have been featured in animation, television, film, and music throughout its more than 200 years. 80 years of history.
ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S TUMORS FOUNDATION
The Children’s Tumor Foundation is the world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to funding and conducting innovative research that will result in effective treatments for the millions of people around the world with NF, a group of genetic disorders that cause the growth of tumors on nerves throughout the body. One in 3,000 people is born with some type of neurofibromatosis or schwannomatosis, which can lead to blindness, deafness, bone abnormalities, disfigurement, learning disabilities, disabling pain or cancer. NF affects all populations equally, and although there is no cure yet, the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s mission to stimulate research, expand knowledge, and advance care for the NF community promotes his vision of one day ending NF. For more information, visit www.ctf.org.