When Chip Reece found out his son would have down syndrome, he found himself looking for a character with the genetic disorder in his comics, only to come up blank. It was this realization that led Reece to create a character that his son could see himself in.
Reece's son, Ollie, was born in June 2010 and spent the first few months of his life undergoing multiple surgeries for two congenital heart defects. While watching his son fight with each surgery, Reece began to recall the Marvel comics he'd grown up with only to realize his son wouldn't be able to see himself in those heroes. "There's Iron Man with heart issues. That's his whole story," Reece explained to CBS News. "But I wanted a character my son could physically see as himself. Facial features are a big thing."
So, the comic book enthusiast went on to write his first comic book, along with illustrator Kelly Williams, titled Metaphase. The 10-page comic was originally meant to be just for close friends and family but soon caught the attention of the folks at Alterna Comics who wanted to know if Reece could flesh out the story further. And with the help of a Kickstarter campaign back in 2014, Reece managed to do just that. Not only did the book manage to sell around 1,500 printed copies, but it even made it to the library at Ollie's school resulting in his fellow classmates calling him "superhero kid."
The duo recently made an appearance at The Air Capital Comic Con in support of the comic, and according to Reece, it was the first time his son, who is non-verbal, reacted to the comic.
"He pointed at the book and the character then pointed to himself," Reece said. "He's finally realizing that it's for him."
Reece is currently at work thinking about the sequel, which he intends to work on over the summer, but in the meantime, readers can purchase the first volume of Metaphase for just $4.99 on Comixology now.