Front Matter

“The adventures of ASPIE MOUSE” is an old-fashioned comic book (today’s graphic novel) to help those on the Autism Spectrum see “unexpected” behaviors rewarded. Chapters are in order after Front Matter, EXCEPT latest chapter posted is first on the blog! Chapters A through I are intended to be published as a Graphic Novel. See “About Aspie Mouse Blog.” As pages are updated, the Copyright notice on each page now say 2019 & 2020. Chapter A is aimed at parents, teachers to explain the philosophy (as is “About AM Blog”), Each chapter (B through I) will have “Notes” (currently used primarily to expand upon the plot for those chapters that are incomplete) and “Questions for Discussion/ Reflection.” Currently, the most complete “sample” chapter in all respects (including a full set of Questions …) is Chapter D, “X is for Exterminator.”

TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THE “CHAPTERS” IN THE ASPIE MOUSE BLOG ( & Graphic Novel)

i-iii         Front Matter: Title Page; Dedication & Copyright Page; Table of Contents

12 pp.  Chapter A: Introducing Aspie Mouse (Preface – Major Revision 4/2020)

10 pp.    Chapter B: Leaving the Nest for “MIT” (Posted 4/2019)

24 pp.    Chapter C: There Goes the Smartest Cat That Ever Lived (Posted 10/2019)

20 pp.    Chapter D: X is for Exterminator (Posted 3rd, final pre-pub version 7.9.20)

20 est. Chapter E: Therapy Dog Needs Therapy (First three pages posted 7.20.20)

18 est.    Chapter F: Klumsy Kat, But Only When Anxious (1st 2 pages posted 8.1.20)

26 est.   Chapter G: Parade of Visitors: Feline, Canine, Rodentine & Humine (1st p. posted 7.28.20)

10 pp.    Chapter H: A New House, A New Cat (Posted 1/2019 as Ch. J)

28 est. Chapter I: At the Zoo During a Pandemic (First 6 pages posted 5.18.20)

Appendix: Chapter Notes & Questions for Thought/ Discussion – Ch.’s B-H (partials for some chapters; in back of graphic novel, but with chapters in blog), Ch. D done

With the posting of the first two pages of Chapter F yesterday (8/1/2020), all nine chapters of “The Adventures of Aspie Mouse” have been posted, at least partially. Thus the next step is to submit this material to a publisher or literary agent! As is noted elsewhere in this blog, once the graphic novel is published, completed chapters will be removed from this blog, except for the first page or two. Comments will still be welcomed, and new chapters for a projected sequel will be added as developed the way they’ve been for these first 9 chapters.

Any artist (especially one on the Autism Spectrum) who thinks s/he can improve upon the artwork in this blog is invited to contact the author (chris@aspiemouse.com) ASAP about submitting samples, potential compensation, etc.

Chapters B & H (ex-J) plus most of C were posted before the author realized he’d sized them to shrink down to fit a “standard” 6 x 9″ trim size vs. today’s graphic novel standard trim size of 5-1/2″ x 8″. Materials posted post-10/19 are sized correctly.

Additional post-10/19 upgrades: putting space between panels; making boxes larger & words readable when shrunk down (still needs more consistency chapter-to-chapter, sometimes even within chapters); also added new material and spread out existing scenes (which some still need). Result: Ch. A was 4 pages, it’s now 12; Ch. D grew from 8 to 20 pp. in 3 stages.  Thus Ch’s. B & H (ex-J) will also likely grow, from 10 pages each to closer to 20. New Ch’s E, F, G & I, while only partially started, will likely average 20 or so pages as well (Chapter I is anticipated to be the longest, perhaps 30 pages; Ch’s C & G will also likely exceed 25 pp., while Ch’s E, F & H will likely be under 20 pp.).

Given that projected average chapter length of 20+ pages plus Appendix, the author has reduced the scope to 9 chapters, to yield a typical print graphic novel of 180-200 pages — or using standard 32-page signatures, 192 or 224 (or 208 if need one half-signature). As life changes, the author continues to modify chapters as they’re developed. Chapter E (Therapy Dog …) touches on Black Lives Matter concerns, albeit indirectly; Chapter F (Klumsy Kat) features a character with “multiple disabilities (differences?)”; and Chapter I (At the Zoo …) uses the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext for its plot, while focusing primarily on Aspie Mouse’s interactions with zoo animals.

Thanks for all the feedback I’ve received. I encourage you to keep giving it! It’s so easy for me — when I get excited by an idea — to lose all perspective as to how it could “land” on others. So I’ve learned I NEED FEEDBACK (especially from neuro-typicals) to avoid trouble. It also helps that I’ve learned not to take criticism personally. Thus I WELCOME ALL FEEDBACK! I’m learning to be a witness and not a judge (a profound Jungian concept). If I don’t implement your suggestion, it won’t be a rejection of you as a person. It’s just that, as a textbook acquisitions editor, I saw what the best authors I had did when I got them “reviews”: they were better able to separate the “wheat from the chaff.” Unlike unsuccessful authors — who tried to appease every reviewer– the great authors I know used what fit — or even improved upon — their vision, leaving other well-intended reviewer suggestions out. Or as they say in 12-step programs, “Take what you like and leave the rest.”

August 2, 2020 Christopher R. Conty

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