Jack and Zach: The Talk of the Town was written to bring awareness to disadvantaged children, a subject I feel strongly about. When I was a young boy, I was heavily impacted by children who had obvious disadvantages. Those memories stuck with me, and I wanted to help make a difference in the lives of the children and parents who need to make that extra effort to support and encourage their children to believe in themselves and excel in life in spite of their handicap.
Ever since I was a young boy, I saw things from a different perspective and loved to draw.
I didn’t realize it back then, but I had a keen ability to communicate visually. Although my writing skills took some time to hone (and I am still learning), the passion that I had for art was always appreciated, even in grade school. Kids would voluntarily pony up portions of their lunch money to encourage me to draw their favorite comic book heroes. I even struck bargains with the bullies, who loved it when I drew cartoon characters of their likeness, and the teachers, who would give me extra credit for making a beautiful cover to my book reports and school projects.
Ambition is what guides all of us, and those who take the initiative to better themselves in spite of their physical or emotional setbacks are the true champions of our society. That’s why I created the medallion below, which is symbolic of the truly remarkable people who go beyond the scope of their abilities and inspire others to become “cape-able!”
Jack and Zach: The Talk of the Town was written to inspire children to take advantage of all that life has to offer and be bold and responsible. Whether you have a disabling condition or not, there are challenges in life that all of us need to overcome, and sometimes these challenges are what build character and teach us to appreciate and respect one another. Although the book was written for children 7-12 years of age, it was also intended for parents in the hopes that they might introduce themselves to the new neighbor who has a child with a disadvantage.
Proceeds from the sale of the books will be used to deliver a positive message and support this cause to help those in need. The comic fosters a positive outlook that instills the importance of being ambitious without losing the curiosity and carefree nature that makes being a kid so fascinating and downright hysterical.
I’m an established professional visual communicator and an expert at optimizing brand recognition and building brand equity. I’m also an inventor, an advertising professional graphic designer, painter, illustrator, technologist, and author. I believe that paying it forward is an important part of our obligation to society, but it’s also important to entertain the audience to get your message across. That’s why I wrote and illustrated Jack and Zach: to bring awareness and support to those who need a platform and a voice.
Paul Amelio is an illustrator and author of Jack and Zach: The Talk of the Town, published by Mascot Books. You can follow him on Twitter at @N2SuperGrid.