Aaron D’Errico always wanted to play soccer like his superstar dad, who led the USA Men’s National soccer team, but since birth his leg muscles have been damaged by disease. His determination to overcome, however, blossomed within his imagination where he visualized his victories through a comic soccer superhero named “Ammon”.
His comic hero, Ammon, is a medical student with cerebral palsy (cp) who secretly dreams of being a soccer star -– like his father –- but during his search for a cure, he gains superpowers through a blend of science and spirit. The powers are enhanced through each positive action he takes, both on and off the field.
D’Errico himself has become an inspiring hero to many, including Marvel comics icon Stan Lee, and he may become a mentor to an aspiring artist thanks to his online contest offering $2,000 to the winning illustrator.
“I don’t see cp as a disability,” D’Errico told a hometown sports reporter at Seattle’s Fox-13. “I see it as a challenge, because challenges are meant to be overcome.”
“To make Ammon unique, I made his distinctive powers become enhanced by taking positive action, especially during moments of conflict,” said the articulate 34 year-old. “Because my goal is to create role models that build strength of character by overcoming challenges.”
His storytelling placed him in the top tier of a Talenthouse contest looking for new superheroes. He took an online writing workshop from Lee in 2008 and met the comic icon at a convention in 2010 where Lee told D’Errico he expects “great things” from him. Ammon was even featured on Stan Lee’s own website recently, in The Unrelenting Aaron D’Errico.
Now Ammon is making a “hero’s journey” of sorts (even alluding to mythologist Joseph Campbell in a biography sent to the Good News Network), to become the subject of his own global art contest with Talenthouse.com.
The online contest running through February 5 is searching for the perfect creative artist to bring the 22-page “origin story” to life in both book and digital motion forms.
Aaron’s dream is to create an entire mythology of characters that are empowering, entertaining, and enlightening while overcome all kinds of challenges.
Ways YOU can help:
Forward this story to any animator you know, and they could win $2000 and a copy of Manga Studios EX5 software for drawing the comic. See the video below that describes the contest. Artists can either submit their previous portfolio work or draw 1-to-5 pages of art based on D’Errico’s sample script. (Click “Participate” then “Get Details”)
He also started an online fundraiser at Crowd Tilt for those who want to help, for covering the cost of making his comic book.
Follow him on Facebook, too: www.facebook.com/aaron.derrico
MUST WATCH the inspiring D’Errico below from Q13 Fox, via AOL video:
Illustration by Miroslav Petrov, Stan Lee/Talenthouse