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Metaphase art

ORANGE CITY, Iowa -- Chip Reece, a 2004 Northwestern College graduate, will be reading from his graphic novel "Metaphase" as part of the college's Deep Song Reading Series.

The reading will take place at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Fireside Room of the Raimaker Center, 101 Seventh St. SW.

"Metaphase" is the first graphic novel to feature a superhero with Down syndrome. The main character, Ollie, is named after Reece's son, who also has Down syndrome. Following Ollie's birth, Reece searched unsuccessfully to find comic books featuring superheroes his son could relate to.

"I wanted Ollie to be able to see himself," Reece said. "I want him to dream as big as anyone else and not be limited by what people think he can do."

Reece eventually drafted a teaser, sending it to Kelly Williams, an illustrator he admired. Williams' dynamic, stylized approach caught the eye of Alterna Comics. A successful Kickstarter campaign led to the graphic novel's publication in 2015. 

The story behind "Metaphase" has been featured on CBS News as well as at People.com.

Reece is working on a sequel.

The Deep Song Reading Series seeks to enable students and community members to listen to new and established authors speak about their works and share some of their writing experience.

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