By Kelly Werthmann


DENVER (CBS4)– Of all the characters in costume you will find a Denver Pop Culture Con, little might you expect that a casually-dressed woman walking among the crowds is a real comic book star. “That’s me here,” Farah Aryana said with a laugh, pointing to a drawing of herself.

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The story featuring Aryana is likely unlike most fans at the pop culture extravaganza have seen.

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“Not many people know about refugees, about what immigrants go through,” Aryana told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “It was a great way of telling their story through a comic.”

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Aryana came to the U.S. from Iran 30 years ago. She has since become a volunteer at the African Community Center (ACC), a non-profit in Denver that helps refugees settle to life in Colorado.

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“We help them find employment, enroll in English classes, enroll their children in school,” Aryana explained.

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Her story is one of six in “Connection Through Comics,” a comic book created by the ACC to share experiences of refugee families. The organization was asked by Pop Culture Classroom – the Colorado nonprofit that puts on Pop Culture Con — to create the unique comic book as part of its mission to celebrate diversity and build community.

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“A lot of times we think of people being so different from each other,” Aryana explained. “We have different religions, we look different, we have different practices, but I think throughout this story you get to know each refugee family and realize how much more we are alike.”

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Pop culture fans were more than just drawn to the special comic book on Friday, many bought some of the comic-themed items handmade by refugees and learned ways they could help the ACC.

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“They have been signing up their names to get involved as volunteers with our organization,” Aryana said.

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An unexpected comic book hero, bringing people together one page at a time.

“We’re hoping through these stories, you realize that, at the end, we all belong to one race – the human race,” Aryana said.

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LINKS: African Community Center | Denver Pop Culture Con

Kelly Werthmann

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