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.
The story featuring Aryana is likely unlike most fans at the pop culture extravaganza have seen.
“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.”
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.
“We help them find employment, enroll in English classes, enroll their children in school,” Aryana explained.
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.
“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.”
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.
“They have been signing up their names to get involved as volunteers with our organization,” Aryana said.
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.