Edmonton couple hope comic book can help them build a better life

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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EDMONTON - An Edmonton couple still coping with a paralyzing car crash are taking the comedic approach to building a better life.
Robert Burke Richardson, 35, and his 31-year-old wife Kuen Tang, who has been a quadriplegic since a 2001 crash in B.C., are a few Internet votes away from having a comic book published by DC Comics.
A win could mean financial stability and even a baby for the hard-slogging pair.
"Once I start making money from writing, we can look at having a baby and moving on with that aspect of our lives," said Richardson.
Their comic "Absolute Magnitude" - a fantastic space tale - is currently ranked No. 1 in voting at ZudaComics.com.
Just seeing the view counter roll past 7,000 was exciting, said Richardson.
He writes scripts for the comics. Their friend Martin Morazzo of Argentina draws the sharp-jawed soldiers and giant space ships of the tale.
Then Tang lays the speech bubbles and words on top using the little motion left in her hands to manipulate a computer mouse, said Richardson.
If "Absolute Magnitude" stays on top at the end of the month, the trio will win an online publishing contract worth $250 per page.
"It would be a lot more than I've ever made in comics before," said Richardson, who published his first short story in 2004.
The contract would call for 52 pages of comic, making $13,000 for the couple. And more could come later if the comic catches on.
That's big cash for the couple who lives on one income.
"A lot of people with disabilities are government-support dependent," said Tang. "We've always had a goal in mind to be as independent as possible."
"It's a very important step for us to get back to normal life as it was eight years ago."
Currently, Richardson stays home full time to care for Tang and tries to fit in some writing time when he can.
"I take care of her until 2 a.m., then wake up at 10 a.m.," he explained.
Tang, meanwhile, works eight-hour days for the Canadian Paraplegic Association, advocating and counselling her peers. She also sits on the Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities.
"When I come home, that's sort of my relaxing time, when I do the lettering," she said. "It's sort of like painting, but with words."

Organizations: DC Comics, Canadian Paraplegic Association, Council on the Status of Persons

Geographic location: Edmonton, Argentina

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