Panel from 'The Ride Together'
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as six individuals out of every 1,000 may have autism. People with the neurological disorder usually have difficulty relating socially and communicating with others, and autism is also characterized by repetitive behaviors. It is more prevalent in boys than girls.
Judy and Paul Karasik grew up with an autistic brother. They've written a book, The Ride Together: A Brother and Sister's Memoir of Autism in the Family, that opens a window to their brother's world. The book is a portrait of the Karasik family, offering a loving and honest look at their experiences as the children grew up in suburban Maryland during the 1960s. The chapters of the book alternate between Judy's writing and Paul's cartoons.
Judy's writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe Magazine and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, among others. As a book editor at Holt, Rinehart and Winston, she worked with authors Louise Erdrich, Edward Whittemore and Julius Lester.
Paul Karasik studied with cartoonists Art Spiegelman, Will Eisner and Harvey Kutzman. His cartoons have appeared in The New Yorker and Nickelodeon magazines. Karasik helped adapt Paul Auster's novel City of Glass as a graphic novel. The work has since been translated into several languages. Comics Journal named it one of the best 100 comics of the century.