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Archie Comics and the Children’s Tumor Foundation Introduce Riverdale’s First Hearing-Impaired Character

Archie Comics and The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) have announced that the latest issue of Archie Jumbo Comics Digest will introduce the first hearing-impaired member of Archie’s iconic cast of characters. Meet Grace Alondra, who also marks the first time a character living with neurofibromatosis (NF) or schwannomatosis has appeared in the pages of a comic book from a major publisher. Grace will make her debut in an eight-page short called “Sounds Like Music” that will appear in Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #329, available everywhere comics are sold April 20, 2022.

Archie Comics worked with the Children’s Tumor Foundation to create this character in order to shine a light on the many individuals living with NF2, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves in the body, and which often leads to hearing loss. The disease affects 1 in 25,000 births of all populations equally. The comic is part of the Foundation’s global awareness campaign that launches at the end of April and continues throughout May, which is NF Awareness Month. 

In “Sounds like Music,” Archie and the gang meet Grace, a young Latina woman who loves music — especially her favorite band, The Archies. Spunky and smart, Grace isn’t letting her journey toward hearing loss define her. Instead, she is eager to hear all the great music she can, while she can.

“Sounds like Music” was written by veteran comic book writer Alex Simmons whose Archie Comics work has been hailed as both entertaining and educational. Art is by Bill Galvan, Ben Galvan, Glenn Whitmore, and Jack Morelli.

CTF has used comics in the past to raise awareness. CTF’s current “NF Comics” titles include “Understanding NF2,” “Moxie and Sparx Explain NF1,” and “Moxie and Sparx Introduce the Accelerator”; the Foundation’s comic books, including Archie’s “Sounds Like Music,” are available to freely download or read on the CTF website.