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Friday 6 December 2019

Archie Comics launches Wexford inspired character, Scarlet Saltee

Nancy Silberkleit in Kilmore Quay on her Wexford visit
Nancy Silberkleit in Kilmore Quay on her Wexford visit

Pádraig Byrne

The Co CEO of one of the world's biggest comic book publishers found herself in Wexford last week, having heard of the wonders of the county on one of her many trips across the globe.

Nancy Silberkleit arrived in Wexford with her partner Bill on a mission - to see the Saltee Islands, which had inspired the name of Archie Comics' latest character.

'I was in the Philippines and I was giving a talk about Archie Comics,' she said. 'The people there said how they would love to have a character from the Philippines and there and then I said I'd make it happen. There were big cheers and then at the very end of the talk a man came up and said he was living in Wexford, Ireland, but he and his wife were originally from the Philippines.'

'He explained to me that there were a lot of cultural similarities between Ireland and the Philippines and this changed the character even more.'

The man, Arnie Roque who lives in Wexford, clearly made a big impact on Nancy and when researching for a name for her latest character, she starting googling Wexford before happening upon the Saltee Islands.

The result was Scarlet Saltee - a brand new character, whose mother is from the Philippines and father is from Ireland. With Archie Comics also seeking to represent everyone, the new character also seeks to provide a positive depiction of autism.

'We saw a need to create a character that represents the autistic mind,' said Nancy. 'So scarlet is dealing with all the regular issues of being a teen; she's skilled in building objects and ideas. She desires friends, but sometimes her social cues don't always allow this. Graphic literacy helps sparks conversation on issues that are tough to talk about. Scarlet represents autism, kindness and inclusion. After meeting Arnie Roque I added diversity cultural differences and how to embrace our differences and get along.'

After travelling to Wexford to see the Saltees, Nancy is set to launch the new character at the World Anti-Bullying Forum which takes place in Dublin this week.

The pair were extremely impressed with Wexford and were delighted to get the opportunity to see the Saltees for themselves with their cut-out of Scarlet in tow. To purchase comics containing Scarlet, email nancy.archiecomics@gmail.com.

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