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Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner leads a push for stroke awareness at ECCC 2024

FAST54 is a comic book leading a new educational initiative to help teach fans the value of F.A.S.T.

FAST54 Booth
Image credit: FAST54

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You don’t have to be a superhero to save a life — a lesson that Emerald City Comic Con attendees can learn, thanks to FAST54, an educational comic book project created in collaboration with the Seattle Seahawks and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.

Spearheaded by linebacker Bobby Wagner and comic book creator Matthew Medney, FAST54 is a passion project for the player that teaches readers to recognize F.A.S.T. — an acronym explaining the signs of a stroke (Face Drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulties, Time to Call 911) — inspired, in part, by his own mother’s stroke in 2012. The comic book launched in October 2023, and is part of a significant promotion at ECCC this week.

Thanks to a partnership with Coca-Cola, FAST54 isn’t just present on the showfloor of the Seattle-based convention, but is giving away 25,000 copies of the special issue illustrated by Riccardo Robaldo — something sure to increase awareness of stroke prevention even further than the initiative has already achieved.

“We’re blown away by the reception here at Emerald City Comic Con,” Medney, co-founder of Herø Projects and co-writer for FAST54, told Popverse. “We knew hometown hero Bobby Wagner’s comic would be well received, but we’ve met so many incredible souls who already knew about the book, who we have had some awesome conversations with, and who care to support their communities. And it’s only day one here!”

In addition to the booth on the show floor — booth 11008, for those at the show — Medney and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Chief Strategy Officer Tom Kruse will be part of an important Friday afternoon panel tying into the FAST54 mission, as part of the Cause Comics: Using storytelling to save lives panel. (It's happening at 6:45pm in Room 423, for those wanting to attend.)

Image credit: Riccardo Robaldo/FAST54

More information about FAST54 can be found here.

Get fully immersed in ECCC 2024 with Popverse's coverage of the event. From main stage panel livestreams to backstage interviews, on-the-floor coverage, news, cosplay galleries, and all the major panels we'll be m ocderating! We also have a list of the ECCC 2024 artist alley and the big booths to expect. We've even got you covered on where to eat near the convention center.

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Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.