Student volunteer is the creator of four comic books

One of our younger volunteers in our Library has revealed his creative hidden talents. At just sixteen-years-old, Thomas Andrews is a comic book creator and is now producing his fourth hero comic book.

Thomas, in year 11 at Christ Church Grammar in Nedlands, is a student volunteer in our talking book library in Western Australia. 

A teenage boy working on he computer creating audio books.
Comic book creator and VisAbility Talking Book Library volunteer Thomas in the studio.

Student volunteer

Every Wednesday morning, Thomas, who has Juvenile Leighs Disease, which affects his vision, arrives at VisAbility with his Education Assistant.

‘’I like listening to books and podcasts, so I thought volunteering in a library would be interesting. I’ve been numbering books and cataloguing and importing them. The process of importing them can take a while. During that time I’m able to work on my comic books,” Thomas explains.

The comic books are impressive. The characters developed from an English lesson where students were encouraged to investigate vocabulary and language.

‘’The project gathered momentum because they began investigating adjectives, verbs and compound sentences,” says his Co-ordinator Amy Porter.

‘’I wanted to write about superheroes and the Library Assistant, Mr Luke Milton, who’s good at illustrations and design, helped me with the characters, adds Thomas.

Comic book inspiration

Luke Milton is also a comic book enthusiast. He sat with the three teenagers working with their ideas, in order that Power Man could be created.

‘’I’m pretty passionate about comic books. Most people have hobbies, going to restaurants or on holidays but mine is comic books, producing them. I’ve shared my love of comic books to the boys.’’

The first book to be developed by Thomas and his friends was ‘Power Man’ at the end of 2018. Power Man is a superhero, who becomes incredibly powerful. He meets various villains on his adventures.

It was published just after the Justice League superhero film was released.

A man and a teenage boy read over comic books.
Thomas looks over his comic books.

Going solo with the books

Thomas has worked on his own, in order to produce the second, third and fourth book. The four main characters in the books are all related, the children are Mike, Sarah, Dylan and Thea and their mother and father also feature. The second book involves dinosaurs and the disappearance of two brothers. In the third book their mother, a scientist, is behind an experiment that goes wrong. Book number four is still in development.

Library Assistant Luke says as the characters have developed, so has the size and of the books.

‘’The first book has eighteen pages and now we’re up to thirty-seven pages. He’s starting to learn Photoshop now as well which is fantastic,’’ explains Luke Milton.

Making his mark in comic books

His mum says the youngster has enjoyed his time in the library becoming proud of what he’s achieving as a student volunteer. He’s learned about the wide range of talking books available in our Audio Library.

‘’He’s meeting many people and often comes home and tells us how many audio books he’s imported. This experience is helping him to be independent,’’ explains his mum Penny Andrews.

‘’I am enjoying being a student volunteer. My mum is my greatest fan, she’s very proud. My twin sister is my harshest critique, but she’s into sports and less creative. I’ve picked up Photoshop, so I’d like to explore it further and maybe work in an area such as computer graphics.’’

We have a large range of books in our Talking Book Library.