Schoolboy fan of comics produces a rival to Beano

WITH the success of films such as Spiderman and X-Men, American comic book superheroes have dominated Hollywood in recent years.

But for one Crouch End schoolboy the flashy Marvel Comic characters are no rival for their more humorous British counterparts.

Ten-year-old Zoom has become such as fan of classic comic strips such as The Beano – featuring the likes of Dennis the Menace and Roger the Dodger – he decided to create his own version.

His scribblings produced a cast of equally mischievous characters including the Nutters, a class of unteachable students, Eric and Alex – based on himself and his little brother Ace – and Alfie’s Alien, an extra-terrestrial who lands in a boy’s ear.

Before long his mother, designer Kate Lennard, spotted the potential of his strips and encouraged him to put them together to be published.

Three editions later – The Zoom – is now an established comic with the fourth instalment on the way.

“He’s always been creative from when he was very little and he’s always been drawing and writing stories since the time when he could first hold a pen,” said Ms Lennard.

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“He’s also been a big collector of Beano. I bought him a comic and he was really interested in the fact it had been produced since I was 11.

“He likes the old ones and collects any issue from before 2000 because he thinks that’s ancient and he likes the British humour.”

Since its launch last year, The Zoom has enjoyed almost instant success with all 250 copies of its first edition sold out and the second close to selling out.

The Cartoon Museum in Bloomsbury has given their backing by stocking a number of issues.

The Big Green Bookshop in Haringey has also held a series of parties to mark the publication of each new edition, with the last one attended by local MP Lynne Featherstone.

The copies have a cover price of 39 pence each and come with a collectable badge in the shape of the comic’s logo.

“He makes very little from each one but as parents we’re really happy because it’s teaching him about business,” said Ms Lennard. “He’s on Facebook and has 220 friends on there.”

Despite his youthful success Zoom’s ambitions do not end there, with future hopes to expand into computers and film.

He revealed: “I want to be a game designer or a film director. I’m thinking about doing sci-fi stuff.”