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Hoërskool Kempton Park learner launches her comic book

Shaylee van Oostrom and her mother urged community members to continue donating so the comic could be published completely.

Hoërskool Kempton Park learner Shaylee van Oostrom’s dreams are coming true because her comic book is finally being printed.

“My book is being printed,” said an excited Shaylee.

In an article by the Kempton Express on May 25, Shaylee sought donations and wanted her book published by November.

She received donations and urged people to brace themselves and wait to read her book.

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The 15-year-old said the comic book is called Demon Force.

“I felt a bit stressed and worried because I had never done something like this before.

“But the publishing company is very professional, and they made the process smooth and did everything the way I wanted it.

“I feel happy and proud of myself for achieving something like this at 15,” she said.

Shaylee said she chose to do a manga-inspired comic because she enjoys that type of comic.

“I have a passion for drawing, and in a comic, I can use my imagination to draw and write stories that people can relate to and that make them happy,” she said.

Shaylee van Oostrom is soon to launch her first comic book.

“I am already in the process of drawing more follow-up comics of Demon Force.

“At the later stage after school, I would love to go into animation where I can bring my characters to life,” said Shaylee when asked about her plans.

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She added that she plans to sell her book at upcoming markets.

“I want to say thank you to my parents, sister, another family member, and so many others who supported me and made donations. It means the world to me.”

She said she draws inspiration from anime and Japanese manga.

“My favourite manga is My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi. I love the story and its fantastic illustrations.”

According to Shaylee, she sometimes has trouble sleeping and will create stories in her head to help her sleep.
“I picked up a pencil and put the story in my head to paper in December 2021.

“My parents saw my potential, and we started the process with the publishers last October.

Shaylee van Oostrom paging through her comic book.

“I had to redraw my comic with manga pens for the publishers. From there, it was a few editing sessions and then final approval,” she added.

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Desireé, her mother, said, “As parents, it is our job to support our kid’s dreams, big or small. Teach them that nothing is impossible and every dream is doable.

“We are extremely proud of Shaylee. She is a self-taught artist and has a comic book published at her age.”

“Yes, we struggle financially. That is why we created the BackaBuddy account to help with the costs. It’s been a long time since it started, and we are happy with the end result. This is only the beginning; more is yet to come,” said Desireé.

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