River of dreams to inspire children
BAYSWATER author Campbell Whyte has fulfilled his childhood dream of publishing a fantasy graphic novel inspired by Perth’s iconic landmarks and the Harry Potter series.
Whyte’s first publication, Home Time, is based on a story of primary school students who fall into the Swan River on the walk home from their last day of school and find themselves in an enchanted version of Kings Park.
The graphic novel, printed by Top Shelf, was released at the Comic-con International San Diego event in July.
It will be officially launched at the Awesome Festival at the State Library of WA on October 7.
Whyte said he wanted to make a portal fantasy for young adults specific to Perth because Australia did not have classics such as Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz or Peter Pan.
“My wife and I were living in San Francisco at the time the (Harry Potter) series came to an end and there was about 16 of us living in a warehouse,” he said.
“I started toying around with the idea of how that might work 10 years ago, so the project evolved and really changed at the time.
“When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was to make comics... I’ve always made comics but this is the most substantial thing.”
The WA Museum engagement officer said the illustrations looked at the history of landmarks, changes in landscape, reshaping of the river and demolished historic buildings.
“I grew up in South Perth and I was down the river all the time and coming to Kings Park,” he said. “It was really about the investigative process but it is also a very fun kids adventure story.”
Campbell Whyte has released the graphic novel Home Time Kings Park and the Swan River. set in South Perth,