Creating superheroes is a breeze
A new generation of superheroes is coming to life at an afterschool class.
Kids at cartoon drawing classes at Onehunga and Oranga community centres have created a host of heroes to protect their communities.
Tutor Nooroa Te Hira came up with the superhero concept as a way to talk to children about social responsibility.
“I was trying to figure out a way to address things,” he says.
“The kids are really enthusiastic about it, which is great.”
Mr Te Hira has been working with his own character, Niu, for some time.
“He’s a little Pacific Island guy, and he’s my tool to address social issues.”
The children have talked about the kind of problems their neighbourhoods are facing, like litter, graffiti, and environmental issues.
They imagine their heroes come from the future, where they live together underneath the Onehunga Community Centre.
Joelle Reid, 8, has created a character named Lady Breeze, who can control the air with her hands.
“I like learning how to draw in lots of detail,” she says.
Jorwin Lomboy’s hero is the Light Ninja, who comes out at night. “He’s got a mask and spiky hair, and two giant swords,” he says.
Nemani Tuicakau’s greenthemed character, the Treeman, can make foliage sprout from his footsteps.
“He stomps and then a tree grows,” the 10-year-old says.
Numbers attending the weekly classes at Onehunga have swelled since a funding grant allowed the class to be offered free. Up to 10 children are now attending each session, and came to weekend workshops held during the school holidays.
At the end of the year Mr Te Hira will draw the children’s characters in professional comic style and submit them to local comic producers Gotham Comics.
The Oranga Centre will hold a free exhibition of the work in December.
For more information about the classes, call the Onehunga Community Centre on 634-9253, or the Oranga Community Centre on 525-0174
Wind woman: Joelle Reid, 8, with her superhero character, Lady Breeze.