comscore 'Lightning' strikes again | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

‘Lightning’ strikes again

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    FTR - Author and artist Noah F. Bunyan, 15, shows a recent sketch of the lochness monster at the home of his grandparents on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 in Hawaii Kai. Bunyan has been a successful graphic novelist since publishing his first work, "Lightning Man #1," when he was just ten years old. He is currently finishing up on "LIghtning Man #6" due out later this year along with a full length novel titled "Island of Monsters." (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
    "To write a book, you need to work hard. Don’t just send in your first draft. You need to edit.” Noah F. Bunyan, Author of five graphic novels featuring Lightning Man

When he was just a preschooler, Noah F. Bunyan would sit with his grandmother and sketch out stories, drawing pictures with pencil on paper.

Noah Bunyan book signing:
>> When: 11 a.m. to noon July 18
>> Where: Barnes & Noble at Ala Moana Center
>> Info: Call Barnes & Noble at 949-7307

They would create tales from imagination, and what eventually emerged was "Super Elephant," inspired perhaps by an elephant sculpture belonging to his grandmother, Josephine Armstrong. Noah remembers drawing up a movie poster featuring Super Elephant. At age 6 he created another superhero: Lightning Man.

His passion for creating the world of his superhero stuck with him.

Noah, who turned 15 in June, is the author and illustrator of five graphic novels featuring Lightning Man.

The first of the series, "Lightning Man #1," was created when he was just 10 years old. Others followed over the years, and he is now working on the sixth in the series.

With encouragement from family and teachers, Noah self-published the first two issues of Lightning Man through Xlibris Corp., while the third and beyond were picked up by Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency. The paperbacks are available on and at Barnes & Noble for $13-$21.99.

After his fifth "Lightning Man" comic was published, he was picked up by a literary agent at the United Kingdom-based Inspira Group, which helped him land a deal for his first novella with publisher Acorn.

"The Island of Monsters," an 18-chapter mystery set on a deserted island, is due out this fall.

Noah’s mother, Jen Bunyan, said: "I’ve never written anything or gotten anything published in my life. It’s incredible. I’m proud and just so amazed at what he’s accomplished. He’s always been so creative."

On July 18, Noah will be signing his "Lightning Man" graphic novels from 11 a.m. to noon at Barnes & Noble at Ala Moana Center.

Born in Honolulu, Noah is now a student at Kuba­saki High School in Okinawa, where he’ll be entering 10th grade in the fall. His mother, a Kaiser High School and University of Hawaii graduate, is a teacher for Department of Defense Dependent Schools there.

Noah has grown up at schools around the globe, including classrooms in Germany, Cuba and Italy. Every summer, he returns to Hono­lulu with his mom and younger sister, Maria, 12, to visit both sets of grandparents.

Though he grew up in the digital age, he prefers to create his stories the old-fashioned way, beginning with pencil and paper. It’s how he got started with his grandmother, herself a landscape painter.

He starts out by laying out a story web, which consists of a series of bubbles that outline the story plot from start to finish. Noah’s advice to other aspiring, young writers is to put the work into it and remain persistent.

"To write a book, you need to work hard," he said. "Don’t just send in your first draft. You need to edit." Also, to publish a book, he says, "You don’t have to wait until you’re older."

In each book, everyday superhero Bob Spark, aka Lightning Man, defeats the bad guys, who are sometimes inspired by drawings from Noah’s childhood.

For example, Dr. Dino, from issue No. 2, comes from a dinosaur he drew when he was 5. That book has a message about facing your fears. Other bad guys include the Evil Vet, Metal Man and The Minotaur.

Characters in his Lightning Man series include Sparky, aka Lightning Dog, and Flame, aka Lightning Cat. Both are inspired by his real-life pets, Luna the dog and Chester the cat, in Okinawa.

Super elephant might make an appearance in an upcoming issue, he says.

Noah still remembers getting his first royalty check from Lightning Man — about $280 — and depositing it at the bank. He was 11 years old. Since then he’s gotten many more royalty checks, totaling more than $10,000. The proceeds from his books all go toward savings for college.

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