2 May 2011
JJ Cahill Memorial High School Year 8 student Tal Izenberg has put in a super-human charity effort raising more than $18,000 for the Sydney Children's Hospital with his super-hero calendar.
The calendar features Captain Keen who was first created by the budding artist in 2008 and has been the hero of four comic books that detail his adventures.
Captain Keen lives in New York, looking after the city and its people in a world before 2001.
Tal, who has autism spectrum disorder, had a passion for drawing and wanted to give something back to the community, as well as raising awareness that people with autism had talents.
Last year, together with his family, he approached the hospital with his calendar idea.
JJ Cahill School organised for a journalist and photographer to come to the school and Tal's calendar was promoted with an article in the Southern Courier newspaper.
Transition adviser Debra Stathis said the school had assisted Tal with sales and the young student had made personal appearances at local shopping centres to promote and sell the calendars.
A website was also set up and sponsorship from businesses in the community covered the cost of printing.
"We are so proud of what Tal has achieved," Ms Stathis said. "A fabulous additional bonus for Tal is his improvement in creative writing, having handed in a huge 2,000 word piece about super heroes.
"His English teacher is over the moon with his effort and results."
Tal's mother Joanne Izenberg said it was important to have goal and dreams.
"We hope that Tal can be a role model to those who wish to make their dreams come true," she said.
Tal hopes the calendar and comic books are just the start of a future career in the cartooning industry.
My dream is to one day become famous for my work," Tal said, "but I'm not ready for the spotlight.
Drawing by Tal Izenberg.
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