IT is a classic children's tale which has been bedtime reading for generations of youngsters and spawned numerous films, books and stage performances.

Now a Scottish artist is aiming to bring Peter Pan's adventures in Neverland to life in the form of a graphic novel.

Stephen White, who has worked as an illustrator on the Beano and Dandy drawing famous characters such as Dennis the Menace, Winker Watson and the Bash Street Kids, is planning an illustrated version of the story of Peter Pan.

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There has been a host of adaptations and spin-offs of the much-loved tale by Scots novelist and playwright JM Barrie since it was published more than a century ago, but White believes it will be the first graphic novel version, and said it will be faithful to the original story.

The Edinburgh-based graphic artist has worked closely with London's Great Ormond Street Hospital – which was gifted the rights to Peter Pan in 1929 – over the script and artwork, and will be donating all the sales royalties to the hospital's charity.

White, 41, who creates his work under the name Stref', said he became fascinated with the story of Peter Pan as a young child and even used to don a costume complete with green tights and glitter for fairy dust at the age of five.

He said: "The idea of a Peter Pan graphic novel just came to me and when I checked the internet I found out there wasn't one.

"It is such a well-known character and graphic novels are just so popular nowadays. It will be bringing the story to a new generation of kids that aren't familiar with it in a new form, but it will also be bringing the story to the generation that know the story slightly differently."

"The project is ready to begin, the script is completed, the concept art is done and the characters are designed."

White said he intended that the graphic novel would be as close to the original story as possible, and include the "darker" undertones of the tale which have sometimes been glossed over in other versions.

He said: "Everybody is familiar with the Disney version. It is a great film in its own right, but if you read the book it does have darker tones to it.

"There are little differences, such as in the film, Hook falls off the ship at the end and gets eaten by a crocodile. In JM Barrie's book, Peter Pan actually kicks him off, so he effectively kills him."

Barrie, who was born in Kirriemuir, Angus, gifted the rights to Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital before his death in 1937. While copyright has now expired in the UK, legislation was amended to allow the hospital to benefit from a share of royalties from stage performances and book publications in perpetuity.

White is planning to raise just over £20,000 to fund the publication of the graphic novel through a crowd-funding campaign on website This would to allow him to work on producing the graphic novel for a year. He said he intends to donate all subsequent royalties from the sale of the book to the hospital.

He said: "For a book like Peter Pan, it has to be spot on. It will have to still be beautiful in 15 or 20 years' time when it is still on sale in the shops. It has to be timeless and done properly.

"Once the book is finished, I can either self-publish it or take it to a bigger publisher to print more and more copies.

"I will not benefit financially from the book, apart from the funds that are raised just to draw it.

"So if you donate £30 it could potentially turn into hundreds of pounds for Great Ormond Street. With a book like Peter Pan, it should be in bookshops forever."

Christine De Poortere, Peter Pan director at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, said she was pleased that White had consulted with them over the idea. She said: "He wanted to get back to the real Barrie, so I steered him clear of any pointy ears or Robin Hood outfits and that sort of thing.

"We are very keen to protect the integrity of Barrie's work and he [White] was really passionate about the project."

She added: "There have been so many adaptations and abridged versions and this and that, so it is going to be nice to see it as a graphic novel."

The character of Peter Pan made his literary debut in Barrie's 1902 novel, The Little White Bird, and his adventures in Neverland were first introduced to the world in the form of a play two years later.

One of the most controversial spin-offs from Peter Pan was an adult graphic novel which was released in the UK in 2008, after the copyright for the story expired.

Lost Girls by legendary comics writer Alan Moore – several of whose books have been turned into films, including V For Vendetta and Watchmen – featured Peter Pan's friend Wendy in erotic trysts.