Before I'd even arrived, the whole class had drawn their own versions of Hot Rod Cow and had read his sole published comic from cover to cover. But how, you ask? This all came about as a result of an organisation called Pop-Up who are arranging educational programmes in schools in Kent, organising school visits by authors, as part of which they supply the schools with examples of the author's work. And unlike other authors, who very sensibly have books in shops which you can order from Amazon, all I have is a few Beano annuals and unobtainable copies of weekly comics. However I do have my print-on-demand comics which can be ordered from Ka-Blam, and suitable for year 3 is Hot Rod Cow.
(I can find Hot Rod Cow on Kindle, but for the life of me can't find it on Ka-Blam / Indyplanet, whose last link for the comic seems to have vanished. God knows how the school found it to order copies.)
And so it was that two schools were sent copies of my Minimum Opus and were prepared for me to come in and give a one hour talk on the subject. Of course, having travelled all the way from Clevedon to Kent (the best part of 4 hours each way) I'm blowed if I'm just going to talk for a couple of hours then head off, so instead I made sure both classes got the full Comic Art Masterclass and went away with a comic each and an individual caricature. And a flipchart, of course.
(They'd also been visited this wek by the marvellous Gary Northfield and had read his, rather more extensive and elaborate, Gary's Garden. So I included a character from that on the flipchart.) This day was an unexpected bonus for me as I'd failed to read an email I'd been sent, and didn't realise I was supposed to be there on Tuesday, when I was already booked to go to a school in Hertfordshire. A few frantic phone calls and emails later and we got me rescheduled and everyone was happy. Yes, that's how exciting this diary entry is.
NB The two classes picked celebrities to tread on a worm (see blogs passim) and with textbook predictability one group chose Pixie Lott and the other chose (can you guess? Can you? Go on, go on...) Simon Cowell.
Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing Bananaman in The Beano, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the new promo video here.