Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Rise Of Noodleman - new comics by schoolkids

This week I've found myself teaching comics to slightly older pupils than average, in Hampshire and Taunton. Although I can teach comics to anyone of any age, I more often find myself in primary schools or with year 7 and 8 at secondary schools. This week however has been dominated by Year 9s, who are an interesting kind of hard work. They're slower to laugh than any other group, and are obsessed by in-jokes and Vines. It's a struggle to get them to suggest a title for the comic that doesn't feature "Jeff", "Deez Nuts", or "21". No, don't bother asking me, I don't know. Cheeky Nandos On The Toilet was the work of Year 8s, who are often no better.

Of course the kids are marvellous as always, and include some inspiring artists with lots of imaginative ideas. It's unusual to find a title like the one above coming from year 9, I must say. She was trying to write "Unicorn Apocalypse". I guess it's one of those words teenagers drop into conversation all the time without feeling the need to look up the spelling.

And this week I even found myself teaching 6th Formers, which hardly ever happens. And lo, when it comes to dreaming up titles that turn out to be cyber-bullying, they're no better than year 9s. Harrison Goatleigh turned out to be a play on the name of a boy in another class, who I'm assured took it in good spirit. The author of The Booty (year 9s again) probably wasn't envisaging pirate treasure when he wrote that one.

The celebrities they nominated to tread on the worm were Kim Kardashian (twice, she was very much this week's Simon Cowell), Johnny Depp (twice), Nicki Minaj, and most imaginatively Bruce Forsyth. And my thanks to the teachers at Hounsdown school near Southampton for these photos of me in action.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here

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