Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Beano Masterclasses at intu shopping centres


Here are just some of the kids (hidden behind their caricatures by me) at the Intu shopping centre in Derby yesterday, enjoying one of three Comic Art mini-Masterclass sessions. I showed them how to draw characters and make comic strips, then while they were busy drawing, I did a caricature of all of their faces. If anyone fancies joining in with these special Beano Takeover visits, I'll be making appearances around the country in the next week...


Weds 29 July - Intu Bromley
Thurs 30 July - Intu Trafford Manchester
Fri 31 July - Intu Uxbridge
Sun 2 August - Intu Merry Hill Birmingham
Sat 8 August - Braehead Glasgow

I'll be doing a first class at 10.30 every morning (the best one to get to if you can as it goes on a little longer), then shorter classes at 1pm and 3pm. They're free, and you can apply in advance for a place.



The classes are open to anyone age 7 and over, and are part of a range of events featuring other writers and artists - and Beano characters themselves! - in intu shopping centres throughout August.

See you all there.





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

Friday, 24 July 2015

"The finest pair of performing socks in all existence" - Metro



"The finest pair of performing socks in all existence". Metro's words, not ours, in a nice little plug in today's issue. Yes, now you ask, I did have to pop into Temple Meads to pick up a copy.


And thanks to the good punters, and the marvellous staff and promotional team, of The Spread Eagle in Croydon for giving us a sellout show last night. An audience who were at least 75% new to us, and seemed to like Minging Detectives, as long as groaning at puns isn't as bad a thing as some people think. The venue's promotion is top hole, from the posters and the programme to a great online presence and even a specially made Socks t-shirt that Seb the technician was wearing (didn't get a photo of it sadly).

This preview season has been characterised by good venues delivering good audiences through good promotion, so full marks all round, from Leeds, Croydon and Sheffield via Birmingham, Cheltenham and Brighton, to the forthcoming shows in Cardiff and Bedford hopefully.  Fingers crossed the good punters of Edinburgh like the show as much as you lot have been doing (and that the improvements we make between shows is making things better not worse.)

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Gilded Balloon throughout Edinburgh Fringe 2015, August 5th - 30th. Tickets are on sale now.

"7 Hilarious Acts..." and we're two of them

From Wales Online, the 7 funniest acts at the Cardiff Comedy Festival, and what do you know, we're two of them. First up, of course, are the Socks (doing Minging Detectives tonight at Porters)...

Cardiff Comedy Festival: 7 hilarious acts who'll get you'll laughing 

The final line up has been revealed ahead of next month's Cardiff Comedy Festival. So get your laughing gear round this little lot

Get ready for lots of laughs at the Cardiff Comedy Festival
Meet some of the comedians who are going to be making Cardiff laugh when a popular comedy festival returns next month.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Company

Who? In a comedy act that has to be seen to be believed, The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Company present their show ‘Minging Detectives’ at The Other Room at Porter’s on 24 July. Starring at the Edinburgh Fringe and touring internationally since 2007, they have appeared on TV on shows from Comedy Shuffle (BBC3) to The Culture Show (BBC2) and The One Show (BBC1).
Expect songs, sketches, socks and violence – as The Scotsman put it, “denier miss it.”
Details: The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Company: Minging Detectives, The Other Room at Porter’s, Fri 24 July, 9pm, tickets £6 early bird / £8 on the door
www.cardiffcomedyfestival.com

Then there's the Sitcom Trials, making their Cardiff debut next week. Not sure how happy our old alumni Miranda Hart will be about her face being used to plug the show. Let's wait and see...

The Sitcom Trials

Actress and comedian Miranda Hart

Who? This ultimate comedy writing showcase comes to Cardiff for the first time.
Performers who have appeared in The Sitcom Trials over the years include Miranda Hart, the Comedy Store Players, Tony Robinson, Laura Solon, Sara Pascoe, Russell Howard and Lucy Porter, so the bar is set high.
Dan Mitchell and the BoxFull of Comedy team present a night of new sitcoms and the audience vote for the winner.
Details: The Sitcom Trials, St. David’s Hall, Level 1, Tue 28 July, 7.30pm, tickets £5, 029 2087 8444
www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Minging Detectives flyers and posters. Yes poster(S)


The Socks' 2015 Edinburgh flyers, for Minging Detectives, finally went off to print this week. 10,000 DL flyers, the number that I've established over the years to be the right amount. (300 a day for 25 days, should equate to a boost of 30 bums on seats. The rest is down to word of mouth and good reviews. We're already selling well, keeping up with last year and beating the two before it.)


And as well as the usual A3 poster, also dispatched to our delightful printers Big Byte this week, we have a bonus A2 poster which should be going up outside the Gilded Balloon. I've taken advantage of the extra space to include a border of the punny "Reject Titles" we've been using for publicity. What do you think? Too busy..?



The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Gilded Balloon throughout Edinburgh Fringe 2015, August 5th - 30th. Tickets are on sale now.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Busy few weeks, blog round up


There's been a lot of this going on lately, posing cheesily in front of flipcharts while I'm doing my Comic Art Masterclasses. June and July alone have seen me do a whopping 29 days of classes from Darlington (above) to Bradford (for 4 days), Ripon, Croydon, Bethnal Green, Backwell, Swindon, Devon, Taunton, Romsey, Hounsdown, Halesowen, Walsall, Southampton, Chandlers Ford, Burton Upon Trent, Crawley, Barnet, Barking (for 4 more days), Muswell Hill, North Kensington, Crystal Palace, with Woking still to come. And now that term's over, there's fun in some shopping centres to look forward to. And if that wasn't enough, there's also been a bit of this...



A couple of backstage selfies by the Socks, doing a Minging Detectives preview in the back yard of the New Barrack Tavern in Sheffield. The previews have been fewer than last year, but I think all the better for it because I've had time in between shows to make genuine improvements and prepare them properly. Friday's sellout at Leeds Carriageworks and Sunday in Sheffield saw the first appearance of the "Barbara Dixon joke" and the new finale song, which I'm delighted to say works. In fact the only thing that's not great is Coppers Cabana which might get the chop. Everything else is coming together nicely, with room for expansion and some ideas still in development, including the Improv sequence which we tried for the first time in Sheffield. I'm sure these notes will mean something to me in years to come. As will these random tweets.

Don't know where this is from, but if that's not a Scottish Falsetto Sock, I don't know what is

This is what you call good #Edfringe planning. Everybody, do what Lucy's done

This is how bad the TV picture is in the Hampstead Britannia hotel. Welcome to the 90s.


Socks classic t shirts - still on sale


So who wants a t shirt then? The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's classic design t-shirt is still available in all sizes, for only £15 inc postage to the UK ($25 to USA).

The design, as you can see above, is the classic pose as used on 2009's, 2012's and 2014's Edinburgh and touring shows. It's full colour on a black cotton shirt, available in S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL, Female S, M and L sizes.

Simply pay by Paypal to sockpuppets@sitcomtrials.co.uk and don't forget to include a) the size you want, and b) your name and address. Socks will be yours as good as instantly.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Gilded Balloon throughout Edinburgh Fringe 2015, August 5th - 30th. Tickets are on sale now.

Magna Carta Barking comic - in full


In July of 2015 I visited a series of schools in Barking giving very special Comic Art Masterclasses which, as well as teaching the pupils how to write and draw comic strips, were themed around the subject of the Magna Carta. The kids had to produce comic strips on the subject of King John, Magna Carta, liberty, freedom and justice. Then, as well as them each going away with the little photocopied comic we'd produced together, their work was edited and coloured by me, with a linking story that I wrote and drew, and the finished item was published in full colour by Art Reach, who devised the project, and distributed around Barking to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. Sounds good eh? Wait till you see the whole eight pages. Here they are in all their glory. (Click to enlarge any page)








Ending up with the caricatures I drew of all of their faces. Not a bad four days work (plus finishing-off time) I'm sure you'll agree. And I did the same a month earlier in Lincoln.

 

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

Friday, 17 July 2015

Kentucky Fried Comics - new comics by schoolkids



When I'm working with year 7, 8, 9 and 10 in my Comic Art Masterclasses, they'll come up with titles that are either bewildering "in" and fashionable (for example the comic to the left is a line from a song by Drake. No, me neither) or predictably similar to each other (if I had a quid for every Vine-based suggestion like "deez nuts" and "my name is Jeff", which every 13 year old finds soooo hilarious). It's not the first time Kentucky Fried Comics has been suggested, I remember drawing it at a school a few years ago.


Likewise Barack O'Llama. When I first drew a Barack O'Llama cover based on kids suggestions (here, in October 2011),  I'm sure they were being totally original. Now I'm told it's a meme, or a song, or a Youtube video. It's certainly a teenage thing. Wanting your teacher on the cover happens a lot too, as it did here.


There you go, llamas again. What are the chances? These 6 groups, who went away with these photocopied comics in their hands, containing a comic strip by each of them and an individual caricature by me, were all asked to name a celebrity for me to put in my "Treads on a worm" demonstration strip and nominated Kim Kardashian (three times), Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and, most originally, Joseph Stalin.






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

Vladimir Putin Riding On A Dinosaur - new comics by kids

A busy time working with pupils, mostly in secondary schools cos it's that time of year (exams finished, they're all wondering why they're still at school), and the years 7, 8, 9 and occasional 10s have been coming up with some corking comics. These (above) are from Burton on Trent and Halesowen.

These two come from possibly the poshest school this term, Cottesmore in Crawley, which occupies a beautiful neo Gothic Victorian mansion and whose pupils aren't year 6 and year 7, they're the Third Form and the Fourth Form. "BKWHHF" stands for their school motto.

And at the more urban end of the educational rainbow, Copthall school in Barnet came up with a couple of titles that are as typically teenaged as they are streetwise. These six groups, when asked to name a celebrity to tread on a worm, chose Jackie Chan (twice), Beyonce (twice), Ronaldo, and Simon Cowell.




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

Monday, 13 July 2015

Magna Carta Barking - brand new comics by schoolkids


Hands up who just spent a week working with school pupils in Barking producing comic strips on the special theme of the Magna Carta in order to produce enough material to turn into a full colour professionally printed magazine that'll be given out in Barking next week to celebrate 800 years of Magna Carta. Just me then? Here's the front cover of the finished printed item, and along with it let's see the seven front covers of the comics the kids produced, shall we?

The pupils were almost all year 5s at Northbury Primary School (4 groups), Ripple and St Margarets Primaries (1 group apiece) and a record-breakingly small group (2 kids) at a church hall, and didn't they produce some great work? These, obviously, are the front covers I drew from their ideas, but trust me their comic strips were all world beating, as the finished printed item will testify.


As with any regular classes, they chose celebrities to tread on worms (long story, read earlier bolgs) and they chose Michael Jackson (twice), Taylor Swift, Ronaldo, Simon Cowell, and Barack Obama.


An extra twist on the week's work was having to include strips about St Margaret's Church, which is also celebrating its 800th anniversary. We didn't do badly, despite the fact that I wasn't sure whether she was St Margaret of England (left) or of Antioch (right). *



* It was of Antioch.





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

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Adventures of Kim Jong Un - new comics by kids


A busy few weeks of Comic Art Masterclass continues, with more secondary schools having me in. Here we see the work of year 9s and 10s, the two hardest groups I find to work with, primarily because they are nigh on impossible to make laugh. The work they produce is often fabulous, with a couple of artists this week genuinely being better than me (certainly when I was their age). Though at the other end of the scale, when they choose to be unproductive, some year 9s and 10s can be dozier than any other pupil you'll come across.


These two examples are the result of day-long classes with one group, as opposed to my usual classes which are just a morning or afternoon long. These longer sessions are a lovely opportunity to answer more of their questions, help them with their artwork on a one-to-one basis and give the better artists a chance to complete work to a standard they'll be happy with. I particularly like getting the time to tackle examples of how to tell different stories on the flipchart, as we see here:


This was in response to the question of how to draw The Hulk turning into The Hulk. I've imagined a story where Bruce Banner is behind the wheel of a car in a traffic jam getting road rage. He winds up wearing a Volkswagen Beetle like a pair of pants, which I thought was quite nifty.


And there it is. Year 8s, and would you believe lovely year 7s even, being as unoriginal as they can be in coming up with names from Vines for their comics. The number of times the names "Jeff",  "Deez Nuts" and "21" (?) come up among this age group is tiresome. Kids eh? In my day we'd have no doubt been quoting lines from The Goodies or The Young Ones, to equal adult-baffling effect.


The celebs they chose to tread on a worm were Kim Kardashian (twice), Simon Cowell, Nicki Minaj, Jeremy Kyle, and Nicolas Cage. This week has seen me travel to Walsall, Southampton, Eastleigh and Halesowen, with further travels to come. Five days a week in schools, with Socks gigs on top. And did I mention it's the hottest days of the year so far. Sticky sticky joy joy.





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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