Friday, 18 March 2016

Big Bum Barry - comics by kids, Northumberland to South Wales

This week's Comic Art Masterclasses have taken me from the north of Northumberland to the valleys of South Wales, via Chorley, with classes of pupils creating the usual diverse bundle of comic characters, strips and comics. Here are the front covers from a school in Hexham and one in nearby Allendale. Oh yes, it's been two schools a day for half the week. Be impressed.

And here are the sort of titles you wait ages for, a chance to draw Kim Jong Un eating KFC and George Washington being a cannibal. These two from Ovingham school, whose art teacher Neil is building a museum to house his collection of memorabilia, which includes a Dalek (there's actually a Dalek and a half in the art room) and an original Sea Devil arm. Again, so much to be impressed by this week.

These comics are from schools in Amble and Newbiggin, which may be as far north as I've taught while still being in England, and both courtesy of the Hexham Book Festival, without whose funding my flight to Newcastle, hire car and three nights in the Holiday Inn would have been prohibitive.

What are the chances of two fat bottom related comic titles coming up in the same week? As always, I get the entire class to write a title down on a piece of paper, then we play a knockout game until we've found the best of the thirty or so options. So these eight comics are the choice selection of over 200 brilliant suggestions. No-one fell into the usual cliches of writing "I Don't Know", "LOL", "YOLO", or "Your Mum".

The celebrities they chose for the Treads On A Worm demonstration strip showed an awareness of topical matters with Donald Trump being chosen three times, alongside Ant McPartlin, Lionel Messi, Justin Bieber, Simon Cowell, and, most original suggestion of the week, Ghandi.

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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