The past week's comic travels have taken me to Ireland where, as a by product of having a delayed flight home and rattling round in a big hotel room on my own, I had time enough to add more colour than usual to the front covers of the comics the kids produced. I was a little extra inspired by the fact that both of the Dublin schools I visited had kids comics covers from my past visits still on display on the walls (one dating back to 2011, showing me how much slicker my covers have become over the years). These (above, from Clongowes Wood College) should look nifty in a frame.
These are from St Aidans in Tallaght, who have kids comic covers dating back to 2011 on the walls of the library. I'm still not sure what Big Stacks meant (the hormonal giggling of the 2nd Year boys (that's year 8 in old country money) made me think it must be sexual, but I'm still not sure). Eagle eyed readers will spot the alternative stacks I managed to squeeze in there. Spoiler alert, the answers are: a haystack, Giant Haystacks, a Marshall stack, Jean Genie loving chimney stacks, and Otis Redding who was on which record label..?
These comics are from Kingfisher school in Birmingham, a special school for pupils who've been excluded from other schools. It's good for me to see that I can rise to the challenge of more interesting and difficult classroom situations, and get good results from them all. Also squeezed in a Tardis, which is something you don't get the chance to do in Ireland (where Doctor Who can't get arrested).
And here we have the comics produced by pupils at Three Bridges School in Crawley, as part of a special day organised by The Beano. It wasn't my usual set up (usually I do a full workshop with 30 pupils maximum at a time, these groups had 60 and 90 in them and didn't run to the full length) so you might notice there are no contributions by the pupils themselves on the cover art. (Normally each pupil draws a little something on the cover while they're waiting for me to draw their individual caricatures - didn't I mention I can draw 30 kids in 30 minutes? - these classes had to live without any caricatures and only had half an hour to draw their comic strips in. But by god I made sure they were left with a good-looking cover!)
The celebs these kids chose for my never-gets-old Treading On A Worm demonstration were Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian (twice), Donald Trump, Simon Cowell, Michael McIntyre, Lionel Messi and Katy Perry.
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.