I woke up in a hotel in St Helens to find out that Donald Trump was the new President. I'd gone to bed hoping that the comic covers I'd just coloured, as you can see above, were the last time I'd be asked by the kids to put Trump on anything. As we all know, that was not to be. Since about this time last year, he's been cropping up in suggestions by school kids, and that looks like continuing for quite a while. These comics were by pupils in Trowbridge. And yes, now you ask, Trowbridge to St Helens is a very long drive. The lengths I'll go to to teach comics to kids.
A case in point, travel wise, would be these comics, produced by pupils in St Pancras. No, not that St Pancras, this one was in Ipswich. I know it's on the other side of the country, you don't need to tell me. In fact that little round trip consisted of me doing a class in Ipswich on the Wednesday, then Sock Puppets in Canterbury on Thursday, Socks in Nuneaton on Friday, and another Comic Art Masterclass in Watford on the Saturday.
Here are Watford's fine creations. And you can't tell by looking at them, I hope, that I was feeling unusually unwell as I drew them, and indeed while I taught both classes. I came down with some strange variation of the cold which drained me of so much energy that, after this class, I went straight to my bed at 5pm and slept for 13 solid hours. Very strange.
This last pair were from Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School in St Helens, after which I had a tortuous five and a half hour drive home, thanks to the M6 having pot holes in it apparently. So there we have it, a cluster of classes from Ipswich, Watford, Trowbridge and St Helens. Which, if you join the points on the map, makes a rather nonplussing rhomboid shape (I'm always hoping it'll form a pentangle or something).
The celebrities these classes chose to star in my demonstration strip on the flipchart were Donald Trump, Donald Trump (twice), Hillary Clinton (turns out hers is the name we won't be hearing so much of from now on), Ant McPartlin, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Michael Jackson, and Stan Lee.
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.