Saturday, 25 March 2017

Miss Strong and vans - comics by kids

No, I have no idea why the year 7 (or as they're called, First Form) pupils at the King's School in Gloucester have an obsession with vans. But both groups, independent of each other, thought mentioning a van in the title of their group comic was the funniest thing on God's good earth. And why not?

In Andover, the year 5 pupils made their teacher the star of the front cover (her name was actually Miss Sloham, but she seems to have acquired a rather positive alter-ego), while the year 6s proved to be just plain silly (they insisted on it being Lemon Grabber sat on a realistic drawing of a swivelling office chair). As always, the class all take away an A5 photocopied comic containing a strip by every one of them, plus an individual caricature by me. I add these dabs of colour to the covers after the event.

Friday's class, near Andover, was a novelty. A group of home-schooled pupils, brought together by the Hamphire Home Ed Network. I've had a little experience with home-schooled pupils before and found some discipline problems, but that couldn't have been further from the case today. A group of 26, in a community centre in a Hampshire village, were as well behaved as any I've worked with, and just as easily amused by the mention of a butt.

The celebrities these five classes chose for my demonstration strip were Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Donald Trump, Ariana Grande, The Queen and, novel choice of the week, Phil Vickery. When I asked why the pupil, at Kings in Gloucester, had nominated Phil Vickery she replied "He's my Dad". This is what one finds in the independent sector. (In the past I've taught the children and grand children of everyone from Will Carling and Ronnie Wood to Bob Marley and the Beckhams. The only state schools with so many celebrity offspring are those in King's Heath in Birmingham where someone in every class appears to have an uncle in UB40.)

Comic Art Masterclasses coming up in 2017:

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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