My Comic Art Masterclasses this month so far have taken me to some quite amazing locations. Hev & I have slept in a stately home and in a converted warehouse by Liverpool docks, and we've discovered a hidden village deep within Milton Keynes. And along the way I've done a string of classes with some great kids. The examples above are from Milton Keynes (the wartime home of Alan Chewstring, get it?) and Chiddingstone in Kent (they have a big stone where people used to get chided. And a castle, which was where the class was held.)
Milton Keynes turns out to have a number of ancient villages hidden behind its rather faceless bypasses, and we discovered Woughton On The Green while doing two days of classes there. The comics I'm producing with the pupils there are for the MK50 project, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the New Town, and also the fact that everyone there is, essentially, an immigrant. I'll be collecting the kids' work up into a printed item, like we did for Magna Carta in Lincoln and Barking a couple of years back. It's shaping up well, with one more day of classes to come.
Atomic Nans turns out to be the actual name of a group formed by some of the year fives I was working with at St Albans primary in Wallasey. The drummer doesn't have any actual drums yet, and they've not actually performed or recorded anything. Which is exactly how my school band - Walter Tottle - began life. We got together, a half dozen of us or more, in what must have been year five, to mime to records by The Monkees and the Partridge Family. The nearest we had to any instruments was a cardboard guitar that I made for myself. (It had 5 strings, I recall. Well who knew?). And Banger Lloyd's drums consisted of cardboard boxes and a would-be cymbal made from the lid of a tin of shoe polish. Amazing how we never made it big.
The celebrities these groups chose for my demonstration strip were Drake, Rag & Bone Man, Ronaldo, David Walliams and, to my initial delight, Albert Einstein - twice! It turns out they hadn't all suddenly got interested in the General Theory Of Relativity. Einstein is one of the big giant heads featured in the TV show Big Heads, presented by Jason Manford. Sigh.
Comic Art Masterclasses coming up in 2017