Thursday, 4 March 2021

"Claudia Winkleman? Yeah, she's my Mum" - comics by kids

 A busy week of Comic Art Masterclass had a high point on Monday when I was doing a day of classes at Latymer Prep in London. I knew it was an independent school. But I didn't know how independent until, in the morning class with Year 5, I made one of my passing gags about "Orange Woman, or Claudia Winkleman I think she's called."

A kid went "Hoy!" and the class laughed. Then, a bit later, the celeb they chose to tread on a worm in my demonstration was Claudia again. So, when I got to speak to the kid himself, Arthur, I said "so, are you related to her?"

"Yeah, she's my Mum." Yes, I was teaching Claudia Winleman's kid. And, as the day progressed, I realised I was teaching the offspring of probably another dozen A-listers. The kids let slip that someone else in the morning class was probably Hugh Grant's, and I think another one was Richard Hammond's. All I'm saying is, I could've charged more.

Shenley Brook End in Milton Keynes is a school that's had me in in real life, and originally had this visit lined up as an in-person appearance. In the end it was a good half day Zoom class.

This comic came from a class organised by Chesterfield borough council. They paid half my bill, so I could sell the tickets myself at the reduced price of £3.50. We sold out, making this just another success story in the events-planned-with-arts-centres experiment (as described here). 

The half-day class organised last week by North Yorkshire libraries was so successful that they added another one, on Saturday afternoon (after the Chesterfield class). A true validation of the art centres experiment. I better plug to them again for Easter. Quick.

Okay, if there was one day in the experimental series that was less successful, it was Wednesday's Will Eisner week classes. A brilliant initiative run by Renfrewshire Libraries, fully funded by them so that I could do two classes in the day, both for free. Unfortunately, being Wednesday, all the kids were back at school so no one was free. I managed to get 4 along to the morning session - the smallest online class I've done, and tying for the smallest class I've done in the last fifteen years. The afternoon (above) fared better, with a healthy nineteen kids signing up and making probably my favourite cover of the week. (Okay, I drew it, and went to town on the homage to Planet Of The Apes issue one, but they came up with the title).

The final comics of the week were with John Hampden Primary in Thame, Oxon. The week began with Claudia Winkleman, so it was fitting to end with her, being menaced by a Boogie Beast. Hey, don't blame it on the sunshine, don't blame it on the moonlight, don't blame it on the good times... well, you can see where that was going.

The celebrities these eight groups chose to appear in my demonstration strip were Billie Eilish, David Attenborough, Simon Cowell (twice), David Walliams, Abraham Lincoln, Jim Carrey, and Claudia Winkleman.

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Next Comic Classes, open to the public:

Sat Mar 6: Bento Class 

Sat Mar 20:  Zion Bristol

Fri April 9: Plough Arts

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