September has been spent drawing my Richard The Third during the week, and doing classes at book festivals at the weekends. Then at the end of the month the schools begin again. Here are the Comic Art Masterclass comics that mark the start of the autumn.
The St Ives Literary Festival was my second visit to Cornwall this year, and stands in marked contrast t the Fowey Festival back in April. That earlier visit to the clotted cream county saw my do a one-off class with a record-breakingly low turnout of just 7 people, only one of whom was a kid. This time, St Ives delivered two healthily sized groups, producing two marvellous comics. As for how profitable this month's classes were, we'll look at that at the end. St Ives was a doorsplit, with books sold at the end.
Kettering Literary Festival delivered another couple of splendid sellout classes, with a couple of splendid comics. This time it was a fixed fee, with books sold afterwards.
Budleigh Salterton saw another trip to the south west, this time to not far beyond Exeter and a lovely sellout class. The only trouble here was I'd failed to tell the organisers one of the key things about my class - it holds a maximum of 30 people. Unfortunately I'd managed not to mention this stipulation and didn't discover it until the day before the classes that they had sold 48 tickets! Which, being paid tickets, it was too late to do anything about. Not to worry, I said consoling myself, it'll be a doorsplit, so it'll be worth it.
You see, as with the other festivals this summer, I'd hoped to do two classes in the day, holding up to 30 in each. But Budleigh had only felt able to agree to one, possibly thinking they wouldn't get enough uptake. (With Fowey fresh in my mind at the time, I possibly agreed). So we agreed to a fixed fee, and just for one class.
As it happened, it was an excellent class. I was able to handle the 45 punters who turned up. And, even though the class was 50% larger than what I could usually accommodate, it worked fine. And I further consoled myself that, with that many extra kids and parents present, I'd sell a commensurate amount of books at the end. Sadly this wasn't quite the case. The final financial tally is at the foot of the page*.
Schools returned to my diary with a run of schools based around the Lakes Comic Festival at the end of September and start of October, the first of which was Highfield Middle in Prudhoe. I first came here as part of Hexham Book Festival, so I guess the festival connection is complete for this instalment of the blog. Two fine classes, a mix of years 6 & 8, and 5 & 7, and two fine comics. This mini-tour will continue in Kendal, Bowness, York, Nether Kellett, and Leeds before I head for home in a week's time.
The celebrities these 7 groups chose to appear in my demonstration strip were Will Smith, Donald Trump, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Boris Johnson, Kim Kardashian and Simon Cowell.
My Books and where to get them:
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy
Midsummer Nights Dream Team - Amazon - Etsy
*So, the end result of these three book festivals in a row, and their different funding arrangements, was:
St Ives - 30-odd punters, doorsplit for two classes = £250. Books sold = £101. Total = £351
Kettering - 30-odd punters, flat fee for two classes = £450. Books sold = £120. Total = £570
Budleigh - 45 punters, flat fee for one class = £250. Books sold = £72. Total = £322