April Comics Challenge

This month we are challenging you to swap a comic!

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Mini-comics are great for comic swaps – find Sarah McIntyre’s instructions for making them here.

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If you make comics as part of a comics club, at school, in a group or with your friends, you can also take part in this year’s children’s Comic Swap.

Groups from across the country can swap their comics with one another. Last year groups from Bath, Dundee, Gateshead, Gloucester, Newcastle, and North Yorkshire took part. Want to find out more? Head over to the Comic Swap website now! The deadline for this year’s swap is Friday 25th May.

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Comic Reviews

Introducing  a new feature – comic reviews written by members of comic clubs!

This month’s reviews were written by Helena and Zaynab from St Aubyn’s School.

If your comic club members would like to have their reviews of children’s, YA or All Ages comics published on the blog, please get in touch via our Contact page.

 

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GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW BY HELENA 

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES BY KAMI GARCIA & MARGARET STOHL

ART BY CASSANDRA JEAN

WHY DID I LIKE THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL?

I enjoyed this because it has a good storyline and is really well illustrated and it also is really easy to understand.

WHO IS MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER?

My favourite character is Lena because she is mysterious. I like how she is a strong female, this shows a different side to comics. She is also very secretive.

WHAT IS THE GENRE?

The genre of this book is mystery and magic/witchcraft and romance. I really enjoy reading these types of books as they are the most fun to read.  This book shows a “dark side” of magic.

I would recommend this book to age 13+ as it contains some mature themes or may be frightening for young readers.

 

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Graphic Novel Review by Zaynab

Title: Tasmin and the Deep

By: Neill Cameron & Kate Brown

The Plot:

Tasmin and the Deep is about a girl; Tasmin, and how after a surfing accident and being dragged in the sea for a month, she inhabits the ability to fly on her surfboard, and her ‘lucky’ stick possesses magic. She can’t remember vividly what really happened whilst she was in the sea, but she gets images of a sinister sea creature and has nightmares of her running away from something. She then finds herself trying to find out who that sea creature is and what it wants with her and her family.

Thoughts on the graphic novel:

The storyline of the graphic novel was different from what I’ve read before, so it was a very engaging read. When it flashbacks to the past in the novel, the colours used in the illustrations are much lighter, so that was very effective. The characters were well developed throughout the story, and when they would react to something, it would be realistic.

Age recommendation:

This graphic novel is recommended for ages 8 and upwards.

 

Many thanks to Helena and Zaynab for sharing their recommendations with us, and thank you to librarian Rhiannon Cook for organising the reviews!

You can read about the comic club run by Rhiannon here

March Comics Challenge

This month’s comic challenge comes from the amazing Jess Bradley!

Do get in touch if your group has taken up the challenge, and share some of your comics with us!

You can download the worksheet as a PDF here: Jess Bradley worksheet

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You might know Jess Bradley from her Squid Bits comic in The Phoenix.

She has published loads of brilliant, funny comics and also works as an illustrator and a writer.

Thanks to Jess for providing this month’s challenge!

February Comics Challenge

This month’s comic challenge come from the brilliant Viviane Schwarz!

Your challenge is to turn these blobs into a series of strange beasts. Then, choose your favourite beast and make a comic about it.

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Download the strange-beasts worksheet.

You might know Viviane Schwarz from her picture books – including There are Cats in this Book. She has also written and illustrated the dream-like graphic novel The Sleepwalkers.

Thanks to Viviane for providing this month’s challenge!

Don’t forget to let us know if your comic club has completed any of our challenges – we’d love to see pictures of your work!

January Comics Challenge

January’s Comics Challenge comes from cartoonist, illustrator and archaeologist John Swogger.

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You can download the worksheet or find PDFs of the instructions and the worksheet here.

Thanks to John for providing this month’s challenge!

You can read and download some of John’s archaeology comics for free on the Cadw website.

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December Comics Challenge: Start in the Middle!

This month’s brilliant comic challenges come from Lydia Wysocki of Applied Comics Etc.

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If you want, you can download a 3×4 grid and a 2×5 grid for drawing your comics, or you can download the worksheets here.

Thanks again to Lydia for providing this month’s challenge!

You can read the excellent Newcastle Science Comics  – Asteroid Belter and Spineless (both edited by Lydia) by going here and clicking on the images at the right of the page: http://newcastlesciencecomic.blogspot.co.uk/

Comic Club Spotlight with the Comic Jammers!

Hannah Sackett talked to school librarian Rhiannon Cook about her new comic club:

Name of your Comic Club: Drawing Comics Club

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Where do you meet and how often? We meet in the school library, once a week on a Thursday.

Average number of members: At the moment we have 8 members but next term we should be back up to our full membership of 10 pupils.

How long have you been running? This Christmas term was the first term the club has run due to changes in the library opening hours, however, we are looking forward to running as long as there is demand! At the moment there is a waiting list and lots of pupils are keen. We have lots of comic readers throughout the school.

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Tell us about your club: As we are fairly new, we have used the first half of term to find our way a little through comic jams, draw-a-long videos, the How to Draw series on Guardian Kids, ideas from drawing books we have in the library and of course worksheets and inspiration from the Comics Club Blog. In the second half of term we have been brainstorming for our own comic; voting on a name (Comic Jam), tag line, ideas for front covers and drafting our panels before creating a final storyboard each. We also had a school visit from Neill Cameron in October which inspired us a lot!

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Do you have a comic club activity you’d like to share: One of our favourite activities was the Make Your Own Superhero/villain exercise on the Comics Club Blog. What I would like to do next time is extend this activity to a life size version! With the club in 2 groups of 5, use a roll of art paper to draw around a pupil and the group must add the clothes, features, powers of the hero/villain and label to present to the group.

Which comics should we be reading right now? Some of our favourite comics right now are: the Phoebe and her Unicorn series by Dana Simpson, Mega Robo Bros by Neill Cameron, and the Hilo series by Judd Winick.

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What are your plans for the coming year? As the club is so popular, our members will be changing once a term to give other keen comic artists a chance. The current members (or Comic Jammers) are very determined to keep making their own comics and are even discussing continuing Comic Jam outside of school hours!

Thanks so much to Rhiannon and the Comic Jammers for telling us about their club. We’ll be catching up with the club again over the next few months to hear more about their favourite comics.