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.

Image result for phoebe and her unicorn Image result for mega robo brosImage result for hilo by judd winick

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.

November Comics Challenge: Weird and Unusual Creatures!

This month’s comic challenge has been devised for us by Damon Herd of Dundee Comics Creative Space. Thanks Damon!

Damon writes:
This month our Comics Clubbers here in Dundee have been working on comics inspired by Gulliver’s Travels as DCCS is part of the Being Human Festival and we are celebrating the 350th anniversary of author Jonathan Swift’s birth. In the book Lemuel Gulliver travels to lots of strange places such as Lilliput, where the people are all around 6 inches tall. Later he visits the flying island of Laputa, and then Land of the Houyhnhnms, where talking horses rule over the Yahoos, who are deformed and savage humanoids.

This comics challenge is to invent a weird and unusual creature (maybe one that Gulliver might meet!) and then create a one page comic starring that creature. To help you we have supplied a list of inspirations. The best way to invent your creature is to print out the sheet and then cut out all the suggestions. Put the ‘creatures’, ‘sizes’, and ‘locations’ in separate cups and then pick one from each. So for example, you might pick an octopus that is the size of Australia who lives in a Haunted House! You should have enough information to inspire a design and story. We have included a 6 panel grid to print out to create your story on but feel free to design your own page and panels. Also, you can mix up the categories and add new ones if you want to! Happy drawing!

 

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6 panel grid

 

 

LET’S ALL DRAW… Dinosaur Unicorns!

Younger kids, or people of any age who just don’t feel very confident in their drawing abilities, can often really respond to having a nice clear, simple step-by-step Here’s How To Draw A Thing guide to follow along to. So with that in mind: here is one! Let’s all have a go at drawing some Dinosaur Unicorns!

We might do some more of these? If anyone has any requests for anything specific they’d like to learn how to draw, just let us know – leave a comment here, or give us a shout on twitter!

Comic Club Spotlight with Inkpots

Hannah Sackett caught up with Gill Pawley of Inkpots to find out about the Inkpots comic club.

Name of your Comic Club: Inkpots Comic Crew.

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Inkpots by Annamalai

Where do you meet and how often? We meet on Wednesdays at one of our after school clubs.

Average number of members: 10

How long have you been running? For about nine months.

Annabel and Martha
Fidget Spinners Take Over by Annabel and Martha

Tell us about your club:

We started the club after discovering Comics Club Blog and realising how many children just loved comics and drawing cartoons. It started at one after school club but has now spread to other groups

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comic by Heath

 

Do you have a comic club activity you’d like to share: There is always lots of interest in anything to do with chocolate…

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The Chocolate Problems by annamalai
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Mars Bar by Annamalai

Which comics should we be reading right now? The Phoenix is a big favourite!

What are your plans for the coming year?

We plan to have a big get together of all the Inkpots children who like comics and have a giant comics jam. We also hope to have one of the contributors from The Phoenix come and run a workshop for us.

Inkpots writing workshops

Many thanks to Gill for talking to us and to comic crew members for sharing their cartoons! We’re looking forward to them reporting back on their giant comics jam!

 

October Comics Challenge: CREEPY COMICS!

Halloween

This month we’ve got a special SPOOOOKY Comics Challenge for you, courtesy of the amazing Louie Stowell and Freya Harrison, who are here to give you some tips on FACING YOUR FEARS and BUILDING TENSION to make blood-curdlingly, spine-chillingly CREEPY COMICS!

A4_Halloween Activity Sheet (3)

 

Download as a PDF!

That’s just one of the fun activities in Louie and Freya’s new book / activity pad Make Your Own Comics, out now from Usborne!

Make Your Own Comics

Here’s some more info:

This awesome activity pad is jam-packed with everything children need to design their very own comic strips. Create comics about swashbuckling pirates, a space adventure, a rogue robot rampage and many more. With lots of hints and tips on drawing characters, showing emotions, setting the scene and adding speech bubbles and sound effects.

Available now from all good workshops, and also Amazon!

We had a a great time using this activity with Neill’s Comic Club group at the Story Museum. First we created Creepy Creatures based on our own greatest fears – here are some of the results!

Have a go yourselves, we’d love to see what you come up with! IF… WE DARE.

BONUS ACTIVITY! If you need some help getting started drawing monsters, here are some Halloween-themed activity sheets from Neill’s How To Make Awesome Comics, courtesy of The Phoenix!

Art Monkey 21a - VAMPIRE Activity SheetArt Monkey 21b - WEREWOLF Activity SheetArt Monkey 21c - ZOMBIE Activity SheetArt Monkey 21d - MUMMY Activity Sheet

Download all 4 designs as a PDF!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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September Comics Challenge: Collage Comics!

Drawing is just one way of making comics. Why not have a go at using collage to make a comic? Collect scraps of coloured paper, left-over packaging and wrapping paper, pictures from old magazines or newspapers, and get cutting and sticking.

With Autumn here, you could also use fallen leaves and seeds to create your characters.

Use the sheets below, or design your own collage comic!

Collage Comics 01

 

Collage Comics 02

 

 

 

Comic Clubs Spotlight with Kingsholm Primary School

Matt Bunce tells Hannah Sackett all about the Awesome Comic Club at Kingsholm Church of England Primary School, in Gloucester.

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Your Comic Club is run as part of the ‘Kingsholm University’ –  a university teaching comics sounds like a lot of fun – how does it work? 

The university works like this:

  • Teachers/teaching assistants/outside experts decide on a ‘module’ that they would like to run for 6 sessions.  Each session lasts approximately an hour and a half.  The modules can be about anything, and have ranged from sports, to art, to cooking, cleaning and decorating, to gardening and crafting skills, even hairdressing at one time.
  • The module leader plans a 6 week unit of learning covering the skills that will be taught to the children, and the end result.
  • The modules are then presented to the children in a (very long, exciting) assembly.
  • We then have the 6 weeks of university, on a Friday afternoon, from 12:30.
  • At the end of the 6 weeks, we have a celebration assembly where the children share some of their learning, and see a power point slideshow of all the units.  They receive a certificate to show they have completed their chosen module.
  • Then we do it again next term!

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Why do you run the Kingsholm University in your school?

One of the benefits of the university it that it enables children to share and develop skills that may not come through in a traditional curriculum.  Some of our children are very practical, and are able to use these skills in university modules.  Some modules (such as ‘Go, team. Go!’ and ‘Going Wild’) have focussed on team and leadership skills, and have allowed children who may not normally display those skills in a class setting, to take a more active role in a team/leadership situation given the practical nature of the tasks.  Finally, it allows children to develop new skills, and perhaps discover something they will love doing, and find their path in life.

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Why did you choose to run a comic club module?

So, comics!  I love comics, always have, always will!  I have drawn a few in my life, and feel that they are underused in education.  However, I recognise that they are not readily understood by all teachers, and therefore perhaps shied away from during literacy sessions (apart from the ‘storyboard’ style comics used in story planning etc).  I wanted to communicate this love to the children, and also slyly get in some English learning in the 6 weeks I had.  It has been a very popular module with 25 children involved.

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What did your Awesome Comics sessions involve?

We covered character development, basic storytelling and dialogue in a visit from Neill Cameron, and then went on to look at drawing different poses, drawing faces and lettering.  The final two weeks were spent on drawing and expanding the basic strips and finally publishing the comic.  In addition, I hope to encourage the children to get into reading and making comics, as I know that comics can have a huge benefit to literacy skills – they certainly helped teach me to read!

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Will you run this group again?

As a module, it is one I have enjoyed planning and delivering, I will certainly run it again next year.  I will also be running a comic club as an afterschool club next academic year.

Huge thanks to Matt for telling us about his club and for inviting Neill and Hannah to visit his group – which was full of awesome cartoonists! Their finished comic looks amazing – and was one of the comics to be featured over on the Comic Swap website.