Keeping a diary is a common New Year’s resolution, but it can be hard to think of things to write in a diary every day.
Cartoonist Lynda Barry encourages students in her comics classes to keep a diary of the things they notice in the world around them. Keeping this kind of diary can help you as a cartoonist, writer and artist. It can also give you great ideas for comics, characters and dialogue.
Continuing with the theme of random things, we then asked the children to select and draw two random things from this list of random categories:
Something that needs to be plugged in
The children then had to find a way to link those two things in a story/comic. Should they combine the two objects to create an interesting character? Or should the story revolve around those two objects? Or should one object be the character and the other a tool?
Lots of cartoonists have been taking part in Inktober– an annual challenge that involves making an ink drawing every day of the month. Inktober may be coming to an end, but the drawing prompts provided on their website are useful all year round.
This comic challenge makes use of Inktober-style prompts to make a drawing game that is a perfect warm up activity for comic club.
You will need: Paper, pens, a small bag or box, scissors, timer/stopwatch (optional).
STEP 1: Print out and cut up the prompts provided here: Prompts 01
You can also use this blank sheet to create your own list of prompts: Prompts 02. Put the words in a small bag or box.
STEP TWO: Take a sheet of A4 paper and fold it three times, then unfold, to create eight spaces for drawing in.
STEP THREE: One person picks a prompt word out of the bag or box and reads out the word. Draw the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word. If you want you can use a timer and have everyone draw a picture in one minute or thirty seconds.
STEP FOUR: Repeat until you have filled up your page (or several pages).
The most popular warm-up drawing activity at Widcombe Comic Club is called “Draw yourself as a …” Each time the club meets, there is a new sheet to fill in. To begin with they were made by me, but now club members are making their own sheets too.
What would you look like as a cake or a boot or an owl? You can share your drawings with us on @ComicsClubBLOG.
This month, Ben Thompson tells Hannah Sackett about the club he runs at Stoneydown Park School in Walthamstow, London.
Name of your Comic Club: Stoneydown Park School Drawing Group
Where do you meet and how often? The Art Room at Stoneydown Park Primary School, once a week.
Average number of members: Ten
How long have you been running? One year.
Tell us about your club: The group is made up of children from years 3, 4 and 5. We meet up after school on Fridays, and sit around a big table in the Art Room. Often there’s a starter activity. Usually this involves me giving out a bunch of little mini-comics that I’ve started, and getting the children to finish them. The endings they come up with are usually incredibly gory! After this, everyone gets on with drawing whatever they want – unicorns, weird worlds, things from Minecraft etc., Sometimes someone brings along some glittery pens or some pretty stationery from Smiggle. Sometimes snacks get shared out. At the end, we do a ‘show and tell’ of what we’ve drawn (if there’s time) and then we all go home!
Do you have a comic club activity you’d like to share: We’ve had quite a lot of fun doing collaborative, two-panel comics. One person does the first panel and then passes it to a second person to complete. There aren’t too many rules about how to do this, but it helps if the first panel has at least two characters in it. Also, it helps if there’s something a little bit unusual going on e.g. maybe there’s a strange object, or maybe one of the characters is doing something unusual.
The drawing club have also contributed a Comics Challenge for this month – check it out here! Thanks to Ben and the club members for sharing their ideas and drawings.
You can read about the comic they contributed to the Comic Swap here and read reviews of it here.