'Heroes and Villains' - having carried out a few Superhero days at Downham Market's Upwell and William Marshall schools last June, I approached Downham Library and asked if they would be interested in a Superhero Demo at the library. They not only said yes, but would I be able to hold a Demo Day at Gaywood Library - of course I said yes.
In order to create the appropriate atmosphere and to encourage inspiration, I'd brought along a variety of drawings and sketches which I blu-takked around the library and also a selection of graphic novels and 'How to Draw...' books.
And being almost Halloween I couldn't not bring along my old friend - a huge portrait of none other than Dracula!
The session was well attended by children and parents alike. We quickly got into designing the first character from design suggestion the children called out. I could see the popular themes popping up - spikes, flames, wings, mohawks and lightning bolts. Many thanks to the young lad in his Spider-Man outfit who came up to the easel and drew his suggestion of three eyes in place on the lightning bolt mask!
It wasn't long until our hero or villain - emerged. Presenting the '3-EYED BEAR MAN!' Oops, clearly no spell-check on my easel this morning...
|The unstoppable 3-Eyed Bear Man!|
I could see the children were getting itchy fingers and had already started drawing their own characters on the template sheets, it wasn't long before our next character appeared. A super-heroine or super-villainess - long blonde hair, bat-mask, 'Incredibles' eye motif, bat cape, boots of fire and ice and pneumatic 'Falcon' arms - none other than V-WOMAN!
|...and the Invincible V-Woman!|
Meanwhile...there was silence and pencils drew and crayons scribbled, felt pens flourished and coloured pencils coloured. Following is a sample of the fantastic ideas the children came up with...
What a surprise also to meet parent John who'd brought his family along to the workshop. John and I had a lot in common - turns out he's not only an old time comic fan from the 60s and the 70s, but also like myself - a dyed in the wool Marvel Comics fan!
We reminisced about the pre-comic shop days when you had to get on your bike and search for your favourite mags at the newsagents, and also the Plus Books and Comic Exchange shops where you could swap the mags you'd read for those you hadn't read. I think the ratio was swap two for one.
We could scarcely have imagined fifty or so years ago, that the 1/- (5p) comics we were buying and swapping might become an investment commodity in the 21st century, many valued at extraordinary prices. And that comics and superheroes themselves might become an integral and - dare I say it - respectable part of popular culture.
...and more ideas...
Move over Marvel and DC Comics - I think we've got a whole new generation of comic and superhero artists, concept artists and gaming designers on the way!
A big 'WELL DONE!' to one and all - and a I know a few of you parents designed the odd character here and there...
Many thanks to all the participants and parents who came along to the library this morning to make it a big success, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. A big thank you also to Elena who organised both events at the two libraries and also to volunteer Grace who assisted with administration and hosting at Gaywood on the day.
When you're ready to draw more superheroes - let me know!
Now if only I could find that 'Friends Of Ol' Marvel' membership card from the 70s...
For more comic drawing fun I'll be carrying out a Superhero workshop at
Framin' Art in Downham Market in November - look forward to seeing you.