Thursday 2 July 2015

...all heroes no villains...YES VILLAINS!...Demo Day 1...


What a pleasant surprise to be invited along to Upwell Primary School to present - in conjunction with the school's transition year curriculum 'Heroes and Villains' - a couple of Superhero Demonstration/Workshop days! 

I like to create a good deal of interest for the demo/workshop and find it great practice to set up the afternoon before. This entails blu-tak ing superhero sketches to wall, setting up my easel and arranging a display of graphic novels, comic book collections and variety of 'how to draw comics' and historical books on my favourite subject - comics and superheroes!

As it turns out, and after only a few excited conversations - my favourite
subject is also very popular with the students at Upwell Primary School.

Nowadays you don't have to read comics to like and keep up with the exploits of your favourite Superheroes (and Villains). Thanks to Hollywood a large proportion of the population know almost as much about their favourite superheroes and villains as - dare I say it - I do!?

A big thanks to the Lynn News for taking this photo and covering superheroes at Upwell School.

With registration over, we went straight into designing the first superhero 
of the morning. Among other attributes, and based entirely on the students suggestions, this first character along with his furry boots and knee pads wore science fiction style metal gauntlets with laser lenses on the back of each hand! 

He had a half human half cyborg face with an elegant moustache on the human side (of course). Someone yelled out from somewhere in the classroom that for good measure he should wear a pineapple hat! Yes - a pineapple hat  which - it was suggested and unanimously agreed - would shoot out watermelons!!

Surely a such a dynamic and unusual superhero as this could democratically - and we took a vote on it - could only be called 'FRUIT NINJA'!! 

Hot on the furry heels of the Fruit Ninja - and with an equal volley of enthusiastic ideas came the unicorn-headed, steel-booted, jet-pack wearing 'EMOJICORN' - cannon-barrel toting, mohawk wearing, bare chested refugee from an army surplus sore - 'ETHIOPIAS' - and duck-handed (I think), bat-visor, scuba-outfitted flipper flapping deep sea diving 'phew!' - DAIZIUS! 


After morning break - the first colourful blast of superhero character 
creations begin to appear on the blank templates and drawn pages - I provide suggestions and guidance where needed - but it looks like they're doing absolutely fine without me!

The easel awaits...

OK, we've had lunch, run around the playground a few times and just maybe drilled for diamonds on that alien planet - now it's back to business...

Dim the lights, sound the alarums and tilt the camera! Step out of the shadows and walk onto the stage sinister! Where would our heroes be without their counterparts, their opposite number - in short - why we go back each month for our favourite comic books - THE VILLAIN!


Now this first bad guy is coming right at you, fist clenched ready for action. Sporting headgear resembling the mask of Darth Vader, multiple glowing power rings Infinity Gem style, strap-on leather boots, striped trunks and 'DEVIL' tattooed on his fist. After much debate and discussion 
he is none other than that man of mystery and menace - 'V'!

Without a doubt lunch agrees with Years 5 and 6 - they're thinking on all cylinders as the next three villains appear to march almost full-blown from their collective minds - 'VAMPRESS FAB!' bat-caped, icicle-booted, skull-emblazoned wide-collar one piece,  and - oh yeah - hair growing into snakes - irresistible with Ray Bans and fang combination! 

'DARK ONE' aka 'Mr Scales' - hangman-hooded, crab-clawed villain in a crab shell, iron spike tread boots and cloak. Oops - Did I forget the cosmic energy glove (with power regulator)?

'JOKESS' is nothing to laugh about. A punk mohawk atop a rush of hip length curly hair, black leather fur topped boots and gloves, someone says zebra stripes - someone says leopard spots. I'm drawing spots! Not sure what those contraptions are on the back of her clawed gloves but with big eyes and a stretched clown's smile - best to keep away from her! 

Since the impetus of the demo day is not on drawing ability, but rather ideas and the creation of heroic and villainous characters, the design template allows kids who feel they can't draw as well as they like to yet, to focus on their ideas and concentrate on giving their ideas free reign. this template has been customised to fit their environment and ask that perennial question -


Since the christening of 'FRUIT NINJA' (and every other character) was immediately followed by an almost unanimous Upwell class chorus of "Don't forget the 'COPYRIGHT'!" and in recognition of Year 5 and 6's knowledge of the need to protect their intellectual property - all the character designs herein are needless to say copyright and trademark Upwell's Years 5 and 6. 

So say 'V' and the 'DARK ONE'!

Be here NEXT BLOG for Year 1 Heroes and Villains, 
the unstoppable comic creations of classes Noble 
and Majestic, and Year 5's comic strip debut as
your local supermarket!!

Just in case it wasn't clear, from pupils to artist - we all had a great day - many 
thanks to school Head James Mc Burney and Year 6 Teacher David White for 
organising the day and help and support. 
Heroes All!

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