Our new Action Learning programme called Comics CreateNet involves established and rising stars of the comics industry making their knowledge and experience available to other comics professionals and artists, writers and cartoonists who are aiming to advance in, or even enter the industry.
The idea began with our online seminar earlier this year, we called Comics CAKE (Creativity and Knowledge Exchange), with over 80 registered attendees, some as far as the USA. Acclaimed artists Doug Braithwaite mentioned how a particular comics community in London had helped him in his early career, in developing his work but also learning about working in the industry. Others online also backed this up and people thought this was the kind of thing creators in the North East could benefit from.
Doug will join us in this free programme, sharing the secrets of those famous draughtsmanship skills that have been applied to the biggest Marvel Comics’ characters like Thor, Hulk, the Avengers and Spider-Man, but also to independent publishers like Valiant and Bad Idea, which shows his range. Doug will be joined by Zoe Thorogood, who also featured in our CAKE event. Zoe is a writer and artist who is one of the new stars, having completed her first graphic novel, the acclaimed ‘The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott’ in her 20s, and with her second original graphic novel, partly autobiographical, to be published later this year. She also found time to illustrate the horror writer Joe Hill’s Rain series for Image Comics, as well as DC’s Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.
As if that wasn’t enough talent we will also have Paul Davidson, the exquisite renderer of 2000AD, Conan the Barbarian and his wildly imaginative mindscapes in Marvel’s Moon Knight series. Mack Chater will join us to impart his range of technical skills and tools to tell stories not only in comics like Spider-Man but also in story boarding for video games production in his role at Atomhawk. The Canadian cartoonist Julian Lawrence will be on hand to share his experience of independent comics publishers like Fantagraphics as well as the celebrated North East favourite comic, Viz!
As well as learning about the creative process we will also hear about these writers and artists’ experiences of self-publishing and driving their own bus. For example in session two Gustavo Vargas, will explain his successful campaigns raising funds through the Kickstarter platform to publish his Peruvian Cyberpunk stories. These creators will show us how to take an idea through the core processes of scripting, layouts, rendering, and colour through to getting the work into readers’ hands and eyeballs. It is sure to be an inspiring set of workshops, which will also draw from the participants themselves, developing their knowledge and contributing their own insights and work. We hope this will become an ongoing learning network for comics produced in the North East, much as our Rural CreateNet has developed a community.
Sign up for Comics CreateNet if you have interests in cartooning, writing or drawing comics! This programme is primarily aimed at people and businesses with addresses in the North East of England but if you are outside the region and keen, do let us know and we’ll see how we can accommodate you!