There’s a new exhibition, Comics: Explore and Create Comic Art at Seven Stories. It’s the work of many comics artist-writers, collectors, and curators. And includes a DIY comic I made, for you. Yes, you.
Here’s a look at the DIY comic. I do not apologise that in most of photos I took, children had already drawn on it. Because that’s the point. You use a DIY comic as a nudge to make your own comic.
One side guides you round the world of comics, with have-a-go activities about setting, character design, art style, panel structure and storytelling.
The other side has blank panels, waiting for you to make your own comic using tips and techniques from the exhibition. And your own ideas.
Two of my favourite pieces in the exhibition are work-in-progress, probably-not-intended-to-be-shared things: one of Adam Murphy‘s post-it process books, and one of Nigel Auchterlounie‘s cut’n’stick drafts. I’m so glad they’re there, alongside finished artwork. The first time I visited the Cartoon Museum I proper gawped at how many fixes and repairs were visible in some of the original artwork in their collection – part of the real and messy process of making things, but usually invisible in the finished work. Even more so when working digitally. In the spirit of such honesty, here’s a close-up of one of the many tipp-ex and whoops-better-glue-over-that-bit fixes from my DIY comic:
This exhibition is kinda a big deal. It’s the first time Seven Stories: The National Centre For Children’s Books has developed an exhibition about comics. It’s good to see national organisations getting involved in comics, particularly with a focus on getting more kids making more comics.
It’s also cheering to see a mix of older and current comics creators, working in a mix of traditional and digital media. There’s no one way to make comics. Hopefully this’ll help more kids (and grown-up kids) figure out their own ways to make their own comics.
BONUS: Yes, those are Comic Swap compilations in with other comics to read. Aww yeah.
Newcastle Chronicle writeup with exhibition photos: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/family-kids-news/you-love-comics-could-you-13366687
Down The Tubes summary of what’s in the exhibition: http://downthetubes.net/?p=38666
Seven Stories exhibitions page: https://www.sevenstories.org.uk/exhibitions