Answer – Very, very well indeed thanks very much. They absolutely loved it.
Before half term Year 5 & 6 had the great opportunity to take part n the two day “Create Comics” Workshop run by Jim Medway. Jim’s a professional artist and educator and his “Create Comics” Workshop is all about inspiring a love of reading and nurturing a visual literacy in students.
Over the two days of great fun our pupils tended to have two poses;
Pose Number 1: Rapt and listening attentively to what Jim was telling them.
Pose Number 2: heads down making great art and comics.
And they all worked incredibly hard on their art, learning so much about comics, about the best ways to present their ideas on the page and over the course of the two days we had some incredible results and everyone had a great time.
Day 1 consisted of a brief introduction to comics as an artistic medium. And then it was straight into the work with the children using the ideas of clarity and simplicity in design to create characters based on themselves – all based on the master of the artform Charles Schulz:
From there it was straight on into advanced design, with everyone working on a style sheet provided by Jim, putting their simplified selves into a host of poses. The improvement in their work just across this sheet was quite marvellous to see:
Day 1 eneded with all of the children working on their 3 panel comics jam strip. The idea is simple. Start a 3 panel story, drawing just the first panel. Then pass it on and someone else gets to draw panel two. They can continue your story anyway they want. And once panel two is complete, it’s passed on again and a third person tackles panel 3. And all done to a time limit.
Day 2 kicked off with with a quick introduction from Jim followed by another 3 panel jam session, this time with the children choosing their panels rather than simply progressing 1-2-3. Again, the improvement in their skills was noticeable and some really nice work was done by all.
From the 3 panel jams we were off into a world of shadow, shading, emphasis and perspective, with a very intensive and hard working session teaching the children how to pick out the essential parts of their work and highlighting it with light and dark. Plus they had a quick fire lesson on perspective and the importance of establishing the back, mid and foreground in their pictures.
And then we were into the final afternoon session of the workshop. Making Minicomics. A fantastic afternoon and an incredibly busy one. All around the hall the activity was incredible – children making, drawing, planning their minicomics. And at the end of the session we put the photocopier into overdrive to make 4 copies of all 47 minicomics. The idea is to get the pupils fired up over their work and by producing multiple copies they’re no longer just making something for themselves – 1 copy went to Jim to look at, 1 copy will be on display to the entire school in our new library and two copies go to the pupils to take home, swap with others or do what they want with them.
These are just a few of the minicomics – they’re all available for you to see in the school library.
All in all, the Create Comics workshop was a huge success. It was a lot of hard work, but seemed to fly by in a blur because everyone had so much fun working so hard.
Hopefully the pupils will have a much better understanding of comics as a medium, about the ways they can use the visual literacy they learned about during the workshop in their work, and will have much more confidence in their artistic skills.
Year 5, Year 6, Mr Bruton, Mrs Hatter, Mr Nevill and Mrs Monkman would like to thank Jim Medway for coming out to the school. We can heartily recommend his workshop for any other school – fun, engaging, remarkably educational – everyone agreed it was well worth it.
And we’d all like to thank Year 5 & Year 6 for making the two days a fantastic experience for us all. They were a credit to the school and most importantly, a credit to themselves.