Margate leg of the MCF Tour confirmed!

Excitement is at a high level here at Mobile Comic Towers (yes its real) because we’ve been able to secure a host for the Margate leg of the World Tour Of Round Here.

On Tuesday August 15 2017, we’ll be running a free drop-in workshop at Turner Contemporary! We’re so happy to be coming to Margate because it is a town filled to the brim with brilliant arts organisations and people passionate about positive change. I’m really excited to work with visitors to Turner contemporary to create a Zine for Margate about Margate.

I particularly want to thank Molly and the whole team at TC for the opportunity. This tour is shaping up to be something that could really point the way forward to bigger and bolder things for the MCF.

Don’t forget, if you want to know more about the tour and how you can get involved, drop us a line on facebook or get in touch via the contact link.

ANNOUNCEMENT: The World Tour of Round Here

August 12 – 18 2017

The Mobile Comics Factory is pleased to announce our upcoming summer project –

THE WORLD TOUR OF ROUND HERE

This summer the Mobile Comics Factory will be travelling to fantastic public art sites around East Kent, meeting with local people and tourists to create a series of zines and comics about each location. That is free workshops from the MCF all across East Kent this summer!

We’ll be travelling under peddle power with a miniature version of the MCF mobile unit built on an iconic Raleigh Chopper.

There is lots of preparation to do from creating the bike, to raising the funds needed to make the tour happen. So be sure to follow us on facebook and look in on the blog to keep up to date with what is happening and how you can get involved. I’ve created a new page on the website (WTORH) to be a hub for all this news too.

I would especially like to thank our partner organisations on each stop of the tour, without whom none of this would be happening.

Folkestone – Saturday August 12   – Block 67
Dover – Sunday August 13 – Charlton Greens (Dover partner Dover Arts Development)
Margate – Tuesday August 15 – Location TBC
Whitstable – Wednesday August 16 – Horsebridge Centre
Canterbury – Thursday August 17 – Sidney Cooper Gallery
Folkestone – closing event, Friday august 18 – TBA

St. Eanswyth’s Workshop – first week

(all images on this post are courtesy St. Eanswyth’s Primary)

St. Eanswyth’s is the third host school for the Mobile Comics Factory’s primary school workshops – providing lunch time workshops and an afternoon session with a small group of Key Stage 2 pupils.

The reaction to the lunch time workshops was crazy. We had upwards of 15 children engaging with the project – reading comics, drawing, learning to make zines – at any one moment.

This dynamic atmosphere was electric and it was great to see so many kids getting creative. I cannot wait to see what they produce over the coming weeks.

Following the lunch time session we had our first small group session. We started with some our favourite story telling games before the group made their very first zines in the form of a doodle book that they got to take home.

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Christ Church Workshops

With great books like ‘The Dead Dog‘ two issues of collected comics and a bunch of other publications, Pupils at Christ Church Primary can be really proud of what they achieved last term.

Every school has a unique culture and personality and it was a joy to find ways of working that complimented the environment at Christ Church. I loved the lunch time workshops. The pupils have an amazing sense of play and many children worked their engagement with the project into their play. Generally engagement levels were lower than I have experienced in other schools but I felt that those that did engage did so in interesting and generous ways: Often working inclusively with peers and sharing their stories and experiences through their drawing.

One of my favourite quotes from the workshops came from one child who made a comic out of the game he was playing with his friends. As he sketched he announced to everyone around “If I can just finish this comic, it will give me the power I need to defeat the zombies!”, before running away clutching his work.

We also ran a more in depth afternoon workshop with a select group of young people from year 5 and 6. I was privileged to spend this time with this group but due to circumstances we could not control – including absences, school trips and behavioural issues – we were not able to build up to creating any new publications but we were able to use the time to build their confidence and teach creative principles. It feels difficult to communicate just how valuable this is, and I hope that those in the group were able to take the experience back to the classroom with increased confidence.

I want to thank everyone at Christ Church for your generosity to the project and we cannot wait to work with you again.

THE DEAD DOG

The Mobile Comics factory is proud to present THE DEAD DOG. A new comic by Alfie from Christ Church Primary Academy in Folkestone.

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Alfie tells the poignant true story of the loss of a family pet in simple words matched with illustrations that  capture the emptiness that grief can create.

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Alfie conveys some very real emotions in his comics and has been able express himself through his work in a way that would perhaps be difficult without art. His comic makes me feel all the more proud to be running the Mobile Comics Factory, as he demonstrates in a very direct manner what we believe about the potential of creativity in kids lives. But at the same time I don’t feel as if I need to special plead for his work to show you how accomplished it is. The work speaks for itself. I was particularly moved by the last page of the comic, see below:

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This final image, unlike the previous panels has no words alongside it, and he also made the drawing much smaller, leaving a chasm of negative space that really makes the moment feel more real and conveys something of the infinite emptiness of moments of intense grief.

I have no doubt that Alfie was to a degree unconscious of how this composition would affect the reader but perhaps that only proves all the more how effectively the arts can express what is otherwise hard to articulate.

To find out more about the MCF including other new publications coming out and the dates of future workshops please find us on facebook and follow the blog.

 

Be Kind Zine

One of the joys of running this project is that not only do we get to facilitate original work through our workshops but we also provide a platform for artists and makers to expose their work to new audiences. This aspect of the project is at its most exciting when an envelope arrives unexpectedly addressed to the MCF. BE KIND is the first such submission of 2017.

The beautifully produced zine was the result of a 24 zine making project from People United, and collects stories, poems, and visual responses to the notion of kindness from the Canterbury area.

People United is a Canterbury arts charity that seeks to increase kindness in the world through the arts. 

BE KIND is not only a great addition to the MCF library but it is a lovely expression of the kinds of ideals that also sit at the core of the MCF.

We’re really grateful to People United for donating a copy of the zine.

To read the zine and browse a growing library of comics and publications find us at one of our public workshops (see calendar). And remember we’re always excited to receive new submissions.

Www.peopleunited.org.uk – external link

St. Mary’s Primary Workshops

We had an amazing term visiting St. Mary’s primary school for both lunch time workshops with key stage 2, and afternoon sessions with a small group of Year 6 boys.

The workshops generated lots of fantastic work including 2 volumes (and more than 24 pages) of a comics anthology which is still available from the Mobile Comics factory. These are great little volumes showcasing a range of styles and stories.

Also created were a whole bunch of mini-zines by individual participants including 6 that we selected and turned into printed publications to be distributed.

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I loved showcasing the work of individuals sharing their own ideas and unique perspectives. These were young people who really internalised what creative expression is about. Particular favourites were a zine about patterns, and a story we printed called ‘THE BIG PRINCE

Another published comic was ‘ORIGIN STORY’ made by the year 6 group and explained in detail here, Origin Story showcases some great ideas from 6 boys who collaborated to invent an original character and imagined his world.

I also want to mention ‘The Ultimate Book Of Monster Swapping’ designed by the year 6’s again this volume has been flying off the MCF and has been popular with everyone we’ve met. It features in the video below.

We loved our time at St. Mary’s and learned a lot about working with this age group. We look forward to visiting again. A huge thanks to all the staff who supported the project and a massive well done to the pupils who worked so hard – in their lunch times no less – to create amazing work for their community to enjoy.