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Imagine Festival

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At the end of last week, I took part in the Imagine Festival, running a comics-making workshop for kids. This was set up by Inclusive Minds – an organization that promotes inclusivity in children’s literature.  They’re basically the Let Toys Be Toys of the book world. 🙂

Every child should feel books are for them, and the world needs more protagonists in kidlit that are not the “default” white male (or white feminine passive princess). In terms of superhero comics – ie what most people think of as the mainstream of comic – this default is slowly changing. Ms Marvel debuted recently, for example.  To my knowledge, the first mainstream teenage female muslim superhero. We’ve had a hispanic spiderman. We have a Captain Marvel who’s female without it being a *thing*… she’s not such and such Girl, she’s a captain, and that’s no longer just male territory. At the more literary end of things, we’re seeing a wonderfully wide range of perspectives, too.

But one way to give kids the heroes they deserve – heroes that reflect them – is to help them make up their own. And the children at the Imagine Festival came up with some storming stories. Here are just a few. I’m hoping to add more pics later.

LIVERPOOL! Solomon expresses his love of LFC through the medium of comics. Check out the detail on the floodlit stadium.

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The magic flower is safe, thanks to the fighting princess. Epic witch battle! Terra the witch is defeated. By Aarushi Marwaha

Captain Brainpower and friends (and enemy) by Mollie

Captain Brainpower and friends (and enemy) by Mollie

2014-02-21 13.03.40A comic inspired by Caroline Lawrence’s roman mysteries. A girl faces a crocodile in an flooded gladiatorial arena. She uses an unusual weapon to defend herself.

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Riley’s minion-meets-Lego drawing. Riley’s favourite author is David Walliams. Which reminds me… I’ve still not read any of his kids’ books. I am perhaps one of the few in the world. Time to get down to it.

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Scooby Doo and the gang.

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One of our young comic artists at work.

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Posing with a work in progress, an epic tale of African lions fighting the British army to protect the jungle.

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A beautiful fox comic. In a few years, Nobrow, watch out for this girl. I’m afraid I didn’t catch her name.

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Science comics – the life cycle of a butterfly in 3 panels.

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Anthropomorphic jelly! Cross-section-views! Loving the way this artist (MM Littlemore) makes use of the medium, with labels, absurd and impossible things, and simple black and white.


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