Friday, 17 August 2018

Degree Show 2018

Cartoon and Comic Arts 

Degree Show#5  

aims to be bigger and better than ever before 

Its that time of year when the studio gets a fresh lick of paint and table and chairs get moved around and generally the studio becomes an exhibition space. This year is no exception to that rule as Cartoon and Comic Arts degree show is back, bigger and better than ever., With the largest cohort ever to graduate - 30 students will receive the most treasured of accolades BA Honours in Cartoon and Comic Arts!

Tidying the show and prepping the show took place as normal with the students all pitching into help out.
This year saw the cohort using the computer lab as a couple of them had produced Web Comics and this allowed people to come and sit and read the comics all the way through.

For the evening event the students produced a buffet 

with a nice homemade cake to finish it off. The splatter in the middle is in recognition of the Stall in Erlangen Comic Salon.

Drew Hird received a special award from the Scarr Hall people for his achievements throughout th e3 years. 

The show was opened by Keith Brymer Jones from the TV Show the Great British Throw Down. The speech was actually quiet good!

Here is a selection of Images from the event on the day 

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Erlangen Comic Salon 2018

Comic Salon 2018

This year saw cartoon fulfilling a commitment to hit the international stage and sell comics at an international convention. Luckily Stoke-on-Trent is twinned with the Germany city of Erlangen which also boast the largest comic convention in Germany.

The student were to sell their work in the international youth forum, and I was invited to run a comic workshop for budding artist. 

Setting up the the stand at the convention in Erlangen

We would be part of the Youth Forum and I was asked to do a comic workshop 

The students had to set up the stand area and they set about setting it up.

The first thing was to come up with an interesting eye catching idea.

This is supposed to be an ink splatter. In the end using red made it look like we had blown our brains out, especially when we sat in front of it.

This is the group who went to Erlangen, from left to right - Ben Bloss, Rob, Drew Hird, Olly Ball, Kemo and Akka.

First Taste of Erlangen 

So after setting up the stall we heading off for some well earned food. Happily we had some money to allow the students to have a slap up feast at a local brewary.

For a few of them it was their first time in Germany and so sampling the customs and food was very important. 

Some took to the beer better than others and Kemo develop a particular taste for the festival beers. 

Olly liked the food and was impressed with what you could get!

Even Akka, was able to find a substantial meal for a vegetarian . 

I like my meat. 

First Day of the Convention Comic Salon 

I was lucky enough to get right to the front of the opening ceremony.

Here is the opening ceremony and the cutting of the ribbon

Here is the workshop I ran for people at the convention. 

As the first event, it was relatively well attended and the people who took part seemed to enjoy it .

Meanwhile the students were selling their work at the table, while others went to have a look around the convention.

The event was very well attended!

The work from the people who took part in the workshop was displayed on the wall to encourage people to look at it and have a draw.


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

StokeConTrent 8 and other things

StokeConTrent 8 and other Things!

Its been a few months since I last posted and that is just because how hectic it had become in the Cartoon and Comic Arts studio. straight off the back of a couple of guest lecturers Matt Garvey and Hannah Chapman we were into Easter and the organisation of the 8th StokeConTrent event to be held at the university.  
StokeConTrent went off without much hassle or stress, though the comic arts were put in the Science Building which sort of feels a little way from the main action. The Comic artist once again enjoyed the event and it also provided an opportunity for 3rd Years students to sell their work at the convention and also allow the 2nd years to almost dress rehearse the MCM event they are attending in May.

At the end of the event, we asked Ben Krefta to stay over and talk to the students how he got into Manga and got his first break in the business. This was done because the students had asked for a Manga Artist to attend the event and he replied. 

StokeConTrent Guests from top left Ben Krefta Managa Artist. Above Lee Sullivan Thunderbirds and Transformers Comic Artist. Right - Titan Editor David Leech. Bottom Left - Beano and Dandy Artist Lew Stringer. and Finally Bottom Right Doctor Who artist Mike Collins

Friday, 23 February 2018

Cartoon and And Comic Arts 1st UniQube Exhibition

UniQube Exhibition 

I think we all agreed that the UniQube exhibition was a good experience for the students, even if they didn't!

Above is the main UniQube organisation team along with staff so from Left to right back row - Sophie Jackson. Tina Challinor, Ben Bloss, Akka Moon, Adrian Tooth (Course Leader) Natasha Barton, Lucy Cutts, Kevin Gunstone (Visiting guest lecturer - Comic writer) Front Row - Gareth Cowlin (Leturer) Becci Such (PT Lecturer Independant comic artist AwkwartdBex) - Claire Smith (Lecturer - Independant comic artist TallyB) - Jason Brindley (PT Lecturer - Comic Artist Sevenhedd)


Kemo showing Comic Artist and External Examiner Jim Medway around the comic arts exhibition 

Here's the rest of the map cap groups?

Monday, 19 February 2018

Some 3rd Year Comics

3rd Years produce a range of different Comics 

With the course ever expanding, we are always trying to produce different type of art work and getting the student to think more independently. We actively encourage them to develop their own signature art styles so they are able to stand out from the crowd. 
here are some of the work produced in the first semester. 

Akka Moons "Infested" is a horror story about a virus that is running wild in the forest. They style is created digitally after  the initial drawn thumbnails and layout sketches. I particularly like this page as it looks a bit more in-depth with the concept of paneling and what you can use to divide the story up, rather then going to the default method of boxing everything up!  

Ben Bloss's work is also mainly digital once the thumbnails and layout are complete. He has drawn inspiration from Manga and in his Comic Book "The Lonely Siren" he tells the story of a shipwrecked sailor and the unwanted advances of a Siren. Ben uses the page well, preparing the reader for the drop into the abyss. He's recently gone back and reworked his pages, adding shading and shadow to the work which give the whole project a bit more weight.  

Ollie Wharton's comic "Roller Disco" tells the story of 2 young girls who find and lose love at the venue. What is particularly great about this work is the backgrounds where he has tried to incorporate his more painted style to the overall concept. this give the work a more staged and worn feel. Everything doesn't look band new. The texture in the background starts to become a character in its own right as it tries to describe the story and the environment where the action takes place. 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Top Middle Bottom

Drawing Exercise 
Top, Middle, Bottom 

Once again the new 1st year were introduced to life drawing at Staffordshire University with a difference. We challenge the student to attempt to make a film noir style of comic using a basic script and a model in a room with props and lights. 


The idea is to get the students to physically move their bodies around the model, rather than, as what usually happens, where the students get an easel and they stay in the same location. Even if the students have a really bad view of the model they will rather draw a bad pose than to physically move themselves around the model. 

Film Noir is something that many of the students today have not really encountered and even though we spend a lot of time talking about shadow and the power of that and what it can add to a drawing, students still tend to stay away from it. 

Above the lighting and aim of the lesson is to explore how we can tell the story. In each shot the student had to make a decision of whether to drawn from above, at the same level or from the floor in a sitting position. 

The final scene where the model packs her bag to leave, gives the student to leave a really interesting climax to the story.

Below are some of the attempts that the first year did during the 3 hours session. What the story is, is completely up to the student.  We encourage them to make decisions about the character on the page, is she the victim, who has managed to get away from an attacker and needs to leave as soon as possible.  Or is she the evil person, a potential murder who has committed the crime and now has to get out as soon as possible.