Thursday, 28 May 2009

Workshop Feedback

We just received this link via email, a slideshow of drawings that the kids made during our comic and graphic novel workshop session at the Booked! festival on May 15th:
Check it out, there are some really funny ones!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Author Visits Feedback

We received this via email on Friday:
“Metaphrog visited Cardiff’s new library in May 2009 and enthralled children from Year 7 at Fitzalan High School with a lively demonstration creating comic book characters and effects. All the children created their own cartoons and enthusiastically shared their drawings which showed an impressive range of humour and skills.
We’d love Metaphrog to come back and visit again. And good luck with the new Louis book!”

Heather Noble Children’s Library Services Manager

Thanks Heather!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Booked! Festival Comics Workshops

We’ve been on a roll doing graphic novel workshops this month! Friday May 15th we were at the Booked! Festival of Words in West Dunbartonshire, working with classes of Primary 7 children. These sessions were really fun! The kids were keen to flick through Sandra’s sketchbook and also asked some very interesting questions, such as “What’s the most difficult part of making a book?” or “How long does it take to make a book?” And of course they did fantastic drawings too.
Terry Lanagan, the Director of Education was present during our first session, and he mingled with the children while they were busy creating monsters, the feedback was that he was really pleased, as were the kids. We ended up sandwiched between the wall and a crowd of children, after the workshop, all wanting their posters and postcards (goodies we brought for them) signed, as well as the festival bookmarks. At one point one asked for his hand to be signed, starting a trend, and next thing we knew they all wanted their hands signed too!
The festival itself had an interesting line up, including Louise Welsh, Ian Banks, Julia Donaldson and many more, as well as a Dave McKean Retrospective exhibition in the Dalmuir Library (on until May 30th).

The day after our session we got a really nice comment on our Louis animation on YouTube from one of the kids: “I've met Metaprog, I got their autograph :) And they showed us this, it took Sandra 5 months to make.” It put a smile on our faces for the rest of the weekend.

More pictures from these events can be seen on our Picasa photo album here.

We'll be doing a series of summer workshops. Stay tuned for more info on this soon!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Cardiff Workshops and Bristol Comic Expo Report

Our visits to Cardiff and Bristol were great! Really rejuvenating. We did two workshops on Friday 8th of May in the brand new Cardiff Central Library, a really attractive building, and the kids were great. A big thank you to Heather and Rob who invited us down and were perfect hosts, we managed to catch up with them over a few beers and Japanese food! Thanks too to all the chilren who as always had amazing ideas and who left some positive comments and thank you notes.

Slideshow below. Photo album here.

After the workshops we went on to Bristol for the rest of the weekend and had a fantastic time too, catching up with people like Chris Staros of Top Shelf and Gary Millidge on a quiet Friday evening. We were in the SPExpo part of the Comic Festival on the Saturday all day, the first SPExpo in fact, situated in a spacious, well-lit hall (complete with actual windows and panoramic views over Bristol, a welcome variation on many comic conventions). The whole event was fairly low key, as the Expo had to downsize this year. The two shows might have benefited from being in one large space rather than split between venues (we heard from many people that they didn't know the SPExpo was there until much later, for instance) but it all still managed to be highly enjoyable. On the Saturday evening, drinking beer and wine and eating tapas al fresco with Paul Gravett, Ilya (Best New Manga, King Lear), and Doug and Emma from Self Made Hero, was highly enjoyable as was the convention bar/party, were we shared conversational notes on dizziness with Tony Bennett. Sunday was spent trailing the Expo and checking out stalls and books, then absorbing sunshine for several hours, watching people finish a half-marathon, generally being very relaxed without passing out, before heading back to Glasgow. The funny thing about conventions is that you can completely miss people: we only met up with Gary Erskine at the baggage pick up in Glasgow!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Louis - Dreams Never Die Review

It's always great to get a good review, and even more so when a book has been out for a while. Louis - Dreams Never Die, the graphic novel with music and animation we released in 2004 has just been reviewed here (you have to scroll down a bit).
On Friday 15th we're doing another two workshops, this time for "Booked" West Dunbartonshire Festival of Words, at Alexandria Library at 10.30am and Duntocher Library at 1.30pm.
We'll shortly be posting an entry on our workshops in Cardiff and on the Bristol Comic Festival.