First year pupils at Levenmouth Academy had a great end to the school term when Dr Damon Herd from Dundee University’s Dundee Comics Creative Space came to show them how to create their own comics as part of the school’s pilot literacy project, The S1 Book Awards.
In the city of legendary comics such as The Beano and The Dandy, Dundee University’s modules in Comics Studies offer qualifications for aspiring comic artists.
The day also gave senior pupils at Levenmouth Academy an opportunity to talk with Dr Herd about the courses on offer and the doors they can open.
Susan Birne, service development supervisor for Young People with ON Fife Libraries, part of Fife Cultural Trust said: “This project is encouraging Levenmouth’s young people to read for pleasure, which we know has a positive impact on attainment and wellbeing. Comics and graphic novels are a great way to engage reluctant and struggling readers.
“Alongside the appeal of familiar cartoon characters and superheroes, there are graphic novels telling such a range of wonderful stories for all sorts of people to enjoy – have a look at the selection in your local library.
“Many of the first years taking part in the S1 Book Awards have really enjoyed the graphic adaptation of Coraline which is one of the shortlisted books. We wanted them to have this opportunity today to respond to their reading and explore their own story ideas with comics and graphic illustration. We love to challenge old attitudes about what people should be reading – we think reading comics is a great way to spend time enjoying books!”
Dr Damon Herd, coordinator of Dundee Comics Creative Space, said: “Comics are a creative way to learn without realising that you are learning. Making comics includes art, design, storytelling, problem solving and more. Anybody can draw (whether they realise it or not) and we try to combine it all for a fun and inspiring workshop. It was great to see the work produced by the Levenmouth Academy young people today – they took to the workshops with enthusiasm and creative thinking. I hope they will continue making comics.”
ON Fife Libraries and Fife Cultural Trust are working in partnership with Levenmouth Academy to deliver this pilot reading and literacy project. This is the second event in a series of workshops and author visits at the school, further engaging events, workshops and visits will take place next term.