Kazmantra's Blog

London Lives!
May 14, 2013, 10:00 am
Filed under: Comics, Events, Fun, News | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Phew! That was a mammoth month of kids’ comics. Now I’m recovered, here’s a blog post! After a month spent running around to 18 different libraries all across London and meeting hundreds of comics-loving children, I finally completed my run of workshops for CityRead London. So many crazy characters created (with at least one called “Bob” in every group), so many random stories written and drawn!

The idea of London Lives was that after making up a character each, the kids would pick two characters made in the group at random, a random object and a random location, and make a comic strip based on whatever they had. (No looking, and no swapping!)


My example, made with two random characters (Ted Todd the skateboarding student, and undertaker and amateur magician Peter Charles Griffiths) created by my friends, with a football as my random object and a museum as my random location. All objects and locations were inspired by A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks, the book for CityRead London this year.

Hounslow Workshop

Hounslow Workshop 2

Workshop in Hounslow, photos courtesy of John from Hounslow Libraries.

Almost all of my workshops were at maximum capacity! It warms the cockles and mussels of my heart to see that so many young people are really engaged with comics, both reading them and making their own.

Kids Work Barbican Library

Children’s finished comic strips at Barbican Library.

London Lives Character 3

London Lives Character 2

London Lives Character 1

A selection of characters made by the participants.

Many thanks to CityRead London for inviting me to run comics workshops again this year, and all the participating libraries and staff! It was brilliant.

And I’ll leave you with a quote from one of the children who took part.

“I loved the workshop! It was terrific! I gained loads of confidence in drawing comics and know about them. I never had such a wonderful experience! If I had a word to describe it: Comic – cool” Abdul age 9


Lineup: Illustration Art Expo
April 29, 2013, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Comics, Events, illustration, News

Lineup PostcardLineup Postcard 2

Come along to the Mall Galleries in London for Lineup, an exhibition of illustration and comics art! As well as work by me, comics creators Hannah Berry, Daniel Locke, Dan Berry and Joe Decie are showing their art as well as many more good folks of the comics world.

There will also be a comics and illustration fair on Saturday 4 May, at which you can by prints, comics, artists’ books and all kinds of interesting things, as well as bagging yourself some original art from the exhibition.

London Lives – Cityread London Comics Workshops
March 12, 2013, 11:08 am
Filed under: Comics, Events, Fun, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

cityread logo For children 8 – 12 years old. This April, join me for London Lives: Cityread Comics Workshops in libraries all around the capital. Create colourful characters, then see what happens when they meet other peoples’ in the streets, stations and stadiums of London.

Cityread London is a campaign to spread a love of books and reading to the widest possible audience throughout our capital. This year the chosen read is A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks. There are also many other events happening for all ages, so take a look at their website for more.

London Lives Comics Workshops

Please contact individual libraries for details of how to book your place!

Tuesday 2nd April

Manor Park Library
685-693 Romford Road
E12 5AD
11:00 – 12:30

1 Church Elm Lane,
RM10 9QS
2:30 – 4pm

Wednesday 3rd April

East Barnet Library
85 Brookhill Road,
East Barnet,
2:30 – 4pm

Thursday 4th April

Bromley Central Library
High Street
Kent – BR1 1EX
11:00 – 12:30

Bexleyheath Central Library
Townley Road
2:30 – 4pm

Friday 5th April

Edgware Library
Hale Lane,
2:30 – 4pm

Sunday 7th April

Hounslow Library,
Treaty Centre,
High Street,
1:30 – 3pm

Wednesday 10th April

Southfields Library
300 Wimbledon Park Road
London SW19 6NL
10:30 – 12:00noon

Peckham Library,
122 Peckham Hill Street
SE15 5JR
2:30 – 4pm

Thursday 11th April

City of London
Barbican Library
Barbican Centre
Silk St
11 – 12:30

Marylebone Library
109-117 Marylebone Road (entrance Gloucester Place)
London NW1 5PS
2:30 – 4pm

Saturday 13th April

Morden Library
Civic Centre
London Road
10:30 – 12noon

Kingsbury Library Plus
522 – 524 Kingsbury Road
2:30 – 4pm

Tuesday 16th April

Hammersmith and Fulham
Hammersmith Library
Shepherds Bush Road
W6 7AT
4:00 – 5:30pm

Thursday 18th April

Wealdstone Library,
The Wealdstone Centre,
38/40 High Street,
4 – 5:30pm

Thursday 25th April

Upminster Library,
26 Corbets Tey Road,
RM14 2BB
4:00 – 5:30pm

Saturday 27th April

Hackney Central Library
Hackney Technology and Learning Centre
1 Reading Lane
E8 1GQ
10:30 – 12:00noon

Central Library,
Katharine Street,
2:30 – 4pm

Comics and Graphic Novels Weekend Course at West Dean College
February 5, 2013, 12:22 pm
Filed under: Comics, Events, News

Once again, I am running a weekend (optionally) residential course on creating Comics and Graphic Novels at West Dean College, near Chichester in Sussex. West Dean is a lovely setting, an unspoiled country manor house set in beautiful gardens and parkland. Topiary! Mosaics! Stuffed animals! Surrealist objects! It is a truly unique location, and a great experience just staying there, never mind the learning and socialising.

Comics and Graphic Novels is suitable for all levels – come along and have an early summer break, while exploring the wonderful world of writing, drawing and storytelling. You can also put this course towards a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. The course begins on Friday evening, and continues until Sunday tea-time, with plenty of civilised breaks for meals, tea and socialising.

Dates: 7 – 9 June 2013

Details: Available on the West Dean College website.

MCM Expo Manga School
October 25, 2012, 11:16 am
Filed under: Comics, Events, Manga, News

I will be at MCM Expo this weekend, running classes for Letraset’s Manga School. There is a full programme of workshops that lasts all weekend, and I am hosting these:

Body Pose and Movement 12:00 Saturday 27 October
Body Pose and Movement 15:00 Sunday 28 October
Drawing Clothes 16:00 Sunday 29 October

All the details are on the Letraset website.

I may well also be cosplaying at MCM Expo as I don’t have an exhibitor table this time!

Adventures in Comics 2
January 30, 2012, 5:49 pm
Filed under: Comics, Events, News

This February I have been asked to participate in the Adventures in Comics 2 festival in Margate. As well as participating in the exhibition, I will be running a workshop on Sequential Illustration on Sunday 12 February. There are lots of other workshops, a free exhibition and an opening night talk by Paul Gravett. The exhibition will show the winning entries from the AIC2 Lifeboat short story competition as well as works by some of the workshop leaders, such as Karrie Fransman and Merlin Evans. This exciting festival is in its second year, and is held in Marine Studios, Margate. (Which is by the seaside!)

Adventures in Comics 2

Adventures in Comics 2


For more details, including how to book a place on one of the workshops, see the Adventures in Comics website and the Marine Studios blog.

What I Am Up To These Days
October 24, 2011, 7:12 pm
Filed under: Comics, Events, Manga, News

It’s been a while since I updated. This is, in a way, a GOOD thing, because it means I’ve been busy. So here are a few interesting newsworthy titbits.

Firstly, there’s a podcast of a discussion panel I chaired at Sci-Fi London about the Manga Jiman competition. The ladies on the panel, Zarina Liew, Yuri Kore and Clio Millet are all winners or runners-up of Manga Jiman, and they share their thoughts about comics, manga and competitions. It’s here, at Laydeez Do Podcasts.

This week is half term, so what better time to run a whole bunch of Manga Workshops?! Bedfordshire Libraries are having a Graphic Novel and Manga Festival all week, for which I’m running a workshop about Character Creation for young people… there’s tonnes of other things going on there, too.

Upcoming events I will be at:

MCM EXPO 29th – 30th October (at the Itch table)

Thought Bubble 19th – 20th November (at the Itch table)

I will be sketching and selling prints at the above events, as well as having more free copies of Blood Magic available! See you there!