Guardian Masterclass with Karrie Fransman

I nipped down to London yesterday for the Guardian Masterclass with Karrie Fransman, someone who I think has a lot of interesting things to say about the current state of comics in the UK, and worldwide. I was not disappointed. (Note to non UK readers – that means I really enjoyed it. Typical British understatement and use of double negatives, you know.)

There was a strong turnout – 30 or 40 people at a guess – ranging from semi-pros to some who were just taking their first steps towards creating comics. Everyone was made welcome, and had the opportunity to get a lot from the evening, I think.

Karrie talked through her own creative process for her first graphic novel, passing round a lot of the original thumbnails, reference sketches and synopses – and discussed how she changed the way she did things for her second. There was also (and this was a key draw for me) a lot of good advice on how to deal with the publishing industry, who to submit to, what to submit, how to stand on, and so on.

The sketch below (rough mix of 2B pencil, Pitt Pen and Pocket Brush) was from a quick exercise that we did, in which a storyline was revealed panel by panel for us to draw – quickly, without thinking too much about it. a riff on the usual “angry person – angry person dresses up – goes to party – wrong sort of party” journey, you know. It was great seeing everyone’s different interpretations of this, ranging from the cartoony to expressionist to downright strange. If you work out what my one’s meant to be about, let me know, eh?

Anyway, the course is highly recommended. Big thanks to Karrie & to the Guardian masterclass team for hosting.

The crow on the angry guy’s hand in the top panel came from a sculpture of some choughs by Terence Coventry in the Pangolin Editions gallery downstairs (thanks to Pangolin for letting me take the photos!) Love the way the blackened metal becomes more polished at their beaks.

Everything is grist for the mill…

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