Last weekend was the Herne Bay cartoon festival. I think this may be the sixth time it has run and it's a great little event. It is organised by local residents Sue Austen and Steve Coombes as well as cartoonists like Royston Robertson and a lot of volunteers. Only about 30 cartoonists attend and the festival uses lots of little venues. It was great to go back to where I used to live as a student. Not much has changed apart from the type of people who live there. I think they will ultimately change this threadbare Kent seaside resort for the better. They have to contend with a lot of postwar ropey building stock and a pebbly beach that is strewn with litter, but with people like the cartoon festival organisers working on it anything is possible.
I ran a cartooning workshop at Beach Creative on Saturday and there were a lot of creative kids there. Toast cafe next door do fabulous lunches.
There were a lot of great exhibitions on around the town, Including the funny women exhibition at the seaside museum. Unfortunately no one knows who drew my favourite cartoon of that exhibition but I was happy to see Tove Jansson Moomin originals.
Some of us spent a blisteringly hot Sunday morning baking on the pier. We were painting and drawing big cartoon boards. I had one of the holey boards which was great fun to watch when I was finished and had got back from throwing myself in the sea. After a restorative ice cream we had a cartoonists carousel ride before I dashed for the bus to head to Canterbury and another trip down memory lane.
More photos of the event here: https://procartoonists.org/feeling-the-heat-at-yet-another-sunny-herne-bay-cartoon-festival
Taking the train down to the Kent coast today, Taking part in the Herne Bay cartoon festival. It should be a nice trip down memory lane as I used to live in Herne Bay when I was at Kent University in Canterbury.
I'll be running a cartooning workshop and swimming in a lot in the sea. England is actually having a hot summer for a change.
My new book arrived this week. It is always a bit scary designing something from thousands of miles away and hoping it will turn out okay. Fortunately, it is exactly the way I had hoped it would be.
My editor and Advance Reading Team have made this a great book. Head to Amazon if you want to take a closer look.
This month, I threw together the last of my pottery. Unlike the others in the class, I had very little experience and almost no natural ability. This was how things went:
I ran the second of my cartooning workshops for kids at the Lyttelton library last week. This one was about comic panels and strips. One of the exercises was to fit as many characters as possible into a panel. I made the rash decision to offer a signed copy of Fab Club to whoever could fit the most in, though this did result in some creative panels.
Some of the work the children did is below (my favourite is the plastic bag character) - thank you to Lindsey Melchers for taking the pictures (and helping out with the workshop).
(Note that the kids don't get to use rulers!)
After FAB (Friends Against Bullying) Club was well received by kids, I wrote a sequel, FAB Club 2 - Friends Against Cyberbullying.
My editor said it was the book she would have liked to have read as a child. If you know any kids who are being bullied, they might like to read it too.