I've been doing lots of talks and workshops lately, including three jam-packed days at various libraries around Devon. I did a talk in Exeter a few months ago back when the book came out, and yet for some reason that didn't put them off wanting me back. You can't say they weren't warned.
Anyway, as part of this little Mini-Tour of Awesomeness I visited (deep breath): Exmouth, Exeter, Crediton, Cullompton, Tiverton, Sidmouth and Seaton. Reasons of space and sanity prevent me giving a full blow-by-blow account of how they all went, so suffice to say Fun Times were comprehensively Had. I think we ran the full gamut, from quiet sessions where the challenge was getting everyone warmed up and into the whole 'shouting out ideas and making up silly comics' thing, to sessions so full of joyous unbridled lunacy that the only problem was trying to keep a lid on it so that things still made some sort of sense and didn't spill over into outright revolution-in-the-streets-level craziness. Happily, I think most of the sessions hit that sweet spot known as "somewhere in between".
(Me drawing a Ninja Duck. Or Crocodile. The debate rages. Thanks to Susie at Cullompton Library for the photo! Check out more pictures, and even a couple of short but rather entertaining videos of me drawing stuff, over at the Cullompton Library Facebook Page!)
Things drawn, to name just a few, included:
- vampire pokemon and their takeover of the lib-con coalition government
- time-travelling chainsaw-wielding rabbits with a fatal weakness for cheese puffs
- a branch of KFC floating on a pirate ship, under the sinister disembodied gaze of Colonel Sanders' evil floating head.
Yeah. And seriously, that's only about 5 percent of the craziness. Needless to say, I had a fantastic time throughout, meeting the certifiably fruitcake children (and adults) of Devonshire and (hopefully) teaching them a little tiny bit about the fun of making comics. A bonus extra lovely thing was getting to see the fantastic Luisa Plaja (whose books I love and have been known to draw fan art of), who brought her charming, cheese-puff-fixated kids along to the Exeter session.
Huge thanks to everyone at Devon Libraries for making me so welcome and running everything so smoothly, and particularly to Hazel Skinner, Mark West, Kate Mackenzie and Lynda Bowler for looking after me so well and keeping me plied with cups of tea and pasties.
Completely knackered now, of course. Am typing this on the train home, and by the time I get a chance to post it I'll have done another school event already, in the wilds of Oxfordshire tomorrow morning. (I hope it went well. Good luck, Future Neill!)
UPDATED: It went great! Thanks, Past Neill!