With its own comics convention, 2-D, at the start of June and the Belfast Telegraph newspaper having just given away a second set of free DC Thomson reprint comics over the course of a week, Northern Ireland has an active comics culture. To add to this the Urban Arts Academy are running a summer course in comic book art.
Taking place at the impressive Waterfront Hall in Belfast from 19-23 July 2010 the Urban Arts Academy Comicbook Illustration course will be lead by brothers William and Ken Simpson of Rogue Rocket who produce animation, storyboards and comic strips. Will Simpson of course has worked on titles such as Warrior, 2000AD, Batman and Hellblazer as well as storyboards for films shot in Northern Ireland such as City Of Ember and Closing The Ring.
The course is aimed at participants of 15 years and older with some experience of storytelling, design and drawing and will teach the students not just penciling and inking techniques but character development and storytelling as well. The cost is £60 and more details can be found on the Belfast Waterfront website.
In addition there will be short comicbook illustration workshops for children at the Belfast Waterfront on the weekend of 29/30 May 2010 as part of the Festival in a Weekend Urban Arts Akidemy. These four workshops run for half a day each and allow the children to design their own comic book hero and story. The two workshops on the Saturday are for ages 8-11 and on the Sunday for ages 12-14 and tickets are £7 for each workshop. Again more details are available on the Belfast Waterfront website.
Will Simpson will also be appearing at the free 2-D Comics Festival which takes place at the Verbal Arts Centre in Londonderry from 3-5 June 2010.
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