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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

British publisher MediKidz on the hunt for comic artists

British comics publisher Medikidz - a fast-expanding company set up to explain medicine to children through dynamic comics - are looking for enthusiastic pencillers, inkers, colourists, letterers and art studios to help create their books.

The London-based company is specifically looking for artists who will be able to match the artwork of their previous books (30 in progress).

"We produce two titles per month on average, so we are looking for regular artists," explains Ned Hartley, a name some readers may recognise as a former editor at Titan Magazines. "Consistency through the series is very important to us especially between characters, so we will not contact artists who we do not think will fit the established Medikidz style."

Medikidz was founded by Dr Kim Chilman-Blair and Dr Kate Hersov whom, after working in paediatrics, became frustrated by the lack of engaging education for their young patients. During their time as doctors, they were unable to provide children with resources to help educate them about their new diagnoses or medicines - in their language, at their level.

Worldwide, there's an enormous lack of useful material for young people about medicine and health - but most of what exists targets parents only. This realisation was the catalyst which lead them to create Medikidz.

The 'Medikidz' are a gang of five larger-than-life superheroes from outer space, which are each specialists in different parts of the body. The characters are designed to be fun and appealing to young people in order to be able to entertain, as well as educate them about serious medical issues. They are destined to become characters with whom children can relate, and befriend.

The Medikidz characters live on 'Mediland' - a living, moving planet shaped just like the human body. The children are taught about their own body by going on a personal tour through Mediland. Medikidz is designed specifically for young people: therefore we will speak their language, at their level. Think "Marvel meets Medicine" and you have the concept!

Credibility is the cornerstone to the Medikidz offering - professional medical writers and doctors write all the content, which is subsequently peer-reviewed by leading consultants in each respective field. Medikidz also gains the endorsement of established and well-regarded medical institutions, foundations and spokespeople. Medikidz has established a Medical Advisory Board, consistsing of dozens of the world's preeminent physicians, as well as a Youth Advisory Board, a group of young people aged 6-16 years old, affected by illness, whose voice and opinion help to shape the direction of Medikidz.

As well as the 25 current comic book titles on paediatric conditions (such as Epilepsy, Scoliosis, Leukaemia and Cystic Fibrosis) Medikidz have also produced titles relating to adult conditions, so that a parent or loved one, when faced with a diagnosis, has somewhere to turn to help them explain it to their children.

Already published is What's Up with Bridget's Mum? Medikidz Explain Breast Cancer and What's Up with Tiffany's Dad? Medikidz Explain Melanoma and next in this series will be, What's Up With Grandpa? Medikidz Explain Alzheimer's Disease, with Colon Cancer, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis and Schizophrenia to follow.

Medikidz keep on getting approached all the time to write on new conditions - in fact now there is a list of 300 to do.

The company also produce pamphlets and brochures explaining paediatrically-licensed medicines (increased understanding can lead to improved adherence) and hospitals investigations, such as "Medikidz Explain MRI Scan" or "Medikidz Explain Endoscopy".

Since launch in September 2009, for which Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the spokesperson, Medikidz has distributed over 1,000,000 comic books globally, demonstrating in this short space of time, the definite, substantial and unsatisfied need the Medikidz initiative.

• If you're interested, send MediKidz a sample drawing of the main Medikidz characters using this submission form, along with a sample of your previous work

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