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How to draw Dennis the Menace
Kev Sutherland and an easel
Do my eyes look big on this?
Last updated: 28 May 2004 1147 BST
line Children at a Gloucestershire School have been getting an art lesson with a difference - how to draw comic strips!
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Pupils at Horsley School near Nailsworth were given top tips by cartoonist Kev Sutherland who's worked on titles such as The Beano, 2000AD, and Viz.

Masterclass

quote All kids love drawing cartoons. It fills a sort of gap between literacy, numeracy, and art.quote
Kev Sutherland

The event was one of a series of Comic Art Masterclasses held in schools in the run-up to the 6th Annual Official Comic Festival in Bristol.

Kev says, "I teach the
kids all they need to know about telling stories with pictures. So whether they want to create the new Dennis the Menace or the new Incredible Hulk, I can teach them how."

Cartoons

Kev Sutherland and a cartoon

"All kids love drawing cartoons. It fills a sort of gap between literacy, numeracy, and art, which sometimes they miss out on.

"A lot of kids are told that they should give up on comics and they should grow up, which is a bizarre thing that we do in this country."

Certain age

"We think that after you get to a certain age words and pictures together are not properly grown up, which is a bit like telling kids that once they get to the age of eight they've got to stop watching telly and only listen to the radio.

quote Comics are fun... they're not just for kids.quote
Kev Sutherland

"So I'm just reminding them that comics are fun... they're not just for kids."

Kev denies that you have to be a good overall artist to be a good cartoonist.

"I don't think so. One of the very first things I do with the kids is remind them that anybody can draw and that any mark they put down on the paper can be as good as anybody else's.

Michelangelo

Cartoon character Billy Beachball

"They could turn out in fact to be very expressive artists. Just because they haven't yet learned how to draw like myself or Michelangelo or any of the leading superhero artists doesn't mean they haven't got it in them."

Kev Sutherland is also organising this weekend's comic festival in Bristol.

Events include the 7th National Comics Awards, a Dan Dare exhibition, art classes, talks, quizzes, and signings.

Bristol Comic Festival
Venue Empire & Commonwealth Museum and Ramada Plaza Hotel, Bristol
Date Saturday May 29 - Sunday May 30
Ticket price

£5 (under 12's get in free)

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