On Saturday I helped out at Gosh! Comics' Free Comic Book Day event and it was a real pleasure. There were free comics, a lovely informal kids workshop with a rotating cast of comics creators on hand to sketch and offer advice, window drawings, and a busy shop full of new customers eager to find out more about comics. It was exactly what FCBD was designed for and I had a wonderful time being a part of it.
The day started off with Julia Scheele and I running the workshop table while the amazing Roger Langridge and Richard Short started their window drawings (of Kermit and Dennis The Menace respectively). I always love being a part of comic workshops like this and the Drop In & Draw events organised by WAW+P have always been a joy. Sadly, it always takes the kids (and myself) a little bit of time to relax and get into it so, inevitably, by the time I was hitting my stride it was time to let the next comic artist into the fray. Despite this, I managed to meet and chat to some amazingly talented young artists including a boy called Arthur who sat there diligently crafting short comics called The Adventures of Stick Man. They were simple, elegantly constructed little shorts with a genuinely intuitive grasp of the visual language and timing of comics. I encouraged him to bring some photocopied minis into Gosh at some point. I really hope he'll continue to produce comics. I also hope that a few more kids comic workshops like this will start popping up at the shop in the future as it feels a shame something like this may only happen once a year.
Later in the day I attempted to draw some famous comic characters on the Gosh window. I'd decided beforehand to give Charlie Brown and Snoopy a go. Hoping to have them staring out at Soho/inside Gosh depending on where you were standing. Drawing on the window presents a few challenges but is actually a hell of a lot of fun. I was a little frustrated that my attempt ended up looking a little too much like a Schulz rip-off than something in my own style but was happy enough with it for a first try. I was sitting next to the brilliant Sarah McIntyre who was also drawing her own Vern & Lettuce which came out beautifully.
I joined the kids table for a bit more drawing later in the day, watching Roger and Will Morris draw gorgeous sketches for spellbound kids while chatting away pleasantly about their process. I felt humbled to be on the same table with them.
So there we go. FCBD at Gosh. A brilliant event. Huge thanks to the staff for making it so fun and stress free. Sarah's also written a blog about the event here. Thanks to Sarah and Gosh for the photos here too.