WRITER Daniel Clifford is teaming up with artist Lee Robinson to launch a company that will publish comic books while teaching the craft to youngsters.
Art Heroes is a collaboration between the North East duo, who worked together on one of the books in the North East-based Sugar Glider superhero series. As well as serving as a publishing venture, it will also be the company through which the two will organise comic book workshops in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.
South Shields-born Clifford said: “The idea is to publish comics, but we also want to build an audience for comics among young people. They aren’t getting into comics as much because they’re not as accessible as they were when we were younger and you could just pick them up from the newsagents.”
Clifford himself admits that he found it difficult to get motivated about reading as a child, but soon caught up when he discovered comic books.
He said: “I started reading a massive amount of comics and that’s where I built up my vocabulary and linguistic skills. A lot of boys might not read much because they don’t think there’s anything out there for them to read, but something like this can often act as a stepping stone.”
Clifford has been running comic book workshops for the last two years with Jack Fallows, but linked up with Robinson now Fallows is studying for a PGCE.
“I’ve run workshops for seven years on and off,” he said. “Lee and I are both really passionate about working with young people.
“The content depends on the age of the session. When you’re working with people of the age of about six, it can be mostly drawing, but when they get older you can go into issues such as placement and eye movement.”