Leeds West Academy

Young People's Comic Awards

On Friday 4th of November, students from Leeds West Academy attended the BCA Annual Young People’s Comic Awards at Leeds Civic Hall. Our group consisted of some dedicated comic book/graphic novel fans as well as students who wanted to explore a new genre of book. Leeds West Academy were sent new copies of the shortlisted comics to read in advance of the award ceremony.

The shortlist comprised of Lost Tales by Adam Murphy (David Fickling Books), Mega Robo Bros by Neill Cameron (David Fickling Books), Parsley Girl: Carrots by Matthew Swan (Avery Hill Publishing), Tamsin and the Deep by Neill Cameron and Kate Brown (David Fickling Books) and Zorse by Ramzee (Self published).

Students read the comics in the Academy Library and during Comic Club on Wednesdays after school. The reading group decided that they would vote for Tamsin and The Deep by Neill Cameron. “We loved the heroine Tamsin and her all-powerful surfboard!” said one of the students.

The awards were introduced by the chair of the British Comic Association, Adam Cadwell before students enjoyed a comic jam led by students from Leeds East Academy. Leeds West Academy students also drew a character in a comic panel and swapped sheets with a neighbour. By the end of the comic jam, all had a unique comic that had been collaboratively created.

Academy Librarian Ms Walker said: “Students enjoyed talks from shortlisted artists. Neill Cameron told us about being inspired by family trips to Cornwall when creating Tamsin and The Deep and his love of drawing robots for Mega Robo Bros. Ramsey Hassan described his unconventional start in comic books and how he drew from his own experiences as an immigrant to create Zorse. Adam Murphy showed us some images from Eastern Europe that he used when creating Lost Tales. Adam is really inspired by unusual folk tales from around the world and likes to recreate images from weird and wonderful places, such as antique Romanian playing cards. Matthew Swan explained how surprised he was to be nominated for Parsley Girl. He said his goal was to create something fun, vibrant and as colourful as possible.”

A student from Comic Club remarked: “The comic awards helped me find out more about a type of book I’d never read before. We got to meet the artists and we were given a bag full of free comics and books for our school library.”

Ms Walker adds: “Our students really enjoyed engaging with these excellent shortlisted comics and graphic novels as a reading group, whilst hearing the authors of their favourite texts speak about their inspirations. It has helped spark a wider interest in comic books/graphic novels within Leeds West Academy and has even inspired some of us to try drawing our own!”

For more information about the British Comic Awards, visit their website here.