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Free comic book workshops come to Bradford Libraries

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A Lucasfilm artist and author, who will show local school children how to draw Star Wars characters, is among the guest illustrators at three free workshops hosted by Bradford Libraries this month.

JAKe (real name Jake Steel) has been an official artist for Lucasfilm Ltd since 1999, working mainly on merchandise for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. The artist will be holding the third of three workshops which have been organised by Bradford Council’s Libraries Service in partnership with Leeds Sequential Art Festival – Thought Bubble.

JAKe will be holding a workshop with pupils from Year 5 at Rainbow Primary and Lidget Green Primary from 1.15-2.45pm on Friday, 22 September at City Library. The children will be shown how to draw their favourite Star Wars characters, including Droids, Wookiees and Bounty Hunters. JAKe’s books include ‘How to Speak Wookiee’ and ‘How to Speak Droid’.

Comic artist Dr Simpo will be showing children and families how to ‘Make a Comic in a Day’ at his workshop on Saturday, 16 September. This free drop-in workshop runs from 11am to 4pm at City Library and is suitable for children aged seven to 17, with parents encouraged to have a go too.

A further schools workshop is being run by artist Imran Azhar from Team Muhafiz Comic Books, from 9.30-11.30am on Wednesday, 20 September at Manningham Library. The Team Muhafiz comic series was shortlisted for the National Innovation Award in 2015 and 2016 in Art and Design by the Pakistan Innovation Foundation. The comic book series, launched in 2015, features ten multi-ethnic, multi-faith teenage heroes at a local youth centre. These heroes combat villains that represent modern day social injustices. Team Muhafiz have held workshops in schools, including 20 slum schools in Karachi, Pakistan.

As well as the workshops there will be a ‘book crossing’ event in which hundreds of free graphic novels and comic books, suitable for teenagers and young adults, will be given away in 13 libraries across the district from 10am on Friday 22 September (or the library’s opening time). The libraries are: Baildon; Burley; Bingley; City; Clayton; Eccleshill; Keighley; Ilkley; Laisterdyke; Manningham; Shipley; Wibsey and Wyke.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Environment, Sport & Culture, said: “This is an exciting programme of events for comic book fans and a great opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade from the artists themselves. Comic books are also a great alternative way to get children into reading and these workshops will help develop their creative writing skills and imagination.”