When I made the decision to start my own animation workshop business one of my main goals was to travel the world teaching filmmaking skills. It felt like a dream come true when earlier this year I was contacted by the Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut in Heidelberg Germany to take part in Comics Days Festival.
Heidelberg is one of the most beautiful cities I have visited. The town centre is surrounded by green hills and overlooked by an impressive castle, which made me feel like I was in a fairy tale during my stay.
Even more wonderful was the setting for the workshop, inside a library filled floor to ceiling with books! The organisers were fantastically welcoming and as soon as I arrived I launched into my first cartooning workshop.
Josh Elder (above) is an award winning comic book author, creator of Mail Order Ninja and writer for DC’s The Batman Strikes. He introduced me to his very exciting project Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter, which features stories on educational themes. Awesome.
I have also recently discovered a great genre known as Steam Punk, which is a mashup of sci-fi, fantasy and machines based on the steam power of the 19th century. Felix Mertikat, an incredibly talented illustrator, and Verena Klinke, writer extraordinaire, gave an impressive talk on their graphic novel Steam Noir. These two are a collaborative dream team. I predict BIG things.
Another two brilliant people I met were Robert Berry (check out his Ulysses Seen project) and the very imaginative Jon Seidman who were great fun. On our first night, after a day of workshopping, we decided to make a collaborative comic while enjoying pizza in the library. The results were hilarious and I hope we meet up for part two of the story in the very near future.