Presentations & Workshops


This is a resource we’re hoping will grow with time, and with your help. So if you’ve hosted comicbook presentations or workshops, or you yourself provide the sort of resources we’re talking about here in the UK, please send us the details.

Dr. Mel Gibson

Dr. Mel Gibson is an ebullient communicator, and the UK’s leading light in working with both schools and libraries, often at the same time! In fact I once bumped into Mel doing precisely that in Nottingham Central Library before dragging those librarians new to comics down to Page 45 for an impromptu Show & Tell.

Paul Gravett

Paul Gravett, on the other hand, is the country’s foremost expert on comics and graphic novels. The writer of Graphic Novels: Stories To Change Your Life (also known in America as Graphic Novels: Everything You Need To Know) and Manga: 60 Years Of Japanese Comics, Paul also co-wrote Great British Comics with Peter Stanbury. Every time I see Paul, he’s always clutching a new discovery, and bursting with enthusiasm to talk about it.

I don’t think there’s a type of venue Paul hasn’t lectured at: exhibitions for which he’ll undoubtedly have written the catalogue for, festivals and, of course libraries.

Dr. Bryan Talbot

Dr. Bryan Talbot has delivered his presentations all over the world, including China. As well as a renowned illustrator for other writers (Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, 2000AD’s Nemesis The Warlock) Bryan Talbot is the sole creator behind Alice In Sunderland, The Tale Of One Bad Rat, The Adventures Of Luther Arkwright, The Heart Of Empire, Metronome, and the Naked Artist. He also wrote Cherubs.

Gregarious by nature, whenever he has time Bryan has presented his talks on “ALICE IN SUNDERLAND”, “GRANDVILLE and the Anthropomorphic Tradition”, “Style and Storytelling Technique in THE TALE OF ONE BAD RAT” and “Deep in the HEART OF EMPIRE” at conventions, festivals and, of course libraries. He’s also run college courses on creating comics.

Martin & Carly

Martin & Carly are local community artists based in Nottingham. They’ve run workshops on comics, printing, binding, mosaics, animation, film making, sound and music, sculpture, planting, planting organic sculptures, and sometimes combined the lot on what I assume must be the equivalent of a Peter Gabriel video.

They’ve worked in schools, libraries, prisons, youth groups, hobby groups, and worked with so many individuals from all over the learning difficulty spectrum. They’re work with young offenders to create super-small runs of hand-crafted comics and ‘zines certainly opened my eyes: they weren’t allowed to use scissors, glue or a stapler: their ingenuity was impressive to say the least!

Simon Chadwick

For those further south, accomplished artist Simon Chadwick is much in demand for his school workshops. Here’s his blog with lots of details.


The Cartoon Classroom

But for a very useful hub of information on teaching comics, you can’t do better (to my knowledge) than this, set up by David Lloyd, Paul Gravett and Stephen Marchant:

Working With Schools & Libraries

You’ll find another page on our site simply called Libraries in which we talk about our history in supplying schools, prisons and public libraries with the right graphic novels for their readers. Working with schools in particular has been a heart-warming experience, improving literacy rates dramatically among boys.

Here are a couple of exchanges which made us laugh and smile from two teachers and a pupil:

Just to thank you for putting together our school graphic novel library and to let you know that its opening caused a veritable riot. Children as young as eight were trampled in the crush. It was very exciting. Additionally, many more of our children now seem interested in reading. This is a good thing.
I love you all.
Simon [Robinson]

Simon thought that their 8-12 year-old category would mean superheroes only. Of the £500 spent by Annie Holgate Junior School in Hucknall (school and library orders over £100 receive a 15% discount and free postage/personal delivery from Jonathan), there were no more than a dozen superhero books but a plethora of other individual and diverse voices to prey on their tiny little minds. There’s just so much out there now, regardless of that seemingly restrictive age range, and we supplied no duplicates, either.

Lastly, I found this popped through our letter box on February 14th 2010 in a hand-delivered card with jellybeans on it. Not real ones, unfortunately, but I still had a lick.

It’s from teacher Kate, wife of my dear ex-house monkey and first-ever Page 45 Work Experience pupil Ossian Hawkes, who recently absconded with two big boxes of eye-friendly reading material:


To Page 45,

Thanks so much for the fantastic comic books you gave to our school. The children were so excited when they saw them and we now have a ‘comic basket’ full of comics in our classrooms. Last week at circle time, it was lovely to see that every child in class 6 had chosen to share a comic with their friends!

Please find enclosed a ‘thank you’ letter from Paige – age 7. Paige’s favourite things include Hannah Montana! and she usually never chooses to write. She usually sits watching others read at circle time, rather than enjoying books and reading herself. Paige asked me to read Avengers Fairy Tales with her. She loved it and asked to write a ‘thank you’ letter to you.

She spent over an hour carefully sounding out the words she wanted to write in her letter! Hope you like it.

Thanks, love from Kate and everyone at William Booth School

Here’s young Paige’s letter which nearly made me cry:

William Booth School



Dear Page 45,

Thank you for the comic books. I have been reading AVENGERS Fairy Tales.

When Jennifer goes into the world, I felt like I was there.

From Paige. 

I texted Kate immediately asking her to thank Paige for taking the time and trouble to write, and to pass on how pretty I thought her handwriting was in the sly hope of encouraging Paige to practise writing more frequently.

“Ah, cool!” said Tom when I showed him Paige’s letter. “It’s a lot better than my handwriting was at her age.”

“It’s better than my handwriting was at her age,” I agreed.

“It’s better than your handwriting is now!

The material in question can be found in the MARVEL FAIRY TALES collection reviewed and on sale in the shop side of this website.

– Stephen