Trailblazing a path to publication

Trailblazing a path to publication

Following on from the successful first workshop, a second graphic novel workshop with Brenton McKenna and Wolfgang Bylsma and four students from Centralian Middle School took place in Perth during the April school holidays.

The first workshop was held last November in Alice Springs. Brenton, Yawuru author of the popular Ubby’s Underdogs series, travelled from his home in Broome to work with four super-talented students from Centralian Senior College in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). At that workshop, Brenton and his co-mentor, publisher Wolfgang Bylsma (from Gestalt Comics), were equally enthralled by the imaginative ideas these emerging writer/artists were developing. And from all accounts, the students’ infectious energy and dedication to task hasn’t abated. Once again, they were reluctant to take lunch breaks!

“They’re so enthused,” says Kathy Mossop, our Publishing Manager, “so excited about what they’re producing and what they’re learning!”

Over the four days of the Perth workshop, Declan, Seraphina, Alyssa and Lauren were re-invigorated when award-winning graphic novelist Justin Randall showed them how to use the Cintiq tablet and pen to apply colour to their illustrations.

“Producing a graphic novel is not a fast process,” Kathy explains. “It’s built up in layers. There’s a lot of detail. But the Cintiq tablet and pen allowed the students to really progress their work and the results were there to be seen in the covers and pages they produced during the workshop. They look amazing!” says Kathy.

ILF is hoping to publish one of these graphic novels this year, with two more to follow in 2020. The books tackle different themes, some featuring futuristic elements or reflecting aspects of Arrernte culture.

In the meantime, Term Two has started and the budding graphic novelists are back in class in Alice Springs, juggling schoolwork and other commitments alongside staying focused on completing their graphic novels. They’re also sharing their newly learned technical skills, and not only with fellow students at Centralian. In May they’re conducting their own workshop at the NT Writers Festival in Alice Springs, to update book-loving Territorians on the progress of their trailblazing storylines and inspire more local would-be graphic novelists.

We can’t wait to see these graphic novels in print!

  • Posted 26 April, 2019

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