Last weekend I had the privilege to take part in the first ever Comics For Good jam here at Arsenalet in Viborg. The aim was to spend a weekend making a compilation of collaborative comics to help and comfort refugee children and their carers when they arrive in Denmark and start school. All round good guy Fabio Cujino went above and beyond to organise this awesomely good event, finding amazing sponsors, doing PR, running around keeping us in good spirits, reminding us to drink water, staying up all night to keep the night owls company, and still managed to make his own contribution for the book.
The weekend started on Friday with a quick introduction to the basics of making comics by Tom Kaczynkski followed by a skype call with Kirsten Petersen, a teacher at a school for refugees, who gave us a run down of some of the issues kids are faced with when starting school in Denmark. The forty or so participants then teamed up and started brainstorming ideas based on her suggestions. By the end of the night we had filled a wall with post-its and sketched out storyboards, and lots of awesome feedback was given and taken.
Lovely Ditte Lundsgaard Nielsen and I wanted to make a little story about seeing the fantastical in everything – a little colourful fantasy world, and something about making friends. After sleeping on it, we met up early Saturday and went for it, drawing non-stop, with a deadline for a test print at 7pm. Luckily, it was quite easy to divide up the work, since we were going to have a real world and a fantasy world, so having different styles was a plus. Sunday morning was spent colouring the panels in photoshop, and delivering to Jeppe, who would be making the layout for the final book.
It’s the first time I had a go at making a ‘proper’ comic, and I had (and still have) a lot to learn. Ditte has been making lovely comics about her two characters Thomas the Fox and Erik the Badger, ever since her lovely book “Kender Du Sommer” (Do You Know Summer) was published by Turbine last year. I learned a lot from her, and from the other participants who gave really useful feedback. Jeppe and Fabio worked their socks off to get the compilation ready to be published online a few days after, and it’s now on its way to be published as a hardback copy by Nørhaven printers here in Viborg. And all the comics will be available in an app! So there’s a good chance the comics will end up in the hands of lots of refugee children around the country. And Fabio has big plans for the future of Comics for Good – he’s working on a Kickstarter campaign so many more volumes can be made for all sorts of good causes.
This is our contribution, called Dagdrømme (Daydream). You can read all the comics online here.