Young illustrators learn the ‘art’ of storytelling at ‘Comic Book Poetry’ workshop during SCRF 2023

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By Aijaz Khokhar

SHARJAH: During a creative and innovative workshop called “Comic Book Poetry” held at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, children were given the opportunity to merge their artistic and literary talents into a unique and vibrant creation. Under the guidance of Maha Al Muheri, an expert in anime and manga illustration, the children were taught to produce an integrated format that can be enjoyed by both readers and viewers alike.
She engaged the participants by asking about their favourite animated characters, which led to a discussion about how many of these characters originated from comics. Maha then asked the children about their favourite nursery rhymes, and after a few options were discussed, the class decided to use the classic “Humpty Dumpty” tale to create their very own comic strip.

With blank paper, pencils, and pens in hand, the young artists were given an insightful lesson on how to establish a comic layout by dividing the page into four segments and illustrating the nursery rhyme over each one. Al Muheri was very attentive and provided helpful guidance to the many young students along the way, encouraging them to bring their own unique style to their artwork.

The children then put their creativity to work and drew the story of Humpty Dumpty, starting with an egg character sitting on a wall, then a picture of him falling off, followed by the king’s men and horses coming to his rescue, and finally the image of them not being able to put poor Humpty Dumpty back together again.
The workshop successfully demonstrated how to use pictures in succession to tell a story, and Maha Al Muheri’s guidance allowed all the participants to create their own comic book strip. Commenting on the well received workshop Maha said, “Combining the art of illustration and the beauty of poetry is a creative and unique experience that allows young minds to express themselves in a new and exciting way. It was a joy to see the children’s creativity come to life as they created their own comic book poems, and I hope they continue to explore their artistic talents and expand their love for literature.”

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