Monday, 25 July 2016

Comics In Schools - Comic Launches

Gourock Primary 4/5 - The Doom That Came To Gourock!

From January to March, the Magic Torch Comics team got to work with Whinhill Primary and Gourock Primary, to create three brand new comics featuring a historic shinty match, a wizard princess in space and the revenge of a local witch. So, lots of variety there.

The project was part of the Inverclyde 1+2 Language initiative, and in addition to encouraging visual literacy, the comics also promoted French and Gaelic language. It's been excellent fun.

Whinhill Primary Comic Launch
On Thursday 16 June, we were invited to two totally awesome comic launches at the schools, with lots of parents and carers popping by to see all the hard work done by the classes. The Greenock Telegraph ran a couple of stories on both the Whinhill Comic Launch and also the big compliment which Gourock Primary received from the Beano Comic! (Beano thought their comic was funny!)

Jumping for joy!
You can read the full comics over on the Magic Torch Comics website, including all of the individual strips created by the classes...

Next year, we've more Comics In Schools projects in progress with Ardgowan Primary and Newark Primary. Watch this space!

And if comics, superheroes and local legends are your thing, then it would be remiss of me not to point out that my book, The Superpower Project, is part of this years Summer Reading Challenge.

In The Superpower Project, Megan and Cam discover they have superpowers and try to find out why, with the help of a forgetful steampunk robot built by inventor James Watt and using a mysterious map, left to Megan by her recently exploded grandmother. And it's all set in Greenock. You can read a free preview of the book on the Discover Kelpies website.

If that's not enough to convince about this celebrity superhero endorsement below...

Monday, 18 July 2016

Award for Achi Baba Graphic Novel

We are delighted to be able to say that Achi Baba - Gallipoli 1915, our graphic novel about the Gallipoli campaign, has won a national award for innovation from the Community Archives and Heritage Group, part of the Archives and Records Association.

Achi Baba was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland, through the First World War - Then and Now programme.

The CAHG judges commented:

“Magic Torch has been helping create a record of important local events in an easily-accessible and highly-innovative comic-book format; eg, the experiences of a locally-based regiment during the First World War. The group has taken this format into local schools; it clearly has the potential to spark ideas in other groups… and fills a gap in presenting the past in a digestible format to the difficult-to-reach senior schools audience.”

You can read all about the awards and other award winners on the CAHG website.

You can read a digital version of the book online for free on our Magic Torch Comics website, and also via ISSUU. Our original run of print copies have been distributed, but we printed a short run second edition, which you can also purchase on our website.

Achi Baba was a challenging project to work on, however since then, we have been able to expand our comics and graphic novel work, within schools, but also with community groups. We're looking forward to sharing our new projects with you soon.

Every town has a story to tell, find out how Magic Torch Comics can help you tell yours...

You can read our progress / process blogs for the Achi Baba project here.

Monday, 13 June 2016

The Skeleton Key - Cover Reveal

Here's the cover for our "witches at war" comic, The Skeleton Key - which introduces the Rowan Tree Legion.

The 48 page all ages comic has been created by Mhairi M Robertson and myself, and it will be released in October 2016, during the Galoshans Festival. We can't wait to share it with you.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Comics In Schools - Ghost Train!

Across the nine arches...

We're delighted to report that we've been awarded £1950 from the new Scotrail Cultural Fund to work with a local school to create a spooky comic. This was the first time we had come across the Scotrail Cultural funding – and it’s a really excellent fund for smaller projects. We liked the challenge of creating something quirky that would fit with the Scotrail priorities, but also get people involved in our own areas of interest, comics and heritage.

We'll be working with Newark Primary School, Port Glasgow on the comic after the summer holidays. 'A Journey on the Ghost Train' will be released in time for Halloween, and will form part of our Galoshans celebrations this year, along with a few other projects still to be announced...

I'm really pleased that comics are increasingly recognised within school settings as a way of encouraging visual literacy and also as a creative way of engaging pupils who are less confident with traditional reading models. We've really enjoyed our Comics in Schools work over the last few months, we've tackled all sorts from French sci-fi mysteries to Gaelic songs and footballing robots. All the finished comics are being launched at schools throughout June, and we'll share the online versions with you soon.

We'll be expanding our comics work over the next year to include after school comic clubs, sessions for teachers and some community group sessions too. To keep up to date with all our comics news, and to read some of the work produced by local pupils, check out our Magic Torch Comics site. Or you can contact us directly on

Pupils at Whinhill Primary in March, working on "Le Mystere de la Princesse Sorciere"

Character design with Artist Andy

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Ales With A Tale...

Magic Torch are pleased to present the first in a series of local folklore themed ales, created with the assistance of Krafty Brew.

If you happen to be visiting the Cardwell Garden Centre Craft Fayre this Saturday, you will have the opportunity to get your hands on one of these limited edition promotional brews.

Magic Torch would of course encourage you to drink responsibly. And also to brew responsibly.

Magic Torch brewmeisters, creating the magic, much like Auld Dunrod etc

Needs more hops.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Magic Torch Comics at Edinburgh Comic-Con

Comics. Also free haribo.

We had an excellent weekend at the wonderful Edinburgh Comic-Con - meeting lots of new folks and also having shots of speeder bikes and the TARDIS.

We were especially pleased how many parents and teachers were interested in Magic Torch Comics work with schools and visual literacy - it looks like we'll be doing a bit more delivery over on the East Coast soon.

We'll have another stall at Glasgow Comic-Con on Saturday 2nd / Sunday 3rd of July, and if you are looking to purchase quality folklore based books and comics meantime, there's always our online shop.

Darren races through Endor
Another childhood ambition achieved

Remember you can see lots more of our comics and exclusive work from Andy Lee and Mhairi Robertson at the 22 Pages - Scenes From Scottish History exhibition at Paisley Museum. And it's free entry!

Monday, 21 March 2016

22 Pages - Scenes From Scottish History : Comic Exhibition

22 Pages is an exhibition we've been involved in creating over the last few months, featuring scenes from Scottish history, presented as comics and graphic novels. It features some excellent and exclusive new artwork from Magic Torch Comics artists Andy Lee and Mhairi Robertson.

We tried to imagine uncovering a box of classic old comics, each one telling a different story from a key moment in Scotland's history, in a different comic style - a natural progression from the comics and heritage work we have been involved in over the last few years.

The exhibition will be in Paisley Museum from Saturday 2 April - Friday 20 May and it is FREE to attend. We'll share a few more teaser images with you over the next week, but you will need to visit the museum to see the full size artwork...