By Jack Holmes
“My two loves were always robots and comics, so I thought, why not combine the two”. The award winning comic creator Neill Cameron took the time to introduce the visitors of the Manchester Children’s Book Festival Family Fun Day to the world of immature robots, and amateur drawing.
The creator of classic young adult novels such as Mo-Bot High, The Pirates of Pangaea (with Daniel Hartwell) and the instructional How To Make Awesome Comics was a great addition to the wealth of comic book creating talent that the Festival had to offer.
Cameron has always been an advocate for comic books supporting children’s learning in the literature field and speaks passionately about his work with them. “Comic books are a great tool in fostering literacy and encouraging young people’s creativity”
Cameron’s main exercise for the day was the creating of a personalised robot based on one lucky young audience member. With his interest in science at the heart of the piece, Cameron creates Sciencebot, the malfunctioning four-armed character, imagined and designed before the audience’s eyes.
He then asked the audience to have a go themselves, reminding them that when it comes to a robotic self-portrait “robots can be anything you want”. A lot of the parents couldn’t help but get involved either.
“I think his is better than mine,” a parent joked comparing his own work with his five-year-old sons.
Cameron attending as part of the team of writers behind ‘The Phoenix’ British comic book, which targets young readers and tries to get them involved in the world of literature, through a variety of genres, stories and characters. Each issue features various stories from a number of writers and artists and have been praised for their work getting children started in the world of literature.
The Manchester Children’s Book Festival runs from 24th June – 3rd July. Download the 2016 brochure for information on upcoming events.