Manchester Phoenix Fest: Gary Northfield’s Hairy Tales

By Jack Holmes

Gary Northfield joins Manchester Phoenix Fest bill of incredibly talented comic book creators at the Manchester Children’s Book Festival Family Fun Day.

Gary, who has been working in the industry since 1992, first started to create children’s comics in 2002. He has worked on famous titles such as Horrible Histories, Horrible Science and The Magical World Of Roald Dahl.

Gary’s Derek the Sheep character featured regularly in The Beano, and is their first and only creator owned property ever published.

Gary is currently working on 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.

His workshop at the MCBF Family Fun Day focused around how to create believable characters, both on the paper and in their story. Attendees were asked to give suggestions about the personality of a character, and then describe what that character would look like. The exercise was designed to show budding creators how to “start with the basics and then add the details” as Gary described it. Naturally, the group eventually created a top hat wearing-friendly ant with a feather he uses as a whip! That’s the beauty of imagination folks!

You can check out the rest of Gary Northfield’s work on his official site here, and over on Facebook.

The Manchester Children’s Book Festival runs from 24th June – 3rd July. Download the 2016 brochure for information on upcoming events.


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