Designing your own cartoon characters is not easy. It takes time and thought. Of course you can just do carbon copies of other people’s characters, but in the end that won’t get you far. You need to design original characters. Thes come from you and are very often a prt of your personality. Just keep drawing and let the character evolve.
The Summer is here and that means that over the next few months hundreds of thousands of children will be visiting libraries up and down the land, borrowing books, reading them and getting small prizes for their effort. I remember the long summer holidays going on for ever. By the time I got back to school, I’d forgotten everything I’d learned the year before. The Summer reading challenge helps to keep up the habit of reading – the most important skill and person can learn in this world. Not analysis of text – reading – that means books and stories that make you laugh or cry or hyperventilate with fear.
I’m very proud to have been a part of the start of the Summer reading challenge. Andrea Reece was a brilliant Marketing Director at Hodder Children’s Books, whom I’d worked with previously, when she worked at Harper Collins. She came up with the idea of selling a “Leap into Reading” summer reading scheme to bookshop. He idea inadvertently pioneered the format of the Summer Reading Challenge we have all come to know and love. Dump Bins full of early readers were sold to bookshops. With each dump bin full of books came pencils, badges, posters and erasers, which were prizes for reading a book each week of the holidays. There was a passport that had to filled in to gain the next prize. Some libraries spotted the possibilities and bought the bins too. They started their own, individual summer reading schemes.
What were they to do the next year – well somewhere along over the next year, the Summer Reading Challenge got started and has carried on ever since.
I remember all this because my character, The Ginger Ninja, was leaping over the top of the dump bin and all the gifts had his smiling face all over them.
My readers will know that the Ginger Ninja has moved onto the 21st century, gracing the iPad with a built in video drawing lesson!and you can get a free story by joining my mailing list.
Good luck to all involved in the Summer Reading Challenge – I know it’s a lot of hard work, but I know that many Librarians look forward to those happy, smiling faces coming for the next book each week through the summer – and in many areas it has a quite profound effect in inspiring and maintaining reading proficiency through the long, long holiday.
Some time ago I wrote a new Ginger Ninja story – just a short one, to introduce a new character. There was a bit of interest on maybe making Ginger a TV series. Nothing came of that , but I did have to come up with seven more story ideas and this little story introduced Candy – the local millionaire’s daughter, – who thinks that everything , including Ginger, can be bought.
I read the story again last week. It need a tweak or two and then I thought I would add some illustrations and make it a free eBook to my Newsletter subscribers. All you have to do is fill in the subscribe form on the right and follow the instructions.
Here’s a video about drawing the cover pictures
and here is another video of all the other drawings speeded up.
You’ll find it fits well in iBooks on an iPad. As it is a pdf, it should play on almost any PC, tablet or laptop quite a lot of phones too! Enjoy 🙂