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sparkling crystal palace

The Crystal Palace Children's Book Festival went brilliantly, thanks to the marvelous Alex Milway (above) and his partner Katie Lee, who organised up a storm and will probably now need a long holiday to recover! My neighbour friend and I had just been reading and re-reading Viviane Schwarz's There are Cats in This Book, so she made up her own book for Viviane, There are Cats in This Book, Too. (Viv gives it a mention here on her blog.) I took some photos of her adding some last-minute touches on the train:

The DFC's Gary Northfield had a copy of his fab comic, Derek the Sheep in French. (Derek the Sheep is translated as Norbert le Mouton because the editors thought the French wouldn't really connect with the name Derek.) And here's Lilith, one of his best fans (and writer Alexander Gordon Smith in the background):

I made a quick drawing of Lilith in the bookshop, Bookseller Crow, and she sent me this photo of it - already framed! - the very next day. How cool is that! (Thanks, Lilith!)

Neighbour friend with Viviane and Sue Eves, puppeteer and author of The Quiet Woman and the Noisy Dog.

We had a great presentation by Guy Bass about his book Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things. The bits he read were very, very funny, and when I told my neighbour friend she could buy one book, that was the one she chose.

The DFC's Emma Vieceli wonders why Patrick Warren's latest Manga Shakespeare book, Henry VIII is selling at the bookshop when it doesn't come out til next week. Huh?

Paul Duffield with The Tempest he drew, from the same series (Paul's website):

At the Upper Norwood Joint Library, Emma Vieceli (emmav) gave us comics people a great master class in how to do a comics workshop (and possibly the kids learned something, too). She did a cracking first session on designing characters, ending with us all making a list of words and combining them to come up with our own silly versions. Here you can see David O'Connell's astronaut witch and Viviane Schwarz's space dog ninja:

Kate Brown from the DFC was a bit tentative about doing live drawing but got caught up in the excitement and drew despite herself:

Here's a picture of Kate holding her pre-made first panel for the second session's wild comics jam:

Gary Northfield and then David O'Connell were brave enough to draw the second and third panels in front of everyone (the pressure!), and did a smashing job:

Here's my writer friend Candy Gourlay with her kids and neighbours; Candy's posted a write-up and photos over on her blog.

For the comics jam, everyone had five minutes to draw one panel, then passed it to the next person and picked up with the page they'd just been handed. We went for four panels, then had everyone read out the results at the end, and almost died laughing. I didn't get a chance to photograph many of the strips, but here's one example:

A few more shots... Emma and me, trying to look bookish... or something:

Writer Sarwat Chadda modelling with a book which is patently not his:

Some very relevant graffiti we saw while walking through the centre of Crystal Palace from the bookshop to the gallery at Smash Bang Wallop.

Drinks at the Smash Bang Wallop gallery to celebrate the end of a crazy fun day and see our pictures on display in the gallery. There's Garen Ewing (Have you see his latest DFC blog post about his upcoming Rainbow Orchid book?), David O'Connell, Alex Milway and Kate Brown:

You can see more photos from the day over on David's blog.

After that, we went for drinks at the White Hart, although my neighbour friend and I didn't stay very late because we found out that kids aren't allowed in the pub past 8pm. Which was probably a good thing, seeing as the trains were messed up and it took us three hours to get back instead of the normal fifteen minutes. The funniest thing was hearing this 7-year-old talking to her dad on the phone, spelling out rather delightedly to him, 'Dad, I'm in the P-U-B!' We comics people are a very bad influence on the younger generation.


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:11 am (UTC)
Whey hey!! What fun this was. Am still so impressed with the red cat book. - Just noticing I somehow drew a Space Dog Samurai by mistake, so?
I want to be in more comics workshops now!!!
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:18 am (UTC)
Yay! That comics workshop was way more fun than I even thought it was going to be!

Yikes, I must do more study of ninjas and samurai, you had me well fooled.
Apr. 27th, 2009 11:05 am (UTC)
my local ninja expert (hugo)informs me that a lot of the cartoonists forgot to put masks on their ninjas.
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:22 am (UTC)
What a great post, and loads of photos, brilliant!

Thanks so much for coming and taking part. It was an awesome day
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:42 am (UTC)
An awesome day, largely thanks to you! And the folk at the library, bookshop, gallery... you pulled together a whole lot of people for this one!
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:24 am (UTC)
wow! great shots! i would have followed to smash bang wallop but my kiddy companions were feeling the irresistible call of our trampoline all the way over in norht london. also they had been so good all day, i didn't want to push my luck. children are known to eat people when they're cranky. love the photo of sarwat - whose i missed because of the DFC workshop and the ice cream session (ooh forgot to mention the ice cream in the deli next door).
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:45 am (UTC)
I know what you mean about pushing your luck! My neighbour friend was very good all day, but by the time we'd been on trains and buses for a couple hours, she was alternating between sleepiness and frenzied blu-tack creations which Viv and I were strictly instructed to admire every few seconds. It was great to see you, we'll have to catch up soon in a slightly less frenetic place! :-D
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:35 am (UTC)
Awww, you're so organised - what a great write-up!
One thing though...eeeep - Henry VIII isn't mine! hehe. It's by a guy called Patrick Warren. The confusion was that I thought it was coming out at the same time as mine...in a few weeks...so we were surprised to see it in the shop.
Would you mind editing that bit, hon...lest people get the wrong idea! haha.

But yay - great day and it was lovely seeing you and everyone again. Cambridge meet next!! :)
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
Oops, sorry, it's fixed! And you had me thinking you were working so fast that you'd sneaked out a whole other book while I wasn't looking.

Thanks SO much for showing us how to run that workshop, you were awesome! I was taking mental notes the whole time.

Yes, Cambridge next! xoxox
Apr. 27th, 2009 11:10 am (UTC)
I was very impressed with the comics workshop and have taken many mental notes. Thanks Emma and Sarah and, oh... everyone :-)
Apr. 27th, 2009 11:20 am (UTC)
Just saw the photos you took on Dave's blog. So glad you were able to come along! Yes, Emma was storming, I was so glad she'd done that sort of thing before.
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
Looks like it was a really good day. Thank you for the pictures!
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:48 am (UTC)
It was! And you are welcome! :-)
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 27th, 2009 10:57 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you and Woofy were able to come along!
Here's a photo of Viviane reading from your book:
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 27th, 2009 11:19 am (UTC)
Yes, indeed! And I can't believe I haven't yet posted a photo of the most excellent DJ:

Apr. 27th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
That's great. Two turntables and a gramophone!
Apr. 27th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
Yes! The shoes and facial hair were also very impressive.
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
Does he also write for The Chap? He looks like he should.

Sort of gutted I didn't make it, now. I did make it to Crystal Palace but was in a bit of a bad mood after transport hassle so I went for a walk in the park first 'cos I wanted to say hi to the dinosaurs, and sit in the sun. Then it got too late to do the festival and I didn't have anyone's number (except for Woodrow who wasn't there) PLUS I was having internetfail on my phone so I couldn't find out where you all were. So I took a mystery bus tour through south London and went home... (I did have fun, but was sorry to miss everyone 'cos it looks like it was good!)
Apr. 30th, 2009 07:44 am (UTC)
Oh, no! I'm sorry you missed it! :-(

I meant to go see the dinosaurs, I still haven't paid them a visit. Poor Woodrow was tucked up in bed with swine fever or something similar.
Apr. 27th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)
congrats to your neighbour on her use of the word 'oof', surely one of the finest letter configurations in the english language.
Apr. 27th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
Re: oof
Absolutely! Viviane used it in her book, so it's an Oof Mark II.
Apr. 27th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
Sigh...what a brilliant looking event! The character design workshop looks particularly fun. (I'm mentally packing for a quick trip back to the UK -- my second in a month! -- for a job interview up nr. Cambridge...)
Apr. 27th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC)
(bugger...when am I going to learn to sign in before posting...)
Apr. 27th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
Ooh, good luck with your interview!
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 29th, 2009 06:58 am (UTC)
Very much inspired by, but still great fun. :-)
Apr. 29th, 2009 07:19 am (UTC)
Librarian response:
Thank you so much for this write-up and the photographs. Your attendence and support is much appreciated at the library. I like the message on the scrap of paper! That is what we hope lots of people discover so we can then foster this love of books at the library. Come on down for a browse - you never know what you might discover! So cheap too - free if you remember to bring your books back on time!!! Fiona
Apr. 30th, 2009 07:46 am (UTC)
Re: Librarian response:
Thanks, Fiona! I'll have to go back and have a browse in your library, it looked amazing! I might just have to sit there and read the books on the spot because I have had a little trouble with library fines adding up to more than if I'd bought the book new.

Thanks for hosting us, that was a great day and we had such a good laugh at the workshop!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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