For the past few months I have been creating a 7 comic series called 'A Journey For Peace'. These stories has been written and created by the wonderful students at St Vincents School for the blind and visually impaired. I've taken all of their ideas, one liners, jokes and knowledge, and have condensed them into 7 different comic books for a mini comic book series about finding peace. You can find the whole comic series on the St Vincents website by clicking here
The comic books have been inspired by an essay written by one of the Students (who also features as one of the characters in the story!) about his struggle to find peace in a world of conflict and chaos.
Joseph Critchlow, the talented student that wrote the essay, got to read his essay at The Palace of Westminster, and again in New York City after winning the Lions essay competition regionally and internationally for his excellent writing skills. Well done Joe! What an enormous thing to accomplish at only 13 years old, it really shows how powerful and educational the essay is.
Combining some of the most iconic statues around Liverpool, along with the idea of collecting 7 different keys that each represent peace, we came up with a comic book that explores the core values of the essay, whilst being both fun and educational. In the comic book, there are 7 keys that make up peace. These keys are a physical item and each key is part of the 'peace emblem'. The peace emblem has been destroyed and we have to collect the 7 keys in order to restore it. The keys we came up with to represent peace and the iconic Liverpool statues to go along with them are:
Health: John Hulley - Founder of the Olympics
Happiness: Ken Dodd - Legendary Liverpool comedian
Wisdom: The Liverbirds - Overlook and protect the City of Liverpool
Peace: John Lennon - Co-founder of The Beatles, need I say more
Friendship: 'All together now' - Statue that represents German and British solider's laying down their arms and playing football on Christmas day
Bravery: Noel Chavasse - Liverpool war hero who was one of only 3 people in the world to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice.
Justice: Robert Peel - Founder of the modern police force and politician
The comics have visually been compared to Rebecca Sugars 'Steven Universe', mainly down to the characters displaying keys in their chest in a similar way to how 'the crystal gems' display their stones. The idea of physically collecting a 'key' rather than the key just being a meaning or a clue has been a huge driving force behind the story. This simple story telling format has been inspired by collecting gym badges in the Pokemon series, or collecting Dragon Balls in Dragon Ball Z. In Pokemon, once all 8 gym badges are collected from the gym leaders, you can train and control any Pokemon, which makes you superior in battle. In Dragon Ball Z, once all 7 Dragon Balls are collected you can have any wish granted to you by the dragon. In 'A Journey For Peace', once all of the keys are collected from the statues, peace is restored.
It has taken about 2 months to illustrate all of these comics. I created a video that has been sped up x20 so you can see how much work goes into colouring just one image.
We created 7 different characters to be in our comic (8 if you include Vincy the Labrador) so each character represents and carries a key. Meet the characters! Hina Hina's name means 'health' in Japanese. She loves baking, healthy eating and she speaks fluent Japanese. She represents people that have Albinism and she is partially sighted. Hina receives the key of health from John Hulley in our first comic.
Click the cover to read 'A Journey For Peace' Issue 1
Will is a student at St Vincents and helped write the comic books. Will brought a lot of funny one liners to the table and helped give the characters in the story their own personality. Will has a great sense of humour, so we thought it would be great to have Will receive the key of happiness from Ken Dodd in our second comic. Will is also an avid fan of sleeping and is partially sighted.
Click the cover to read 'A Journey For Peace' issue 2
Dr Patterson is the head teacher at St Vincents School, and the driving force behind the whole comic series. He wants to bring the world to St Vincents and St Vincents to the world! Dr Patterson receives the key of Wisdom from the Liverbird's in our third comic.
Click the cover to read 'A Journey For Peace' issue 3
Alicia enjoys singing, yoga, growing plants and nature. She is partially sighted and has minor hearing loss. Alicia receives the key of Peace in our fourth comic.
Click the cover to read 'A Journey For Peace' issue 4
Chris and Vincy
Chris is a student at St Vincents and helped write the comic books. Chris brought creative ideas and helped tie up some loose ends. For the key of friendship, we thought it would be important to symbolise the friendship and bond between a visually impaired person and their guide dog, so introduced the character Vincy, our dopey golden Labrador. Chris and Vincy receive the friendship key in our 5th comic.
Click the cover to read 'A Journey For Peace' issue 5
Luna loves playing piano, is Spanish and can speak Spanish fluently. She enjoys learning other instruments. She represents people that are completely blind and that also live with other physical disabilities. Luna receives the key of bravery in our 6th comic.
Click the cover to read 'A Journey For Peace' issue 6
And finally, Joe! The creator of the essay. Joe has been a key writer in the comic books and has brought logical and forward thinking ideas to the table. Joe receives the key of justice in our 7th, and final comic.
(comic link to follow shortly)
Click the cover to read 'A Journey For Peace' Issue 7