Hartlepool students’ artwork goes on sale in comic store

COMIC HERO: Hartlepool student Matti Walker is one of the students to be selected to have work sold in city stores
COMIC HERO: Hartlepool student Matti Walker is one of the students to be selected to have work sold in city stores

FOUR super-talented Hartlepool art students have been selected to have their work sold in a regional comic and games retailer in two cities.

The artists from Cleveland College of Art and Design in Hartlepool impressed independent comic business Travelling Man so much that two of the firm’s stores, in Newcastle and York, have decided to sell their artwork.

It’s really nice to see young talent really making new original ideas, and we are happy to feature this work on our Newcastle and York stores.

Andrew Counsell, Travelling Man

The college’s illustration department approached Andrew Counsell, sales assistant at Travelling Man, to help second-year students with their commercial brief module, as part of their degree course.

The students were tasked with creating a piece of illustrated artwork of their own design, with the possibility of being sold in-store.

Matti Walker, 22, Emma Barnes, 23, Daniel Waugh, 23, and Michael Louden, 21, who are currently studying for their Illustration for Commercial Application degree at the university campus in Hartlepool, submitted their designs and impressed Andrew with their creativity, originality and talent.

Their brief was to produce a comic magazine, often referred to as a fanzine or ‘zine’, of the student’s own work, which could be reproduced for the increasingly popular niche comic market in the region.

They had to research both historical and contemporary fanzines and comics, and make their work distinctive to the target market.

Emma Barnes, originally from Durham and currently living in Hartlepool, produced a zine in the style of a travel brochure.

She said: “My zine was a guide to spotting ghosts and other strange occurrences, set in the fictional town of ‘Hackerby’, with short descriptions and illustrations of the ghosts.

“This was a tough challenge for everyone but we were really pleased to produce artwork which was of a high enough standard to go on sale.”

Matti Walker from Norton, created his zines as a series of small fully illustrated educational books, simplifying complicated terms in the scientific field of physics.  

He said: “It was really encouraging to hear back from the Travelling Man team, who said that they liked our style. This was a particularly fun assignment and hopefully we will generate some interest on our work and even make some money.”

Mr Counsell said: “All the students work was unique and clearly from their own thoughts, which really appealed to me. It’s really nice to see young talent really making new original ideas and we are happy to feature this work on our Newcastle and York stores.”