Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Public Speaking...

Or... I believe that children are our future. :0)

Okay, so I was invited to speak at a local school about my career as a Cartoonist. Apparently, one of the third grade classes had read one of my books out loud and loved it. That book was The inquiring Minds #1, a full color comic strip collection.

Excited, and a bit nervous, I put down my full load of work and headed out into the snow completely unprepared to face not one, but two classes of third graders. It was very unusual for me to be unprepared, but I happened to have a deadline on a project, and I had thought school was cancelled because of the snow.

Anyway, I got there with minutes to spare, signed in, and immediately went to the wrong classroom, on the wrong wing of the school. Breaking land speed records, and hoping there were no Hall Monitors about, I made it just in time to the correct classroom, as the teacher was just introducing me. I walked in with my box of books and swag, and saw dozens of little faces staring up at me from the floor where they were sitting. I had a little white marker board to draw on, but the swarm of children were up against it, so I ended up sketching while standing behind the board and looking down it, much to the amusement of the class.

So, I began to speak, and found myself incredibly outnumbered and up against the wall as the barrage of questions never ended. :0)

Still, their enthusiasm was wonderful, and most of the questions were pretty good, although they mostly wanted to hear about and see The Inquiring Minds. I had to draw all the characters for them, which was nice, but remember I had to almost draw upside down since I was standing behind the drawing board, which caused quite a few giggles.

After that, I was asked to draw everything from a hotdog (which made some kids hungry) to the Titanic (including Jack and Rose saying "king of the world"). I also passed out HappyGlyphs stickers, half of which immediately got attached to shirt fronts, providing me with a full day's bit of advertising for sure.

Overall it was an exhausting experience, but I'm sure after some recuperation time I will come to see it as the joyous experience it really was. Seriously, it was really nice to see so many people actually interested in my work, and they really were a great bunch of kids, who can't be faulted for their over enthusiasm. I mean, can you imagine if they just sat there?

If only I was allowed to sell some books. :0) I would have made a mint!

Hopefully they'll all go home to their parents and tell them all about HappyGlyphs.com. :0)

Cheers, JOHN :0)

PS I received a delightful package of cartoons from the kids, as thanks for speaking to them. Since I haven't revealed the school, I think it safe to publish some fan art here with names removed to protect the innocent.


Kishore said...

Wow... that's great John! You keep doing some cool stuff.

hey... those cartoons by the kids are pretty neat..

Brian Hughes said...

Those tribute cartoons are absolutely brilliant. Especially the one at the bottom with what appears to be a bow and arrow weilding flower in the corner.

John said...

Thanks Kishore and Brian!

The tribute cartoons are really great... I wish I could show them all to you.

That 'flower', Brian, is actually an elderly lady chasing Albert with her cane for skateboarding on her lawn. I only showed a small piece of the whole.

Good guess, though, because several of the kids actually drew cartoons of Albert going on a rampage, and there were several attacks by aliens, so a bow wielding flower would not surprise me. :0)

They were all full of an excitement and spontaneity that was quite rib-tickling. :0)

Cheers, JOHN ":0)

Sujatha said...

Talking to a classroom full of 3rd graders! Man, not only are you talented, but you're brave too!

John said...

Hi Sujatha!

It was a daunting task, at first, but the kids were really into it. The biggest problem was actually getting a word in edgewise! Pandemonium broke loose every several minutes as the requests poured in and I hadn't the heart to ignore any of my 'fans'.

I had an invitation to address college kids once. Now THAT would have required some bravery. :0)

JOHN ":0)

Sujatha said...

Hi John, the recipe is up! :)

John said...

Thanks, Sujatha!

I'll let you know how the Sakkaré Achchu comes out.

JOHN ":0)