The young author from Great Britain gave master classes on creating comics in Kazakhstan

SHCHUCHINSK, Kazakhstan – From April 13 to 18, 13-year-old London-based author of the comic “The Final,” Daniel, held master classes on the basics for high school and university students from the Akmola region at seven educational institutions in the city of Shchuchinsk, Kazakhstan creating this popular and profitable type of literature.


Daniel, the young author of the graphic novel The Final, made his first visit to Kazakhstan, where he visited Nur-Sultan, Almaty and finally Burabay. The purpose of the visit was to hold a series of art presentations for the city’s youth. The program was organized by the creative residency ECG HORIZONS BURABAY (Shchuchinsk) with the support of the non-profit public organization Eurasian Creative Guild (London). The idea of ​​​​organizing speeches of international speakers for the youth and creative teams of the Akmola region arose at the meeting of the guild delegation with the governor of the region Ermek Marzhikpayev, which took place back in March this year. This is the first post-pandemic residency initiative at the invitation of a foreign speaker and the experience has been very successful and positive!

During the five days that Daniel gave seven presentations. More than 200 young people aged 11 to 25 (and their teachers and mentors) learned the basics of comic making thanks to the support of Guild Ambassador in Burabay District, Yussuf Krykbessov.

“We were very lucky that Daniel came to Shchuchinsk with us. I was deeply moved that our children are striving to learn English, they tried to speak with Daniel! We are finally joining European models of creative activity, this is a very significant event,” emphasized Mr. Krykbessov.

The first presentation began at the Higher College of Technology’s hospitable venue, where aspiring programmers and designers learned the art of comic making. During the meeting, the audience not only received techniques and tricks that Daniel witnessed first-hand, but also discussed such an important question with Taina Kaunis, a managing director of ECG (London): “Why do programmers need comics?”

After that, the students of Secondary School No. 6 very actively participated in the presentation, where students of grades 7-8 participated with great passion in an interview with Daniel. The director of the school, Mr. Kuanyshbek Shayakhmetov, thanked the Guild team and also expressed his wish to take part in other projects of the ECG HORIZONS BURABAY residency together with the children. “We are grateful to our guests for igniting in the souls of the boys a spark of desire to create, study, learn and create something new in their lives,” he said.

Daniel continued the cycle of meetings with a presentation at the Arman School of Art, where the youngest students delved deeper into the technicalities of depicting characters and pages. “Daniel gave a master class on creating comics, which the children were very interested in. It should be noted that Daniel is only 13 years old and already has personal creative publications on this topic,” the principal of the school, Ms. Aigul Turguzhina, shared with her impressions. No less active and rebellious, Daniel held a master class for students of Gymnasium No. 1. Curious students did not intend to stop him and ask questions after questions any time soon. As the director of the school, Ms. Lyubov Tukacheva, said, it is very important to adopt the experience of countries that are more advanced in certain areas, as the high school has already done with the experience of educational institutions in the UK.

The students of the school “IQanat Burabay”, whose intense life does not stop for a minute, successfully discussed the creation of comics. The audience gathered in the cinema hall where the rehearsal had just ended, so the event was surrounded by a creative atmosphere right from the start. And the boldest of the meeting attendees even asked Daniel for autographs, so he was happy to sign copies of his book for them.

Daniel spoke intensively and in a variety of ways with translation students at the Higher University of Education: The students not only enthusiastically took part in the conversation, but also supported the idea of ​​volunteering at the international festival “Voices of Friends: Poetry & Art”, which will take place soon on initiative of the ECG (London) in Shchuchinsk. And the listeners of the latter in this series of presentations, which took place on the basis of the Rixos Borovoe hotel, were not future talented artists, but hotel employees. “Surprisingly, even I, a person twice Daniel’s age, discovered a lot of new and interesting things for me in the master class,” Nelly Filippova, a hotel designer, shared her feelings.

Of course, the listeners benefited not only from the performance of Daniel himself, but also the projects in which talented young people can get involved, as well as the comic itself, were personally presented by the founder and head of the Hertfordshire Press publishing house, Vice-Chairman EKG (London) Marat Akhmedzhanov. “Teachers and parents often see comics as something frivolous and sometimes harmful,” says Marat Akhmedzhanov. “But let’s turn to the statistics. Genres and Channels and Merch) brought in a record $1.28 billion, or about 800 billion tenge [according to the DTF portal]. Not bad for making over a billion bucks, right? At the same time, Comicsbeat released statistics on sales of graphic novels, comics and manga in the United States for 2021. Judging by this, the popularity of the genre is at an unprecedented peak and sales are growing at a tremendous rate. In 2021, sales increased by almost 70% and the total number of comics/graphic novels sold that year is higher than 2018 and 2019 combined. Since 2003, growth has been an impressive 558%. The industry is probably going through a new golden age. The manga has even better numbers – the genre generated 280% more profit than last year [according to Shazoo]”.

The heads of the residences ECG HORIZONS BURABAY and ECG (London) plan to regularly hold such creative “business trips” of foreign cultural and artistic figures, so that residents of the Akmola region can learn about modern trends in creative industries and realize their creative potential. And a pleasant bonus for all participants will be the closing material with a photo, which will be published in the British quarterly OCA magazine this summer.

Hertfordshire Press is a British publishing house specializing in the publishing of contemporary fiction and non-fiction by Eurasia region authors in English and national languages, magazines, guides, presentations and forums since 2002. In addition, the publishing house focuses on reprints of works from previous years that are not currently available in English, despite their ongoing topicality. Throughout its history, Hertfordshire Press has produced over 200 classic and contemporary books.

Eurasian Creative Guild (London) is a non-profit public organization founded in London in 2015 to unite and promote cultural and artistic practitioners from the Eurasian region in the English-speaking world. The main activity of ECG (London) was the organization and holding of festivals in different countries of the world, literary and creative competitions, conferences and other events where creative people have the opportunity to discuss new projects, present their works, as well as learn get to know the work of colleagues and get the opportunity to reach an international level.

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