Comics ECHO Academy | 12 June – 2 July

Ten artists from Greece, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Serbia came to Athens to participate in the ECHO Academies Comics Academy.

The Comics Academy aimed to give the artists all the tools to be able to create their original comic stories inspired by the Karagiozis shadow puppet theatre and to design their own pilot projects based on their own idea.

So, during the three weeks of the Academy, the comic artists had the opportunity to discover Karagiozis’ heritage, attend masterclasses from experts in the field and work on their ideas for the pilot projects.

1st week: Setting the ground

First week: Setting the ground

The first week commenced with an enthusiastic embrace of artistic discovery and cultural exploration. The sessions were mostly dedicated to getting to know one another and becoming acquainted with the academy’s vibrant atmosphere. The highlights of the week were:

  • The Sketch masterclass led by the renowned artist, @tasmar.cartoonist. Under his expert guidance, the participants were inspired and empowered, learning valuable techniques that would shape their artistic expression.
  • The guided tour at the Athens Comics Library. Stepping into a world of graphic storytelling, they perused an extensive collection of comic books, expanding their horizons and gaining new perspectives on comics. This enlightening experience was followed by a thought-provoking discussion with the Managing Director, @lidatsene, who shared insights into the significance of comics in contemporary culture.
  • The guided tour of the Spathario Museum of Shadow Puppet Theater. Further immersing themselves in the rich artistic heritage of shadow play, the artists were captivated by the expressive power of Karagiozis and the enduring magic of shadow puppetry.

Second week: Diving into the Masterclass’s world

The artists attended masterclasses nearly every day and worked nonstop during the second week, which was all about inspiration and work. The highlight of the week were:

  • Storyboard masterclass led by the talented @angeliki_salamaliki. Artists discovered new techniques to enhance their storytelling abilities, acquiring tools to effectively translate their ideas onto the comic book pages.
  • @dimitrissavvaidis guided participants through a scenario masterclass, exploring the diverse patterns and archetypes in comic book characters. By delving into character development and narrative structure, the artists gained insights that would shape the depth and authenticity of their storytelling.
  • Vibrant colour class led by @thanasis._petrou. The artists delved into the visual elements of comic art. Exploring the interplay of colours and doodling, they discovered how this dynamic interplay could enhance their narratives and captivate readers.
  • The week ended with a pitching class, expertly guided by @lidatsene. Participants learned to succinctly present their ideas and make them stand out in the competitive landscape of comics.

After these two intense weeks the participants reached the finish line and they are getting ready for the final event!

On Saturday, 1 July, the ECHO Comics Academy will hold the awards ceremony at Impact Hub.

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