Hermitage Primary School, Wapping
Comic-Strip Project on Homelessness
Date: 26th September 2003
Itís a rainy Tuesday afternoon, and two young
people are sitting in a drop-in centre for homeless
people. A middle-aged man wearing a guardsmanís outfit
with a big key in his back walks over, carrying mugs
of tea. "Iím Eric by the way... so who are you
beginning of moving illustrated story written and illustrated
by children at a school in Wapping, as part of a project
You can find
out more about this project by reading the detailed
report which was published on this site in April 2003,
and you can download the complete story (1.7MB) in PDF
format by clicking here.
in the picture
Bringing important issues to the attention of children
is always a difficult task - and the aim of the project
at Hermitage School is to engage young people aged 9-11
with the topic of citizenship and homelessness. The
media used to instruct the pupils about the various
aspects of living rough were comic strip and video.
This is the compilation of the childrens’ efforts,
combining word and image to illustrate and educate in
equal measure. The children were charged with producing
their own comic strip about homelessness. This meant
putting together a script and adapting it into comic
strip form, each pupil working on a single panel of
the storyline. They were tutored in comic-book storytelling
by a number of experienced professionals from Britain’s
long-running weekly science-fiction comic 2000
The homelessness charity Crisis,
Partnerships and Domex, supported
the whole project. The finished comic - entitled Living
was put together by 2000
AD’s in-house design department. As well as
the educational process, Living works as a starting
point too enabling the pupils to learn more about the
issues raised by the project and perhaps take their
foray into the world of comics even further...
Over to you ...
Our story ends with Daljit and his new friend, Jane, heading
off to get some food; Eric, the ‘Clockwork Guardsman’,
is left to meet his friend and make further plans for his
new career - but what might happen next?
- Dali had problems at the hostel he lived in - do you think
he should try again? Perhaps there are different kinds of
hostels - how could Dali find out? Or would Dali be better
off living on the streets? If he does get a new home, what
should he do then?
- Jane ran away to London to escape the bad crowd she'd
been mixing with. But are all homeless people criminals
- or are most of them ordinary people, like Jane? Do you
think Jane should try to go back to her old home town, or
should she stay in London?
- Eric has begun a new career as a street entertainer. Do
you think he'll be successful? What problems might he face?
Could his drinking problem return - and what might he do
to prevent it? Are there more, or less, problems for people
that become homeless in middle-age?
These are just a few points to think about. You could even
invent your own stories about these characters, or make up
new characters of your own!
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