Next month sees the return of National Poetry Day in the UK, with a theme sure to appeal to comics as well as poetry fans – Heroes and Heroines.
To mark the day, the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, has written a special poem to celebrate this theme and in Scotland, to try and encourage more poetry reading the Association for Scottish Literary Studies has teamed up with Glasgow’s Metaphrog, creators of the wonderful Louis comics, to make a four page comic adaptation of The First Men on Mercury by Edwin Morgan.
The hope is that the project will prove a way of interesting children (and adults) in poetry, visually. The story spans four, full colour A4 pages and has had the blessing of the poet himself and will be made available in print (32, 500 copies) to all pupils in Glasgow secondary schools on National Poetry Day, 8th October, and will also be made available on the web at www.metaphrog.com/mercury.
The metro newspaper ran a full page feature on the project this week; the National Poetry Day website will be linking to the online version and the Forbidden Planet Blog will also be running the strip.
This is a brilliant way of getting people excited about both poetry and comics, and, not for the first time, the Scots seem streets ahead of English arts organisations when it comes to supporting comic creators (notwithstanding the NPD supporting this idea and the Arts Council grant which was recently awarded the British International Comics Show).
“We’re thrilled to be working on this,” Metaphrog told the Forbidden Planet International blog. “Adapting poetry into comics is proving to be a really interesting project, and The First Men on Mercury, being largely dialogue-based, is ideally suited to this.”