Scotland’s Robert the Bruce celebrated in new comic

Robert the Bruce

A new comic book, King Robert the Bruce and the Wars of Independence, is now available to order directly from the King Robert the Bruce educational web site.

The web site, developed by staff and students at Fife College, celebrates Dunfermline’s historic links with King Robert the Bruce and the forthcoming 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, and aims to be educational and informative and will feature learning materials as well as entertaining animations and games.

Co-produced by Colin Maxwell, a teacher of Computer Arts and Digital Design at Carnegie College, and Fife-based illustrator Michael Philp, the comic charts the Wars of Independence in Scotland from the death of Alexander III to the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and the events leading up to this famous conflict,

The comic was launched at the Little Shop of Heroes comic book store in Dunfermline last month, a comic book store in the shadow of Dunfermline Abbey where King Robert the Bruce is buried.

The comic, web site and a new film have been created to mark the 700th anniversary of the King’s victory at Bannockburn.​ With Dunfermline Abbey being the burial place of King Robert the Bruce’s remains, lecturers at the College decided to set students some creative assignments as part of a project backed by Visit Dunfermline.

The students, who study HNC Design and Digital Media at the College’s Halbeath Campus, started by creating short animations about events in Robert the Bruce’s life which developed into a website to showcase their work.

Robert the Bruce CoverStudents, Deborah Dey from Rosyth and Diane Rowley from Ballingry created the animations while former student Michael Philp, currently studying at the University of Abertay, Dundee, created the illustrations. Several video games were also developed and students took part in testing the games.

The project culminates with the launch of a film which portrays Robert the Bruce in his old age looking back on his life, and tells his story through a mix of live action and animation. The film, which is due out in June, is aimed at younger audiences and can be used as an educational tool in schools.

Deborah has very much enjoyed being involved with the project. “I never imagined I’d be creating animations when I came to college four years ago,’ she said. “It just goes to show that you’re never too old to learn something new. Just like the story of Robert the Bruce and the spider, you just have to keep trying and never give up.”

“This has been a great project for the students to get involved in which makes good use of their skills and challenges their creativity,” says Colin. “King Robert the Bruce was an extremely well known historical figure, and although most will know his name not everyone will know the story behind the man.

“With the strong local historical connections and the forthcoming anniversary it is very fitting that we as a College help bring to life the story of King Robert the Bruce and educate others about this important time in Scottish history.”

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The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: Animation, British Comics, Comic Creator Spotlight, Creating Comics, Film, Links

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