Victoria O'Hara, Belfast Telegraph, 14 May 2007

Artist is a knockout with comic strip UlsterEdit

US mission will help children develop special skills

An artist who transformed real life events in Northern Ireland into comic book images is helping children develop skills to draw superheroes through a transatlantic project.

David Campbell, from Co Londonderry, has turned Orangemen, members of the Parades Commission and street riots into comic book style pieces of art.

And the artist in residence at the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry has travelled to Washington DC for the comic book art and Celtic Mythology project.

He will stay in America for one week as part of the WVSA ARTs connection, (formerly Washington Very Special Arts).

It is a unique organisation serving children and young people with special needs and special skills in the Washington DC area for over 25 years.

This is one of a number of events and projects the Verbal Arts Centre is co-ordinating in Washington over the period of the Rediscover Northern Ireland programme, administered by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).

Mr Campbell, who will be based at the School for Arts in Learning (SAIL), said the aim of the project is to develop the skills of the children in comic book art, while using the mythological characters of Cu Chulainn and Finn McCool to illustrate heroic adventures.

"The idea of a hero or superhero is central to storytelling through comic book art," he said. "And I thought this trip would be a perfect opportunity to not only exchange ideas about comic book art itself, but to introduce some Celtic Mythology to young American children.

"I've been developing workshops for children and young people here at the Verbal Arts Centre, and that expertise is what I hope to bring to the initiative.

"There's also the possibility that one of the Washington-based artists based at the SAIL centre might be able to visit Derry as a result of the project."

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