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Cartoons World Challenge: interview with Claudio Calia

"... to use a mixed metaphor as the medium itself, defining the comics involves cutting a Gordian knotted enigma wrapped in a mystery ..."
R. C. Harvey

The online course within the Cartoons World Challenge ended with participants from 11 countries from Latin America to Africa, passing through the Maghreb and arriving in Iraq.

The ebook that will collect the comic stories dedicated to #MyCovidinComic, the result of the course created with lessons in history and technique of comics, Live Meeting between participants and exercises, accompanied by constant interaction with the cartoonist Claudio Calia, is currently being prepared.

An unprecedented way of offering the opportunity to deepen the language of comics which was an opportunity for strong sharing between different latitudes.

We asked Claudio Calia, for the first time dealing with an adventure of this magnitude, for some first impressions.

Cartoon World Challenge, with 11 participating countries, was my first remote laboratory experience.
It was very nice because it allowed to involve many more students than I normally have in a laboratory in attendance. The contemporaneity of courses in multiple countries has created an intense melting pot of languages, both spoken and written.
Initiatives were born from the students so as not to lose sight of each other at the end of this experience and stay in touch.

The students' approach to work was very different from what it usually is. In the presence, drawing together in the same tables, drawing in public, also becomes a sort of game while this situation, with the fact of being at a distance and each one at home, has produced works that are immediately more thoughtful than usual. This also by those who started with less knowledge of design.
I noticed that the private use of the lessons, seeing them alone on the screen, changes something from the point of view of the final papers.
In doing this type of workshop, you see what changes in a student's experience: this time there have been changes from start to finish.
It seems to me that this form has facilitated more the concentration on the work being done.

There were many differences between the various countries that participated. Countries where the comic is there or not. Countries where different comics circulate. In Tunisia, French comics are read. In Latin America, others are read. And still others read Portuguese comics.
The participants were also different: I already knew the Iraqi students, because I have been there several times and I follow them and I know that they are doing a path with comics, moreover in a country where there is no comic strip industry.
I found out that in Tanzania there are those who maintain a cartoon scene on the internet.

One thing that struck me is also listening to how they see us. An African boy, who was also good as an author, for example, during a discussion underlined how, unlike their situation, in Europe "you can live with art", yet another wanted to know how you can go to work for a comic like Tex. These statements and questions were an opportunity to address several issues: how comics are a job, what it means to work in the sector. Also because making comics is a mix of things. You have to be a little designer, a little writer, a little stylist, a little architect and it certainly takes time and nothing is taken for granted.

One thing that makes me satisfied with this course is that the quality of the final catoon is high.
It is very nice because in the course there were people who already had experience, because they make or want to make comics, and others who, for the first time in their life, have experimented with comics as a language and have learned in 20 days, bringing out some things.
It means that comics is a language that allows people to communicate even if they have different languages ​​and life experiences and to share their storie.

Share your experience

For those who do not participate in the course and want to share an illustrated contribution (table, strip or cartoon), it is possible to participate in the Challenge #mycovidincomics.
Find how:

##Mycovidin comics

Cartoon World Challenge My covid in comics:
Coordinated by Cefa Onlus
In partnership with Associazione Ya Basta Caminantes

Finanziato da

For the development in Iraq the initiative is part of the Project Walking Arts - Arte per la coesione sociale - Con il contributo dell'azienda di cosmetici etici Lush Italia.