New comic book will feature life at The Word

The Word's comics artist in residence  Andy Waugh.
The Word's comics artist in residence Andy Waugh.

A comics artist-in-residence had been appointed to South Tyneside’s newest cultural venue.

The Word, the National Centre for the Written Word, in South Shields Market Place, has appointed Andy Waugh as to the role, and has commissioned him to produce an original comic based on his time in the building.

I plan to do a lot of talking to the wide range of people who use the library and listen to the stories that they tell

Andy Waugh

The comic will be published in time for the first WRITE Festival, held at the venue from June 21 to 25.

Andy is currently programme leader for digital arts at Newcastle College.

Raised in Hawick, but now living in East Boldon, Andy graduated from Northumbria University with a BA in Media Production before studying for an MA in Illustration and Design at the University of Sunderland.

While writing and drawing in his spare time, Andy worked for six years at a bookshop before taking up a role at Newcastle College.

“I’ve always loved and been fascinated by comics,” he said.

“I started reading Dandy the Beano and Marvel comics as a boy and have just progressed from there.”

He has self-published his own work as well as contributing to others’ work and has also produced work as a freelance artist.

“I’m really excited to get started at The Word,” Andy added. “I plan to do a lot of talking to the wide range of people who use the library and listen to the stories that they tell.

“Libraries have changed over the years and are now used for many different reasons, and I want to reflect that change in my work.

“I hope the comic I produce will be funny, but it will also have something to say.”

Andy will work at The Word for seven days in preparation for the comic. His residency is funded by Arts Council England as part of the Arts in Libraries project and is managed by South Tyneside Council in partnership with The Customs House.

Books recommended by Andy that will be available for users.

Council leader Iain Malcolmm said: “Comics are an interesting tool for storytelling.

“They are striking, easy to read and enjoyed by people of all ages thanks to their diverse content.”