Throughout December and January, we we were lucky enough to be working with the wonderful team at Riddles Court in Edinburgh.
Riddles Court sits near the top of the Royal Mile, a beautiful, enigmatic courtyard house which is home to The Patrick Geddes Centre. The building has been around since the 16thCentury and so of course, there are lots of stories and amazing characters to discover, from Kings and Princesses to social reformers and polar explorers.
We worked with the team and teachers and pupils from Trinity Primary School in Edinburgh, to tell stories from the Victorian period of the building, when it was home to dozens of families in cramped conditions. Russell Clegg who works at Riddles Court, helped the children explore the history of the building and create characters, which we used as the jumping off point for our group stories. It was a full day session for all three classes, lots of work – and it was the first time we combined drama with comic making, hopefully not the last! (Just don’t ask us to do the acting…)
With so many different stories and historical periods, we decided to tackle the project as an anthology – and were lucky enough to work with a team of amazing artists; Michael Kennedy (Tumult, Sidewinder) worked on The Great Feast; Hannah Sackett (The Cochno Stone) shared the story of The Great Princess (artwork below); Tony Pickering (Diabetes - Year One) explored the polar regions, the life George Riddel, and also created the cover; Gordon Shaw (Rick, Bitter Sweet) got the lucky gig of creating all the pages written by Trinity Primary School in his home town of Edinburgh; and our Magic Torch Comics regular Mhairi M Robertson showed us the Bash Street Kids going bad in The Gentlemen Bairns, a cautionary tale of what happens when we let privileged people run the country and make the law (SPOILER – privileged people do well and it’s all fine and shut up pleb). Mhairi also provided additional artwork of the book’s narrator, Patrick Geddes. We’re delighted with how it’s turned out.
Riddles Court – A Comic History is published as part of the Riddle’s Court, Royal Mile restoration project and creation of the Patrick Geddes Centre for Learning, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and delivered by Scottish Historic Buildings Trust.
The book will be launching soon – keep an eye on the Patrick Geddes Centre website for details.