Karen Rubins
Karen Rubins

All About Karen Rubins

Karen is a London-based comics creator and arts educator, with nearly ten years experience of teaching comics, manga and graphic novels. She has worked with clients such as West Dean College, CityRead London and Letraset as well as numerous schools and libraries to deliver courses and workshops and was Comics Artist in Residence at the Victoria and Albert museum for six months in 2009.

Karen is the artist on popular children’s horror series The Shivers which runs in The Phoenix comic, as well as having written and drawn science strip Think Tank for the same publication. She has produced work for many different magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Book of Best New Manga and Kerrrang! Magazine and her work also includes many independent titles, such as Blood Magic, Alidade and Leek & Sushi’s Manga Show.

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Karen’s School Visits

Talks, demonstrations and workshops about creating comics and/or manga for KS2 – KS5 or upwards (roughly age 7 upwards), which can integrate into Art and Design or English/Literacy syllabuses. Topics can include: creating characters, narrative structure, storytelling through comics and manga drawing. Karen can also provide a bespoke workshop to tie in with almost any theme – examples of previous themes have been World War One, Romeo and Juliet and Record Breakers.

Workshops work best with a group size of 15-20, but she can accommodate whole classes with appropriate staff support. Talks and demos can be for groups of any size and she is happy to run workshops for any length from an hour up to a week, depending on your needs.

Example Events

45 minute talk to whole group, with an introduction to making comics/manga and a run through of the process of creating a comic strip from coming up with ideas to getting published, plus a demo and Q&A.

This could be followed by:

Shivers-themed comics workshop for KS2 students: 1 hour workshops. As a group, discuss what is scary and design a villain for our horror comics. Then design a hero who will confront the villain. We would then discuss how to structure a story using examples, in pairs or small groups and then the children will each make a comic strip in which the hero and villain meet and decide what the outcome will be.

Manga character creation for KS3-KS4 students: 1.5 hour workshops. As a group we will discuss manga, then talk about how a character is designed and why. The students will then write a character before making a visual design. Then as a group, the students will learn how to bring their character to life with manga expressions and visual grammar.

Examples of Karen’s Work

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Recommendations & Reviews

“Since being Comics Artist in Residence at the V&A, Karen Rubins has continued to run inspiring and engaging manga drawing workshops for 13-15 years and 16 -19 years. Her reassuring and supportive approach helps young people develop their own style. Karen’s step by step teaching of manga principles gives the attendees a good background to create their own characters and storylines. Being a professional manga artist, she is qualified to give career insights into the industry and is always willing to offer advice.” David Judd, Creative Projects Manager, Learning Department, Victoria and Albert Museum

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Karen, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at trevor@caboodlebooks.co.uk