StripSearchers Scheme 2003-2007

In September 2003 Hi8us Midlands Ltd launched the StripSearch project to identify and support comic strip illustration talent in the West Midlands. Three years on and with substantial funding from Birmingham City Council, Equal (ICI and Hi8us’ ITM) fund and Arts Council West Midlands we have chosen some of the finest examples of work, generated by participants from the three rounds of this scheme.

As well as receiving bespoke professional training from celebrated, award winning comic artists such as; John McCrea and Hunt Emerson participants benefited from an array of impressive guest speakers, portfolio reviews, supported networking events, informal agency support, peer mentoring and one-to-one sessions with key influencers within the comics world.

Our most notable success is our commitment to supporting female talent within this male dominated industry. This has resulted in 3 consecutive female StripSearch illustrators, wining awards and cash prizes at the last 3 Annual international Manga and Anime Festival. Many of our graduates have gone onto work as freelance illustrators, with a client list that ranges from 2000AD to Sky TV.

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This product has been part funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) under the Equal Community Initiative Programme. The contents do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of the European Commission or the Department for Work and Pensions.