Solution-Focused Comics Helping The Long Term Unemployed


The ABC Comic Project helps long-term unemployed participants explore and uncover possible routes to employment or training through comic creation and solution-focused storytelling.

Created for Neighbourhoods That Work, a 5 year multi-agency project in Gt Yarmouth designed to improve community resilience, the ABC comic workshops demonstrate skills and techniques used by professionals to create amazing comic book stories and artwork whilst exploring the participants career & training options.

Aims and goals of the workshop

Using storytelling and comic drawing to explore and discuss each step on their journey with the workshop leader or others in the group could help uncover possible routes to your personal goals that could go undiscovered.

Using simple fill-in-the gaps worksheets we will create rough text and artwork for your comic panels – first focusing on describing your situation right now (the “Beginning” of your story), then we’ll leap forward to where you’d like to see yourself in the future (the “End” of your story).

Once you’ve chosen the Beginning and End of your story of the way we can focus on the most important bit – the middle of the comic!

The middle bit will describe a possible journey towards the story’s end – each panel showing a separate step towards fulfilling your final goal.

At the end of the workshop participants take away a few things;

  1. A clearer idea of what your own personal goals might be
  2. A better idea of how you might achieve those goals through simple, thought out steps
  3. A pretty cool piece of finished comic book artwork

Could creating comics help your organisation?

Comics are an amazing, accessible tool for:

  • Sharing stories and experiences
  • Exploring problems and issues
  • Having fun and boosting confidence!

Creating comics could be a valuable, enjoyable tool for your organisation – if you’d like to explore the possibilites get in touch!


Turning College Students Into A Comic Production Team

GY College Comic session

Essential Sequential are working with creative students at Great Yarmouth College to mould them into a comic publishing team that will draft, write, design and promote their own, original comic book!

All those taking part will gain invaluable experience of how the world of freelance creative work operates and improve employability – requiring a high level of teamwork and delegation, encouraging the development of “soft skills” such as time-keeping, discussion & debate, compromise and constructive criticism.

Fantastic, original comic stories and artwork

The project has been funded by EnterpriseGY and was launched at a major Comic Convention held in Great Yarmouth in November 2016.  The final comic will be on sale to the general public through multiple channels in Spring 2017.


The end goals of this unique project is to provide a real-world experience of freelancing (working semi-autonomously to pre-agreed brief & deadline) to all of the students involved with the comic’s creation and sale, and to provide the launch pad for a new self-sustaining venture leading to an ongoing legacy of published material involving and linking communities.

[quote]”Students that are interested in animation, Photography and art will make the most of this project by including on their cv and in their portfolios leading to opportunities to progress to university and wider possibilities for employment. Work experience is at the heart of the course and is recognised as good practice by the college, universities and ofsted.” [/quote]
Matt Dale,
Course Leader for Art, Design & Photography at the college

Could creating comics help your organisation?

Often one of the first things we hear at our comic workshops is “I’m rubbish at drawing!”

We strive to show that creating comics is a process – a series of relatively simple tasks
The vast majority of these tasks do not depend on you being brilliant at drawing!

(And what’s to stop you just getting someone who is good at drawing to do that bit!)

Comics are an amazing, accessible tool for:

  • Sharing stories and experiences
  • Exploring problems and issues
  • Having fun and boosting confidence!

If you think that creating comics is something you’d like to explore or would be useful for your organisation get in touch!


Big Lottery Funded Project for 2017!

big lottery funded comic drawing project

‘Moving Ink’ is a year-long series of 24 creative workshops, working within flexible and accessible locations at the point of need;

The project will work with a minimum of 75 young people (aged between 16 to 24 years old) identified as being at risk of or who is currently NEET and having faced specific challenges in seeking to find meaningful employment or further education and training opportunities.

If you are interested in taking part in this project, either as an individual or as an organisation, please use the contact form at the bottom of this post or email the project leader (Stuart Paterson) directly.

Project Aims

Through participation the young people involved will demonstrate an increased understanding of and ability to apply functional skills and techniques that are based upon sequencing processes; (the process of having to do one job before it is possible to do another).

In order to achieve this aim the project will:

  • Involve and nurture young people through increasing participation in creative expression
  • Help build understanding, transferable skills and the confidence
  • Help participants critically interpret and articulate difficult circumstances and any others issues they may be struggling to manage.

The project is open to anyone who has been identified as being at risk of or who is currently NEET and having faced specific challenges in seeking to find meaningful employment or further education and training opportunities.

Project Delivery

The workshop sessions will be delivered through 6, 4 week programmes, and will support participants to develop their own story, write a script and produce colour artwork for a one page comic strip; stories are then combined to produce an alternative community-published work, that will be circulated via a range of community associations and venues.

The project will be delivered by creative professionals who have a proven ability of working positively with young people, and in helping to cultivate positive, supportive and creative environments that are community orientated and which feel locally owned.

By working within communities, the project will help to support participants to more easily translate learning into their local environments, and therefore be better prepared and more confident to take advantage of future opportunities as they arise.

The project will also seek to further develop collaborative working between social sector organisations, and related opportunities to provide mutual support, share resources and combine expertise to develop creative learning and employment pathways that can provide sustainable social and economic benefits for participants, their families and peers.