For those who are unfamiliar with the story behind Scartoons, here’s a quick summary of how it all got started.
First of all, Scartoons was set up as a way of getting kids involved in creativity. Kids love cartoons: the Simpsons, Steven Universe, Scooby Doo, etc; and I can remember, myself, growing up with comics all around me. Nowadays those comics are animated on TV, Youtube and films, but they remain ingrained in pop culture with youngsters.
And kids are fascinated by them.
So Scartoons was set up to tap into that interest. A child able to draw cartoons can create a whole character – a personality – from a few lines. That’s a pretty powerful thing. Giving a child that avenue for invention is empowering them: it gives them an outlet for creative thinking. A cartoon character can act as a rebellion (The Simpsons), make you think (Peanuts comic strip), encourage lateral thought (The Far Side), satirise (Charlie Hebdo), give a feeling of power (Marvel), and more besides. Cartooning is an artform in itself, on a par with any “classical” style. The simplicity of cartoons doesn’t detract from their relevance, or the skill in the delivery needed for them to work.
So when Scartoons works in schools, it gives children the tools to potentially do any or all of the above. Added to that, the artist behind Scartoons (Simon) is a qualified teacher with many years of experience in teaching.