Vintage Festival Glasgow

27th-28th July 2013

Thank you to everyone who turned up to our packed out workshops at Vintage Glasgow, part of the Merchant City Festival. Even a little rain on Sunday couldn’t dampen the creativity of our fantastic participants. Here are some of the amazing designs for vintage Superheroes and villains that came from the day.

Vintage Superhero workshops

Vintage Superhero workshops


Gary’s workshop challenge: Male hero, Powers: Flight, strength, laser eyes. Era: 60′s! The class gave him 10 out of 10.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

20th June 2013

The screening night for film students directing their end of year projects in the RCS Department of Film, Television and Video.

Playing to a packed house, in the biggest theatre, in the tallest cinema in Europe, the resulting high quality shorts were informative, uplifting, humorous and disturbing in turn. Gary really enjoyed his guest lectures and mentoring of the students in visual storytelling and we are looking forward to more collaborations with the RCS.

Glasgow Science Festival

12th June 2013

Life Drawing – Under the Skin. At the Glasgow Science Festival.

life drawing HammerheadWhat an evening this was! The perfect combination of science and art.

Thanks to the curator of the Hunterian Zoology Museum, Maggie Reilly, we were given unique access to specimens normally hidden away in the vaults of the Hunterian, so this artist and scientist-led workshop let you get right under the skin of our life models.

Update 1-5-13: Due to overwhelming demand for places we are currently trying to get another class set up. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s confirmed.

There was unfortunately no way to get another class in this year, but look out for next year, and for some more life drawing collaborations with the Zoology Museum! In the meantime have a look at these amazing pictures from Tim Drysdale of some of our specimens.

Beltane Public Engagement Network Annual Gathering

11 June 2013

Mhairi was delighted to be invited to submit a piece of narrative non-fiction for the Imagine Science booklet handed out to delegates of the Beltane Annual Gathering. Her piece ‘A Twist of the Gallows Rope’ describes the last public dissection in Glasgow and the twisted relationships between the scientists through the eyes of two women. The daughter of the murder victim and the wife of one of the scientists.

Even better, every bit is true. Right down to the staircase and the bit where the corpse reanimates…

The Beltane Network also reprinted three further pieces of our science comic work.

2D Festival

29th May – 2nd June 2013 – Derry~Londonderry

Public event, free admission.

Derry~Londonderry is the 2013 City of Culture which made this year’s 2D comics festival a very special one. Perfect Spiral was there with our ‘Design your own Star Wars Character’ workshop and many others. We had tiny robots that did your homework for you, Giant squid that came in through your bedroom windows and tidied your room and an army of android synchronised swimming killer sharks! Take note Disney: your next generation designers are looking pretty damn good!

Mhairi also went along to listen to panels about how to write comics from industry professionals. We love it when we learn as much as when we teach!

Elements Talking Science Event

25th May 2013 – Rothesay – by invite from The Bute Astronomical Club

Following on from their hugely successful first event on Bute, and the follow up event in Greenock, the Bute Astronomical Club are brought their Talking Science/Elements event back home again. Perfect Spiral were delighted to be joining them in Rothesay again with more creative science workshops.

World Book Night Follow Up Meeting

7th May 2013 – Cafe Phoenix

Following on from the night of free books some of you came back to discuss graphic narrative. In other words, comics.  With a comic winning this year’s Costa Book Award for Biography, we discussed if comics are being accepted as literature? Should they be? Does it matter?!

We also discussed how influenced Brian Bolland was by Blondie when he drew Judge Anderson…

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

1st May 2013

Gary continued in his role as mentor for film students directing their end of year projects in the RCS Department of Film, Television and Video. It looks like this year is going to produce some poignant, hard hitting and emotionally charged films.

Rutherglen Library

30th April 2013

What a whirlwind of design and innovative Superhero and Supervillian ideas we got from St Mark’s Primary School in our ever popular ‘Design a Superhero’ activity. Gary came away quite dizzy! Hope to have pictures up soon!

Talking Science Event

27th April 2013 – Greenock – by invite from The Bute Astronomical Club

Public Event, all welcome!

Following on from their hugely successful and well attended event on Bute, the Bute Astronomical Club are taking their Talking Science/Elements events on a tour of Scotland. Perfect Spiral were delighted to join them in Greenock. Look out for the next events in Rothesay (May) and Largs (September).

World Book Night

23rd April 2013

Free public event.

We had a fantastic night at our celebrations for World Book Night in Cafe Phoenix in the the West End of Glasgow. We gave away 20 special edition copies of Judge Dredd:The Dark Judges and hope to see at least some of the readers back to discuss literature and graphic narrative in two weeks time

If you like this we might make it a regular meeting…

Ferguslie Park Library

26th February 2013

The Ferguslie Park Library Group proved how creative and gory their imaginations are as they continue to produce their sequel to last year’s debut zombie comic. Gary discussed comics and character design with the 12-14 year olds, who enthusiastically expanded on characters they created last year. Working with artist Mandy Sinclair the group are planning to self-publish their graphic novel very soon.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

22nd January 2013

Gary spent a day as guest lecturer and continued his role as mentor for film students directing their end of year projects in the RCS Department of Film, Television and Video.

Talking Science Event

19th January 2013 – by invite from The Bute Astronomical Club

Public Event, all welcome!

We had an amazing time at the Pavillion in Rothesay. Thank you so much to the crowds that turned up and kept us so busy! Photos will be up soon as will the first pieces in our Perfect Gallery!

Canny Comic Con

8th December 2012 – Newcastle City Library

Perfect Spiral was at the Canny Comic Con all day with illustrations at the drawing table and ‘Design a Superhero‘ workshops.

Even the Mums and Dads got involved.

Schools Event

7th December 2012

Gary presented ‘Design a Superhero’ workshops in Paisley Grammar School and Gryffe High School, Houston. Both workshops were oversubscribed and lots had to be drawn. Congratulations to the lucky pupils who were picked at random. Hopefully we will be able to come back and see the rest of you soon! In the meantime download and design your superhero using these templates. Send it back to us at and we’ll put it up in our gallery!

Below are a few pictures from Gryffe High School.

Gryffe High ‘Design a Superhero’ Workshop

Some of the designs. Thanks for having us, you are an inspirational collection of designers!

Paisley Grammar School are running a design competition from our workshop. See the entries here.

UPDATE! Thank you for this lovely card from Paisley Grammar. The picture on the front is taken by one of their pupils, Lousie, and is titled ‘Who needs the Med when we have Largs?’ We totally agree, especially when walking along with an ice cream from Nardini’s, Lousie!

We love the thank you’s, and we’re glad Gary made missing maths so enjoyable, Mark, but make sure you catch up in the next class ;-)

Scottish Book Trust – Young Writers Conference

1st December 2012

As part of the Scottish Book Trust’s 2012 Young Writers’ Conference Perfect Spiral are provided two workshops aimed at a young writers (14-17) entitled  ‘Storytelling with Pictures’ This explained how the basics of storytelling change subtly when only pictures can be used. Participants were shown how to take their ideas and create a script and layouts to convey the most impact with the least words. More details here.

It was a great event with stories of enchanted forests, spontaneously-combusting hamsters that regenerated into Unicorns and heart breaking stories of leaving a small island community to go to university in the big city. Our participants inspired us as much as we hope we inspired them. We are looking forward to next year’s event!

One workshop session and one of the resulting stories told without words.

One workshop session and one of the resulting stories told without words.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

November 2012

Gary was invited to present a series of masterclasses for the Department of Film, Television and Video on story boarding. The classes were enthusiastically received and have led to him being invited to mentor film students who are directing their end of year projects.

Glasgow Science Centre


We have both had our artwork displayed at the Glasgow Science Centre and also delivered several science communication events.

These include several ‘Meet the scientist’ school events, in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology. These involve talks on Parasitology research in Scotland and bench displays where children can meet both the scientists and the parasites.


Glasgow Science Centre

In addition we have delivered a ‘Dirt’ talk as part of the Wellcome Trust Dirt weekend held as part of the Trusts’ 75th anniversary celebrations.

A ‘Brain Invaders’ hands on scientific workshop for children to diagnose ‘patients’ as having either Malaria or African Sleeping Sickness through staining slides and conducting latex agglutinations tests as part of the GSC ‘Brain Weekend’.

GSC Brain Workshop

Glasgow Science Centre – Brain Invaders Workshop

Booxfactor School Workshops


Booxfactor, run by West Dumbartonshire Council have invited Perfect Spiral to run several workshops including superhero design exploring the design basics of colour and shape. The children submitted their superhero designs for a competition from which Gary Erskine picked an overall design winner and donated a page of spiderman artwork as first prize.

Inverness Science Festival 2010


Two separate workshops where delivered. In one we presented a micro-monsters workshop and in another we invited the public to design their own superhero using superpowers from nature.


Title and slide from Inverness Science Festival Mini-Monsters show

Primary School Curriculum Enrichment visits


Several school visits bringing the subjects the children have been studying to life by the use of interactive slides, art templates and samples from the University of Glasgow Huntarian Museum collection. Subjects covered have included ‘bugs and drugs’, ‘parasites’ and design a superhero from nature.