LifestyleArtsKid Phantom brings school holiday fun

Kid Phantom brings school holiday fun

Kid Phantom
Kid Phantom, drawn by Paul Mason, features in the Imaginarts space at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery over the school holidays.

Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery is the place for plenty of fun these school holidays with the Kid Phantom interactive exhibition and a range of programs and workshops to inspire comic book fans of all ages.

Venture into the jungle in the Imaginarts space, where young art lovers can explore the story behind Kid Phantom as they follow Kit Walker and his lifelong friend Guran in their adventures in America.

Kid Phantom is an extension of the Phantom: Off the Drawing Board exhibition and celebrates the work of Queensland illustrator Paul Mason who was the artist and character designer for the series, first published by Frew Publications in 2017.

Paul said he was lucky enough to be introduced to Frew’s co-directors Glenn Ford and Rene White when they were looking for an artist to draw the new stories.

“Kid Phantom was aimed to put the character in front of younger readers, even if it was via the parents, older relatives and grandparents who either still read or still remembered the adventures of Lee Falk's characters,” Paul said.

“Andrew Constant (the writer from issue 2) and I always thought that we weren't going to talk down to the audience, but be aware of the young readers, and try to tell fun stories that connected the dots between young Kit Walker and grown-up Kit Walker for a new generation to get behind, and hopefully lead to an appreciation of the classic Phantom character.”

A highlight of the Imaginarts space is an interactive comic wall where visitors can design their own plot twists and storylines with Kid Phantom alongside his father the 20th Phantom, his best friend Guran, and an assortment of villains from the series, complete with comic book sound effect fonts.

Visitors can also view the animated short made by Paul, Andrew and Griffith University Film School’s animation students, stretch out in the Deep Woods jungle setting, read a selection of classic comics, and make their own comic pages.

Paul said he was excited the Gallery team had found a plush version of the cockatiel who follows Kid Phantom on his adventures.

“The cockatiel appears on many of the Kid Phantom drawings featured in the exhibition, and throughout the comic books, is based on our own pet (Cheesel) who often kept me company during the drawing of the comic books, and also features in the cartoon,” Paul said.

“So we were very excited to see the eye for detail that the gallery had to include her among the jungle setting.”

Though the Kid Phantom series is now ended, Paul said he was pleased the character got another moment in the sun through the exhibition.

“I thank Bundaberg Regional Galleries for their excitement and inclusion of the character in this Phantom exhibition, but also the nod to my work as a Queensland cartoonist, who often feels isolated in a bubble of my own deadlines and stories, toiling in an “invisible” artform,” he said.

“Thank you to Bundaberg and the Phantom readers for embracing the character and this interpretation.”

School holiday activities

During the summer school holidays, Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery will host two comic themed workshops aimed at different age groups.

Phantom: Off the Drawing Board artist Shane Foley will host a guided tour for high school aged students followed by a comic art workshop for teens looking to sharpen their skills in drawing and comic creation.

Workshops specifically for junior comic book artists will be led by the Gallery’s public programming assistant, giving younger children the opportunity to explore the artform with a guided tour and hands-on activities.

Phantom: Off the Drawing Board and Kid Phantom exhibitions run until 4 February.

Shane Foley Guided Tour + Comic Art Workshop

When:   Tuesday 9 January, Tuesday 16 January, Wednesday 24 January

Time:     10 am to 12 pm

Where: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, 1 Barolin St, Bundaberg

Age:       High school students

Cost:      $15, book here

Guided Tour and Junior Comic Book Art Workshop

When:   Wednesday 10 January, Thursday 11 January, Wednesday 17 January

Time:     9.30 am to 11 am

Where: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, 1 Barolin St, Bundaberg

Age:       6 – 12 years

Cost: $10, book here

Kid Phantom

When:   All holidays until 4 February

Time:     Weekdays 9.30 am to 5 pm, weekends 10 am to 2 pm

Where: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, 1 Barolin Street, Bundaberg

Age:       All ages

Cost:      Free

For more information about the gallery program, check here.

The full summer school holiday program is available here.