Comics Youth is a groundbreaking, one-of-a-kind UK CIC that provides holistic comics-based literacy and wellbeing projects for disadvantaged children and young people aged 8 -25 within the Liverpool City Region. Our latest project is Marginal, an innovative creative programme which gives these same young people the chance to pilot the first youth-led publishing house in the UK.
With it we want to change the landscape of UK culture by giving underrepresented young people the platform with which to shape their own narratives and publish books that radically reflect their identities, experiences, and lives. And your support could make a huge difference in making that a reality.
It’s a difficult time to be a marginalised young person in Liverpool. This is a city that was recently named as one of the worst affected by local government cuts and within which support for disadvantaged young people and those with mental health issues has been severely stripped down. It’s also a region that has sadly suffered the highest rate of hate crimes against LGBTQIA+ people in the UK, leaving many young people feeling unsafe, hopeless and misunderstood.
With misleading mainstream media depictions of young people adding further misinformation and stigmatisation to already marginalised experiences, Marginal seeks to restore balance and hope by nurturing stories that express current and real youth issues. As well as providing marginalised young people with the sort of 1-2-1 coaching, training, and guidance with professional artists and writers designed to inspire and equip them as creators of the future (and of now), Marginal will actively amplify the voices of young people who have been repeatedly silenced and neglected by society.
We believe that every young person deserves the opportunity to see themselves as characters in, and the potential authors of, the books and comics they read. Although cultural representation of marginalised identities and experiences may be slowly improving, these narratives still exist on the fringes of mainstream media rather than being embedded within it.
With Marginal, we’re committed to ensuring that all sectors of society are given the opportunity to tell their stories and in a manner that gives young people agency and pride over their narratives. We want the programme to be a creative megaphone for the types of young people who are often underrepresented within comics and print media, amplifying the voices of young people from LGBTQIA+, BAME, and working class communities; young people experiencing mental ill-health or special education needs; looked after young people and those who have experienced inequality.
With your help, we can change how young people are represented, how they view themselves and how they interact with the world. The media has a direct and occasionally negative influence on the lives and views of the public. With Marginal we have an opportunity to break the mould and create lasting, positive change within hazard strewn communities by enabling young people to take charge of their truth.
All money raised will be put directly into the printing costs of 3000 publications made by, and for, marginalised young people.
“Comics Youth has definitely given a lot of young people who the world isn’t built for - who have been told to be quiet, or who have been pushed into the shadows - a platform to tell people things on a level they’re comfortable with. And that’s crazy, because that’s really what’s needed.”
Paul, 18 (A Marginal Development Programme participant)
“I’ve learned to channel the fact that I’m angry instead of just shouting about the fact that I’m angry. So, people can actually understand my anger and what I’m angry about. I’m more articulate now. Everyone understands and they’re like, Yeah! I hear you and I’m with you...”
Rosa, 17 (A Marginal Development Programme participant)
“Before I started coming to Comics Youth, I drew maybe two or three times a month whereas now I’m doing it most days. It’s like I’ve remembered that this is an actual passion of mine. And that’s just been a huge improvement and beneficial for me. Especially while I’ve been having difficulty finding work … it’s nice to pull back and just be like, Yeah, there’s still so much more to life...”
Bethany, 25 (A Marginal Development Programme participant)
Comics Youth was founded in 2015 and is a creative community organisation led by young people, for young people. Our aim is to empower youth across the Liverpool City Region to flourish from the margins of society: Harnessing their own narratives, finding confidence within an inclusive community, and developing the resilience to succeed on their own path.
We offer a range of creative services designed to support and amplify the often diminished voices of marginalised young people aged 8 - 25. From zine creation and comic book reading workshops to youth-led publishing hubs and AQA Unit Award Scheme programmes, we believe young people deserve to have their voices discovered, distributed, and elevated.
Thanks for reading! For more information please check out our website: https://comicsyouth.co.uk/