DMU student reaches final of major national comic art competition

Manga style drawings have earned a final-year student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) a spot in the finals of a prestigious comic book competition.

Elodie paint

After being encouraged by her lecturer and fellow students studying the Concept and Comic Arts course at DMU, Elodie Dow entered the 2000 AD art competition at the Thought Bubble convention, which aims to find up-and-coming talent in comic book art and writing.

Although Elodie has been drawing in a manga style from the age of 15, the 20-year-old from Wiltshire was initially apprehensive about her art being too different to the typical British comic style to be successful in the competition.

She said: “The whole process was quite intimidating at times because you could see other people’s artwork in front of you. I decided just to go for it and be as confident as I could be.

“We had five weeks to complete the entry and throughout the process I got loads of support and advice from my lecturers on how I could improve my artwork and the flow of my story.”


Participants were asked to draw pages from writer Kek-W’s Tharg’s Terror Tales: Music of the Spheres in their own style which were shown to Matt Smith, the editor of 2000 AD comic. Despite her nerves, Elodie reached the final of the competition and was selected as one of only seven entries among many to progress to the judging panel.

“I was completely speechless when they told me I was in the final. It took me a while to process it and it didn’t hit me until I told my parents over the phone. I sent an email to my lecturers and told my course-mates which was a really special moment,” she said.

Elodie credits the skills she has gained on her university course as well as the support of her tutors and course-mates with helping her in the competition.

She said: “The course is great because of how open it is. You’re able to express yourself in so many ways and you’re not limited in how you do your work. There are so many people on the course with similar interests to interact with so it’s always a lot of fun.

“Everyone’s so supportive of one another and it makes a great workspace where we can discuss our work and our goals for the future.”

Among Elodie’s hopes for her future after graduation is the possibility of furthering her studies in the comic art area.

“I would like to work in the comic industry and I’m looking at taking a master’s degree in the subject. I’m really interested in the creative process behind comic books and how they interact with the real world and inspire people,” she said.

After her success at the 2000AD competition, Elodie hopes to provide some inspiration of her own.

“My year group is the first one to graduate from the Concept and Comic Arts course, so one of us getting to the final of a competition like this is hopefully something students in the years below can aspire towards,” she said.

“I look back at my work from the start of the course and can see how far I’ve come, so hopefully it can inspire them too.”

Posted on Monday 6 February 2023

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