SUPERHEROES from the comic industry are to visit the home of Dennis the Menace next week for a preview of a new studio aimed at creating the next generation of cartoon giants.

Dundee has long celebrated its association with the Beano and Dandy, with life-size statues of Desperate Dan and Minnie the Minx on display in the city centre and even a road called Bash Street.

Now a new social enterprise and studio aims to draw on that history with the Dundee Comics Creative Space (DCCS), which will provide opportunities for artists and writers and encourage learning through comics.

The project, developed by Dundee University, will be officially opened early next year.

However, high profile comic illustrators and writers will next week take part in a series of preview events as part of the Dundee Literary Festival.

The roster include veteran Judge Dredd artist Cam Kennedy, from Orkney, and Dave Gibbons, who illustrated graphic novel classic Watchmen.

Dan McDaid, a writer and artist for DC Comics, Monty Nero, who wrote the highly praised Death Sentence, and Edinburgh’s Tanya Roberts, who has worked on Star Wars titles, will also take part.

During the five day run, which is scheduled to start on Wednesday October 21, the industry experts will lead workshops and give advice about their work and making life in the comic world a reality.

Dr Chris Murray, DCCS operations director and a senior lecturer at Dundee University, said: “Having writers and artists of their stature here is inspirational for anyone who wishes to work in comics, and indeed anyone with a love of the genre.

“The point of DCCS is to help young comics enthusiasts to develop their skills and nurture the Dave Gibbons and Cam Kennedys of tomorrow.

“This is a really exciting development for Dundee and will help cement our place as the home of the British comic industry.”

Developed in collaboration with The Rank Foundation and the Dundee Place Partnership Scheme, the DCCS aims to provide educational workshops for various age groups, and next weeks events include teenager-only sessions.

The Dundee Literary Festival includes around 50 talks, readings, workshops and events featuring authors including Scots Jackie Kay and Janice Galloway.

Meanwhile, Rab C Nesbitt actor Gregor Fisher will launch his new book telling the story of the biological family he found after discovering he was adopted.

Nick Frost, who starred in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, will also appear, as will former Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn.

Peggy Hughes of Literary Dundee said: “Dundee Literary Festival takes place in the city made famous by Desperate Dan, and Dennis the Menace, and with a close working relationship with the University of Dundee’s fantastic Comics Studies, the festival has a long and rich history of celebrating comics.

“The new Dundee Comics Creative Space is a wonderful addition to the work already being done by Chris Murray and his colleagues and students.

“We’re thrilled that the festival will give people an opportunity to have a sneak peek, try their hand at comics production, and to enjoy hearing from and meeting some of the most exciting forces working in comics today.”