THE author of Scotland’s first black superhero has been inspiring the next generation to create through a series of superhero-themed workshops.

Etienne Kubwabo is out with the second edition of his comic Beats of War, which recreates real Glaswegian landmarks in comic form, such as the much-loved Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Parts of the comic are written in Scots and Kubwabo has used the series to explore the feeling of not fitting in.

The National:

Etienne Kubwabo's workshops are inspiring kids to get creative

Growing up in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kubwabo found his home in Scotland after moving here as a refugee.

READ MORE: 'How come no-one thought of this before?': Meet the first black Scottish superhero

In his work, the comic book writer aims to pay homage to his home country while sharing his experience of his new one in Scotland.

The filmmaker and writer is hoping to encourage young people to make their own art and has been touring around Scotland to make that happen.

"This is to encourage and inspire young people to create," he said. "I want to give back to the community, which is where all the stories come from."

Kubwabo said Beats of War is now in the teaching curriculum in seven schools in Edinburgh thanks to the Edinburgh International Festival.

The National:

Etienne Kubwabo has released the second edition of his Beats of War comic

He continued: “I’ve been telling my story and how I create them. Now what I do with schools, community groups and charities are workshops spread over two days where I teach kids what inspired me, what my journey was and how I created the comic.

“We watch a few superhero videos and we reference that to real-life superheroes.

“I encourage them to go into the world and create whatever they want to create, and it doesn’t matter whether that’s a science project or a theatre project but they have to be their own superheroes to change the world for the better.

“It’s all to inspire young kids to imagine and change the world they want to live in, to make it a better place.”

A Glasgow Caledonian University spokesperson said many young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds were thrilled to hear about Kubwabo’s journey.

The National:

They said: “As part of a community engagement partnership with Cricket Scotland, we support GCU students, researchers and alumni to deliver life skills workshops with young people at the Cricket Scotland and Lords Taverner’s Wicketz hubs in Springburn, Govanhill and Pollokshields.

“It was great to have Etienne who is a former GCU student, run some superhero-themed workshops online during the winter lockdown 20-21.

“Many of the young people are from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds and they loved hearing Etienne’s story about how he created Scotland’s first Black Superhero and then having a go at creating their own superhero characters.

READ MORE: How a Scots play about Hibs Scottish Cup win is packing out theatres five years on

“GCU gave them sketch books and drawing pencils ahead of the workshop and copies of the first edition of Beats of War and posters after the workshops.”

Matt Addicott, arts manager at Platform, said: "Etienne led a series of workshops with Platform, the arts centre in Glasgow's east end, during lockdown. Working with collaborator Gary Chudleigh, he shared some of the influences behind his work and the story of Beats of War.

"Workshops were aimed at young artists and aspiring comic book creators. Sessions were well attended with the children and young people that engaged with Etienne and Gary sharing ideas, asking a lot of questions and feeding back very positively on their experience.

"It was great for us to host activity that opened up imaginations, created possibilities and fed dreams at a time when much of the world was closing down."

Kubwabo says the next editions of Beats of War will take the story from Glasgow on a journey through Scotland to other cities and landmarks.