With this month’s Future Designers challenge we are asking you to create your own comic book page. There are $1000 of prizes up for grabs!

You can choose from a four, five or six-panel page. Click here to find our templates.

You have to use our templates but what goes in those panels is entirely up to you and your imagination!

From Peanuts and Garfield to Batman and Naruto, comics have told us stories and we are keen to see what stories you can tell us.

You can use any medium you want:

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Markers
  • Charcoal
  • Watercolours
  • Collage
  • Digital
  • Whatever inspires you to tell your own original story.


You can take inspiration from any and everywhere! Your favourite animal, everyday life, song lyrics, a question, maybe even a catchphrase.

It can be funny; it can be sad, or it can be somewhere in between. With this challenge, there are endless ways for you to get creative and be inspired.

Maybe start with the story, maybe start with the characters or even start with the art.

If you are having trouble starting you might want to think about your character. What do they like and dislike? What are their weird quirks? How would they react if you surprised them? Then try putting them in different locations, what would they do on summer vacation? Or if they were at your school?

Check out our student Sophie Marie Thirsk’s work and interview here

Get inspired by New Zealand comic book scene!

Check out these artists

Or watch some interviews with NZ comic artists.


Note the following requirements:

  • You must submit your work by 1st February 2020.
  • Submit using #FutureDesignersNZ. Post your photos or videos to Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter.
  • Make sure your post is public so we can see it.
  • Videos must be less than 30 seconds

There are no rules of what materials or technology you can use. This is entirely up to your creative intent, and what resources you have access to. 


Future designer champion

$500 Prize for the best submission

You will also be featured in and invited to our end of year exhibition. We will publish your name and work on the Future Designer’s website and Victoria University of Wellington’s YouTube channel. You will also receive a deluxe School of Design Innovation care package.

Number 8 wire

$250 Prize for the most innovative use of limited resources

Your entry will also be a part of our end of year exhibition, you will receive a School of Design Innovation care package, and an invitation to our end of year exhibition

Teachers’ choice

$250 Prize for the submission chosen by high school teachers

Your name and work will also feature on the Future Designer’s website

Best in year level

You will receive an item of swag from the School of Design Innovation, and we will tag your work with a ‘top in year level’ badge.

Judging Panel

Sophie Marie Thirsk


Sophie-Marie is a second year Victoria University student majoring in Animation and Visual Effects.  

“My favorite Disney quote is by Gaston from Beauty and the Beast: “How can you read this? There’s no pictures!” As a little girl raised in South Africa, I was “reading” comics before I could read, and my love for visual storytelling has followed me all through my life. My dream is to be involved in the writing and concept design of amazing cartoon stories, whether by my own comics or by 2D animated shows and films.” 

Sophie-Marie spends her spare time watching video essays and listening to music while drawing comics. She spends the time she’s supposed to be working watching video essays and listening to music while drawing comics. 

Sarah Laing

Sarah Laing is a fiction writer and graphic artist. She comes at books from all angles, writing as well as designing and illustrating them. The author of a graphic memoir, two novels, and a collection of short stories, she has also illustrated children’s books and designed and co-edited an anthology of Aotearoa/NZ women’s comics.

Her literary career was launched after winning the Sunday Star Times short story competition in 2006, and her first collection of short stories was published the following year to critical acclaim. “Sarah Laing is our next great short-story writer…Sarah Laing is a real talent”, wrote Siobhan Harvey in The Press. She completed her debut novel at the Michael King Writers Centre, as a writer-in-residence, and Jolisa Gracewood described Dead People’s Music as a novel “brimming with narrative pleasures”. In 2010 she was selected to be a fellow at the Sargeson Centre alongside Sonja Yelich, Lorde’s mum, and it was there she began her popular blog, Let Me Be Frank, chronicling her writing and parenting life in comics. This led on to regular columns in Metro and Little Treasures, a series of comics books published by Pikitia Press, and her decision to make her 2013 novel, The Fall of Light, part prose, part illustration. Sarah Dunn of The Nelson Mail wrote: “The Fall of Light offers a fresh new perspective on life as a New Zealander through irresistible characters. I loved it.” In 2013 Sarah was the University of Auckland/Michael King Writers Centre fellow, and there she worked on her graphic memoir, Mansfield and Me. Grappling with Mansfield’s legacy as New Zealand’s finest short story writer, she examined her own desire to be a ‘real writer’ in lush watercolor illustrations.

Dylan Horrocks

Dylan Horrocks

Dylan is a cartoonist best known for his graphic novel Hicksville and his scripts for the Batgirl comic book series.  

His works are published by the University of Auckland student magazine Craccum, Australia’s Fox Comics, the current affairs magazine New Zealand Listener from 1995 to 1997, the Canadian publishers Black Eye Comics and Drawn and Quarterly, and the American publishers Vertigo and Fantagraphics Books

In 2002 Hicksville won an Eisner Award for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition,[5] and the same year Atlas was nominated for the Harvey Award for Best Single Issue or Story in 2002.[6] In 2006 he was appointed University of Auckland/Creative New Zealand Literary Fellow.  

In 2016 Horrocks was recognized as a Laureate by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand 

Dylan currently works as a Senior Lecturer at School of Design Innovation, Victoria University of Wellington 


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