Matt is a very skilled and engaging teacher. He quickly connected with all the students in the class, giving them timely encouragement and meaningful feedback and praise.
— Edith Guay, Curriculum Director Sendica Education, Monterrey, Mexico
He was super funny! He has such a good balance of making us learn and have fun at the same time, and I LOVED it!
— Anubhav, Grade 7 student, International Community School Addis Ababa
Best PD session I’ve attended in many, many years! Awesome!
— Ann-Marie Moore, teacher at the American School of Kuwait

Matt running a workshop at art central in abu dhabi

Matt running a workshop at art central in abu dhabi

What can Matt Smith offer?

Matt Smith has led comics workshops at schools, art galleries and comic conventions across the world. He has taken his workshops to North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Matt's comics workshops entertain and engage participants of all ages and writing and drawing abilities. Matt offers interactive, enthusiastic lessons with plenty of hands on activities. These lessons focus on literacy and personal expression.

One of Matt’s core beliefs is that you don’t need to be a great artist to make comics! Comics are more about communication than artistic background and anyone can draw a comic!

For schools: Matt can offer workshops to students from kindergarten to grade 12 in a variety of subject areas. Matt doesn’t limit his lessons to English classes. He has visited primary homerooms, MYP/DP Language & Literature lessons, Business classes and Art rooms.

Matt has also led professional development for teachers on how comics can promote literacy in the classroom. Matt recently ran these workshops at the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) conference in Bangkok.

What workshops can Matt Smith offer?

matt smith teaching comics at vancouver's southridge school

Expressive Characters (30 min, KG - grade 1, 30 students max): This workshop challenges younger cartoonists to draw BIG cartoony characters with BIG emotions.

Let’s Draw Some Comics! (45-90 min, grades 2 and up, 40 students max): Students will create expressive characters, show movement and draw sound; everything you need to know to create your first comic story. This workshop is very interactive and in order to interact with every student, it works best with smaller groups (1 or two classes at a time). Recommended for the first visit to a school.

Making Stronger Comics (60-120 minutes, grades 3 and up, 40 students max): Students explore the different type of comic-book panels and create unique characters that come alive on the page. This lesson builds on the skills students acquire in Let’s Draw Some Comics! and is a good fit for students who have worked with Matt previously.

Assemblies (30 min for grades 2 and under, 45-60 min for grades 3 and up, more than 40 students): For larger groups, Matt has an assembly presentation about his journey in comics, what inspires him and what he loves about comics. He does live drawing demonstrations, creates new characters with audience participation, and answers questions from the audience.

My First Comic Story (1 full day or multiple sessions during or after school, grade 3 and up, max 30 students): Students work with Matt to create a polished, finished comic book page through the writing, planning, rough drawing and final inking stages. Students will then use the iPad app Strip Designer or computer program Comic Life to create speech balloonsThis introduces a STEAM element into the creation process.

Creating Comics 101 (2-3 full days, grades 9 and up, 20 students max): Older students will learn the industry-standard process of creating comic pages. Students will learn to script, plan pages with thumbnail sketches, pencil & ink pages and use Photoshop to add speech balloons and colour.

Dissecting a Comic Book Page (30-60 min, grades 9 and up, 30 students max): Matt will take students through the process of critically analyzing comic book pages and panels to uncover deeper meaning. Students will learn to decode comic conventions and delve into the intent of the cartoonist and to examine how the artistic choices made by the creator impact us as the reader. A perfect fit for IB DP Lang & Lit students!

The Business of Comics (45-60 min, for HS Business classes): Matt shares his entrepreneurial journey, successes and failures he’s encountered, and answers questions about running a small business.

Professional Development Training (45-90 min, for faculty): Matt helps teachers understand the basics of comics language, deepens their appreciation of the medium, gives them practical ways to use comics in the classroom, and lets them draw their own comic (don’t worry, NO drawing experience is required!). In March, 2019, Matt brought this workshop to the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Parents Session (45-60 min): Some parents are still apprehensive when it comes to letting their children read comics. Matt demonstrates the power of the medium, suggests how parents and children can interact with comics together and proves that comics are not just “simple picture books.”
(At IB schools, Matt also discusses how his IB schooling helped him become the reflective, risk-taking entrepreneurial communicator he is today!)

matt smith, 2017 - photo by emma smith

matt smith, 2017 - photo by emma smith

Who is Matt Smith?

Matt Smith is a cartoonist, filmmakerillustrator and educator who has lived all over the world. As a third culture kid, Matt studied at the International School of Bangkok and the International School of Kuala Lumpur, where he graduated with the IB Diploma.

As an international school teacher, Matt has taught at a variety of schools, including the American School in Japan and the American International School Kuwait.

Matt is able to comfortably lead lessons, co-teach and interact with students. As a certified teacher, Matt spent four years as a technology coach, with a focus on promoting digital literacy. He brings his passion for media, technology and teaching to his comics career. His comics have been published online, in various newspapers in British Columbia, and by comic publishers Soaring Penguin PressAlterna Comics, Frisson Comics, Hangman Comics, Sliced Quarterly and more

You can see more of his illustrations here.

Matt's interactive instructional book

Why comics?

We live in a world where we are bombarded with messages and imageryWordsillustrations and screens are everywhere. Comics, a marriage of words and pictures, are a great way to de-code the world around us.

Comics are growing in popularity, becoming the reading material of choice for many 10-14 year olds and dominating popular culture. By examining this combination of words and pictures, students strengthen their literacy and become better communicators. Also: comics are fun!

What do teachers say about Matt Smith?

Matt’s enthusiasm for engaging students is magnetic. My fourth graders had a chance to draw their own comics with lots of feedback from Matt. The students loved learning from him and were fully enthralled by the process!
— Austin Wellman, Grade 4 teacher, Shanghai Community International School
Matt was brilliant with the students. They learned so much in such a short space of time and were so captivated and inspired!
— Lucy Shaw, PYP Visual Art, International School of Geneva, Campus des Nations
I was so impressed by Matt’s workshop, he never said anything negative, he just kept encouraging us and gave advice on how to improve. He was a great model for us that day, of how to interact with students constructively.
— Marco Vitt, Science teacher, Euroamericano Sur, Monterrey, Mexico
From the moment Matt began his workshop, my students were enthralled. His passion, energy, and knowledge about creating comics is undeniable and a huge reason why the children enjoyed their time with him so much. Not only did he teach about the creation of comics with the kids but his workshop for the teachers was fantastic. Matt engaged us and challenged us to incorporate comics into our repertoire of literacy strategies. From start to finish, he was exceptional!
— Kate Fillion, Elementary teacher at the American School of Kuwait

What do students say about Matt Smith?

I REALLY enjoyed the presentation by Matt Smith. It was an amazing experience and I learned so much. I would really like him to come again.
— Kenan, Year 6 Student, International School of Geneva, Campus des Nations
Mr. Smith, you inspired a lot of kids today, but you inspired me the most.
— Bandar, Grade 5 Student, American School of Kuwait
Thank you for your fun comics lesson! We all had lots of fun with you!
— Mutsuki, Grade 7 student, American School in Japan
He was super funny! He has such a good balance of making us learn and have fun at the same time, and I LOVED it!
— Anubhav, Grade 7 student, International Community School Addis Ababa

Hire Matt Smith!

If you'd like to book Matt Smith for a workshop, lesson or school visit, please get in touch! Matt is willing to adapt his lessons and workshops to suit an individual school or convention's needs, so please don't hesitate to ask!

Fees: US $1,000 per day of workshops (four hours of instructional time), plus expenses, accommodation and travel from Glasgow, Scotland.

You can contact Matt by email at

A Workshop at the 2018 al ain book fair in the united arab emirates

A Workshop at the 2018 al ain book fair in the united arab emirates

Past School Visits:

Matt working with 11th graders at Munich international school

Workshops at Conferences, Conventions & Galleries:

Raptus Comics Festival, Norway (September, 2019)

Articles and Links:

Listen to Matt speak about comics in the classroom on the TLC Ninja podcast!

Read about Matt's recent visit to the Munich International School!

Read about Matt’s visit to the Higher Colleges of Technology in Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates!