Ben Simpson


BA (Hons) Animation - Senior Lecturer

Ben Simpson a.k.a Doctor Simpo is a Senior Lecturer for the BA (Hons) Animation course and is Course Leader for the MA Worldbuilding with Creature Design course at Leeds Arts University. He regards himself as 'Sequential Narrative Specialist' in traditional 2D sequencing techniques with a rich grounding within the shorter comic book format and the longer comic form of the graphic novel, these skills he learnt from the cohort of creatives working out of Glasgow's Hope Street Studies of the early naughties; Dave Alexander, Graham P. Manley, Frank Quitely, Grant Morrison and Jamie Grant.

His fondness for passing-on his extensive knowledge of analogue, digital and 'tradigital' 2D animation techniques, stop-motion, paper-cut and 16mm experimental trick-film comes from the enthusiasm bestowed upon him from those that he was mentored by whilst attending the Glasgow School of Art, the Pratt Institute in New York and the Royal College of Art; where he received an MA in Animation. Including the likes of Tim Webb (storyboarding), Bob Godfrey (limited and savvy animation), Robert Lyons (stop-motion), Quentin Blake (composition of a drawing and its placement within a story) and Alan Kitching (typography and letterpress layout). Some of this insight is included within his recently published book - "Bring Stuff to Life? YOU can with the 12 principles of animation." Available within the University Libraries. His animations, comic books and illustration based works have been exhibited, published and premiered on a global scale. His cartoon films have been played at the New York Children's Film Festival, Time Out Film Festival, LIFF and of course at his home town of Holmfirth's Film Festival. His gag based picture books have been translated in to three different languages and has drawn caricatures of the English nobility. Some of his original hand lettered drawings from the first ever 3D Scottish comic book 'Menshies' hang between a Dali and a Picasso at the Dick Institute in Kilmarnock.

If he could have had any job, anywhere at any time he would have been a 'Gag-Man' for MGM Studios in the 1940s or working alongside such greats as Ken Reid and Leo Baxendale for The Beano of the late 1950s early 1960s. His first solo comic book 'Things and Stuff' came out in the spring of 2004 and he has been producing publications in a humorous vein ever since. Watch-out for 'super-sized T & S special' in November 2020. Following on from his highly acclaimed interactive and multi-visceral exhibition - The Norms: Process and Production of 2018 - where he brought his first glow-in-the-dark children's picture book to life, he continues to make and push the boundaries of visual storytelling. Presently he is working on some 'Top Secret' projects including editing a graphic novel, animating an ex-Beano star and fully developing an entire animated children's television series featuring a Basset Hound based upon his own manager at the legendary and last Brighton based joke shop of Frighton; Vivienne Westwood.


Simpson, B. (2018) The Norms: Processes and Production.

Creative Projects

Simpson, B. (2019) Best British bonces. [Illustrated essay].

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