Benoit Peeters
EMBARGOED UNTIL 11.00am Wednesday 25th November 2015

Kendal, 25th November 2015: Lancaster University has appointed renowned French graphic novelist and critic Benoit Peeters as its Visiting Professor in Graphic Fiction and Comic Art, the first such appointment in the UK.

The news was announced by Professor Simon Guy, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on Wednesday 25th November.

The new post represents a significant investment in the academic significance of comic art by the University and has been created in close working partnership with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Additional support has been provided by Wallonia Brussels International.

The three-year appointment will see Mr Peeters deliver a series of lectures, run creative writing workshops, and supervise post-graduate students.

Professor Simon Guy said: “We are delighted Benoit has accepted this appointment.

“The appointment will bring a new dimension to our University and, in particular, to our English and creative writing courses. It will also demonstrate strong commitment to our collaboration with the increasingly popular and fast-expanding Lakes international Comic Art Festival.”

Benoit Peeters is a world-renowned authority on Hergé and Tintin, having written Tintin and the World of Hergé and Hergé’s biography, Hergé, Son Of Tintin.

He is also author of biographies about 19th century comics pioneer Rodolphe Töpffer, and the French philosopher Derrida, and co-creator, alongside François Schuiten, of Les Cités Obscures, one of Belgium’s most famous francophone comic strips created in the past 30 years, which is being published in English by Alaxis Press. The Theory of the Grain of Sand (La Théorie du Grain de Sable) is the latest volume published in English, the final “key title” in the series.

On accepting the post, Mr Peeters said: “This professorship is a great honour for me. I was very impressed by my first contact with the Lancaster University’s team.

“I want to explore the connections between the history of graphic fiction and contemporary creation, between the world of French and Belgian bande dessinée, and the world of comics and graphic novels”.

The appointment strengthens the links between the University and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal and is the first of its kind in the UK. In the three years of its existence, LICAF has quickly established itself as a major annual event in October bringing together creators, publishers and audiences alike from across the world.

Julie Tait, the Festival director, said: “This appointment emanates from a unique collaboration between the Lakes International Comic Art Festival and Lancaster University, one of the UK’s leading HE institutions.

“I am delighted that the University is simultaneously recognising and celebrating the intellectual contribution of comic art to British cultural life, putting the comic medium on a par with the status accorded to this form elsewhere in Europe”.

By making this significant appointment, the University is not only acknowledging the Festival’s success but also its full academic commitment to placing comic book art not just in its creative writing and literature department, but also across its wider disciplines including philosophy.

The additional support of Wallonia Brussels International is part of a wider initiative to increase the visibility of Belgium Francophone culture in UK.

Benoit Peeters takes up his post in Summer 2016 and will be present at next year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival, which runs 14th – 16th October 2016.

• For more information, please contact Paul Smith:

• For University of Lancaster, press office contact: Anne Rothwell:


• For Lakes Comic Art Festival, contact: Julie Tait:


• For Wallonia Brussels International (WBI), contact: Edouard Notte:


• A huge line up of both British and globe-spanning international comics talent is being lined up for this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival, taking place 14th – 16th October 2016. Visit the web site at

Lakes International Comic Art Festival Programme 2015Missed the 2015 Festival? Find Out More

• Check out a digital version of the 2015 Lakes  International Comic Art Festival Programme here

• For the latest news on the 2016 Lakes International Comic Art Festivalvisit:

• Sign up for the Festival’s newsletterhere for the latest news! 

Supporting Images

Lancaster University Logo
• For a higher resolution version of this logo, please contact Anne Rothwell: Web:
Les Murailles de Samaris (The Great Walls of Samaris)
Les Murailles de Samaris (The Great Walls of Samaris)

The first book in Les Cités Obscures series. This is the French edition cover, published byCasterman.

Franz Bauer is asked to visit Samaris and research the rumors about this city. Some people have left for Samaris but did not return: Mark and Clara(youngest sister of Anna), and someone called Pierre. Franz leaves for Samaris. After a long journey by Altiplan and Aerophele he reaches Samaris. He stays in the only hotel of the city. He meets Carla in a club. The days pass by all in the same way. In the end Franz tries to break out of the daily routine and finds out that the whole city is build with panels. The whole city is fake. He returns to Xhystos but many years have passed and nobody knows Franz. Eventually he can meet the council, but they deny that they have send him on his quest. Franz leaves Xhystos.

LES MURAILLES DE SAMARIS was published in English by NBM (Nantier, Beall & Minoustchine Publishing, NYC) in 1987 as THE GREAT WALLS OF SAMARIS. This volume contained the original 48 page story.

Dave McKean - Cages, Book 4, Page 45
The Theory of the Grain of Sand , the latest Obscure Cities story to be published in English, is an incredible story, originally produced in two volumes. Alaxis Press has released the book in a single volume.

With the release of this book, the entire Obscure Cities series of key titles will have been released in English and Alaxis Press will now focus on revising earlier titles and taking on some of the ancillary titles.

In The Theory of the Grain of Sand, Gholam Mortiza Khan comes to Brüsel to sell some jewelry to Elsa Autrique. Before the sell can be closed, Khan dies in an accident. This is the start of some events that are investigated by Mary von Rathen: accumulation of sand in the apartment of Kristin Antipova, accumulation of stones in the house of Constant Abeels and Maurice who is loosing weight by the day. The events have a catastrophic effect on Brüsel. Time is of the essence.

La Théorie du grain de sable – promtional video released by Casterman (in French)

About the Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Lakes International Comics Art Festival LogoA huge line up of both British and globe-spanning international comics talent is being lined up for next year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival, taking place 14th – 16th October 2016.

International guests include Benoit Peeters, with more to be announced next year.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is the only one of its kind in the UK, taking place in one of the UK’s most beautiful areas – the English Lake District in the North West of the country, in the market town of Kendal. Modelled on European-style festivals, such as Angoulême in France, it takes over the whole town for a weekend of comic art. Its aim is to celebrate the whole spectrum of comic art, inspiring existing comic art fans and creators and, it hopes, generating new audiences and creators too. It invests in creators through a commissioning programme and has an emphasis on developing international collaborations.

The hugely successful 2014 Festival in Kendal featured a stellar cast of both British and international creators and a number of special exhibitions, and attracted thousands of fans young and old to the Lake District town.

The Festival’s dedicated organisers are determined to build on last year’s visitor numbers still further, reflecting their aim to deliver a truly European-style comics festival involving the whole of the local community and visitors in a truly unique comics experience.

Festival Sponsors and Benefactors

Arts Council LogoThe Patrons of the Festival are comic creators Boulet, Sean Phillips, Bryan Talbot, Mary Talbot and Emma Vieceli, and Stephen L. Holland, owner of the award-winning independent comic shop Page 45 in Nottingham.

The Festival is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, with funding from Cumbria County CouncilSouth Lakeland District Council and Kendal Town Councilworking in partnership with the Brewery Arts Centre and Kendal College.

Commercial sponsors include Choose South CumbriaKendalBID,Specsavers and the Westmorland Shopping Centre.

Post a Comment

© 2009-2020 Malta Comic Con

Web Design: Elaine Vella Catalano


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?