Kendal 14 October 2016: Charlie Adlard, best known as the comic artist behind The Walking Dead series, has been appointed as the UK’s Comics Laureate. The Comics Laureate is an ambassadorial and educational role for the comic genre and aims to raise awareness of the impact comics can have in terms of increasing literacy and creativity. The Comics Laureate appointment is made biennially to a distinguished comics creator, writer or artist in recognition of their outstanding achievement in the genre.
The announcement was made at the opening of the Lakes International Comic Art Festivaltaking place from 14 – 16 October in Kendal, Cumbria.
The appointment is the result of a rigorous nomination and voting process. The Comics Laureate works with schools, educators and the comic community to unlock the potential of comics as a tool for learning and creativity. A key focus will be working to increase the acceptance of comics as a creative artform in schools, libraries and througout the education system.
Charlie Adlard, UK Comics Laureate said: “I’m delighted and deeply honoured to be appointed as the Comics Laureate. The power of comics to encourage learning and develop literacy shouldn’t be underestimated. Comics can connect with people who may never pick up a normal book and really help encourage a love of reading. I see this as a great opportunity to bring the wonder of comics to a wider audience.”
Charlie Adlard is the artist behind the highly successful The Walking Dead comic series, now a popular TV series and video game. He’s also worked on many other comic projects including2000AD, Mars Attacks, The X-Files, Judge Dredd and X-Men.
Charlie Adlard picks up the baton from Dave Gibbons, the first Comics Laureate appointed in February 2015. Comic artist Dave Gibbons is best known for his artwork on Watchmen as well as numerous creative projects for Marvel, DC Comics and 2000AD. Dave Gibbons attended the Lakes International Comic Art Festival opening event in Kendal, Cumbria to hand over the title and welcome the appointment of Charlie.
Dave Gibbons, the UK’s first Comics Laureate said: “It’s been a great honour to fill the post of Comics Laureate for the past two years. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to talk about my love of the medium, and its role in education and literacy. Most importantly, there has been an increasingly positive response from teachers and school librarians to the use of comics in schools. However, there is still work to be done and I look forward to supporting the new Laureate from behind the scenes.”
Working closely with the Lakes International Comics Art Festival, the Comics Laureate will champion the role of comics in improving literacy through a programme of educational visits, workshop events, guest appearances and conferences.
Julie Tait, Director, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival said: “This is a really vital role for the comics artform. The Comics Laureate isn’t just a title; we already have a programme of events taking shape that will ensure we reach out to new audiences and raise the profile and the understanding of the importance of comics for education, inspiration and literacy. We are delighted that the Lakes International Comics Art Festival can play a role in co-ordinating the Comics Laureate programme.”
Charlie Adlard’s appointment takes effect from February 2017. Guest appearances include an event targeted at school librarians, literacy co-ordinators and those involved in literacy in schools in Birmingham; an event at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May, and a guest appearance at the Amiens Comic Festival in June. Additional dates and appearances will be added throughout the year.
The Comics Laurate is kindly supported by Peters, the UK’s leading supplier of books and furniture for nurseries, schools, academies, and public libraries. Peters is passionate about inspiring children to read, whatever their age.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns for its fourth year to Kendal, Cumbria, from 14 to 16 October 2016. Celebrating the amazing world of comic artists, creators and writers, the weekend festival takes over the scenic town of Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District. The festival brings the biggest names in comic art to Cumbria. There will be over 70 special guests from across the comic world.
Featuring live comic drawing, films, exhibitions, comic trails, workshops, performance, master-classes, a free family zone and independent publishers, the events programme is bursting with opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the leading comic artists and writers from across the world.
The announcement of the second UK Comics Laureate for 2017 will take place at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival opening event – Asterix vs Tintin: Clash of the Toon Titans, at Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, on Friday 14 October 7 – 8:15pm.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES AND PHOTOGRAPHY/ARTWORK REQUESTS TO:
The Lake District – For Comics and Quiet Imaginings by Charlie Adlard
Walking Dead art by Charlie Adlard
Cosmic Rays album art by Charlie Adlard
Festival in a Flash!
Tickets for the main events at this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival are on sale now – and a special “Clash of the Toon Titans”, pitting Tintin against Asterix, will launch this year’s weekend-long celebrations in October.
The festival features comic artists from around the world, as well as performance, film, exhibitions, comic trails, workshops, master classes, live drawing and independent retailers and publishers. The events programme is bursting with opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the leading comic artists and writers from across the world – see them draw, talk about their work and bring comics to life.
The 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 Lakes International Comic Art Festival is proud to be supporting the work of OCD Action. As the UK’s largest and most comprehensive OCD charity, OCD Action is able to provide accurate and up-to-date information on OCD and related conditions. The charity runs a helpline, advocacy service, support group network and forum to help people with the disorder, and also works to raise awareness in the media and campaigns to improve access to quality treatment for OCD.