Kendal’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival is famed for pushing the envelope when it comes to its events programme, but casting world-famous comic artist and illustrator Chip Zdarsky as a Life Model? That’s taking things into the stratosphere!
Over the years, the Festival has run many a “Live Drawing” event – and this year will have those too, right from the start with its Gala Opening “Quick on the Draw” event with Sergio AragonésLuke McGarryRick Stromoski and Tom Richmond, MC’ed by Steve McGarry.
But Chip, the co-creator and illustrator of the critically-acclaimed Sex Criminals, has agreed to bring a twist to this year’s Big Comic Draw event on the Sunday afternoon of the Festival – not with onstage sketching, but by being sketched on stage, instead!
“I was grappling with a theme or similar to propose to Chris Thompson, one of our regular, fantastic Festival presenters, because we always like to give him a challenge,” Festival Director Julie Tait reveals, “when a stroke of genius occurred, quite by accident,
while I was at the Toronto Comic Art Festival this year, who have been one of our key partners.
Chip Zdarsky was at the event and told me he doesn’t want to draw live on this occasion but, playing to his strengths as showman, comedian and more, and encouraged by Sean Phillips, he agreed he would love to be a life model at the Festival. So he will provide us with four different poses for his event, with two people at a time drawing the appealing sight!
“He’s told us he’s packing some ‘fetching outfits’, so I think this could be a memorable event…”
Expect plenty of fun at the event, with Chip the focus of attention from Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead with Robert Kirkman), Jason Latour (Southern Bastards with Jason Aaron), Sean Phillips (Kill or be Killed and more with Ed Brubaker) and Christian Ward (ODY-C with Matt Fraction).
Chip Zdarsky creates comic books and personal movies from his home in Toronto, Ontario. For almost 14 years he worked at the National Post newspaper as a columnist, illustrator and Spider-Man under the name Steve Murray. In 2013, he made the jump from the dying print industry to a different dying print industry as a comic-boy, co-creating the award-winning comic Sex Criminals with Matt Fraction.
As a writer, he also gently rebooted Howard the Duck (for Marvel) and Jughead (for Archie) and didn’t screw them up. He’s currently not screwing up Star-Lord, also for Marvel and says he will hopefully not screw up future projects.
Chip will also be giving a more traditional talk – “Chip on Chip” – during the Festival weekend, as part of the numerous events covered by the new Weekend Pass. He’ll celebrate his weird and wonderful path of creativity with namesake Chip Mosher, Head of Content and Senior Director of Communication at ComiXology and a comic expert/enthusiast extraordinaire.

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.

This year, the Lakes Festival is moving to a pass system for the festival. The main events programme will be exclusive to pass-holders, there will be exclusive guest-related goodies and a fancy wristband identifying you as a festival supporter.

The full programme of events is now live on the Festival web site, along with details about its new Weekend Pass.
 Buy your tickets for the fifth Lakes International Comic Art Festival here
There is nothing “off the old block” about this Chip! From Howard the Duck to Sex Criminals, Chip Zdarsky is the ultimate challenger on and off the page constantly pushing boundaries in style, subject matter and, arguably, taste.
Twitter: @zdarsky
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