Carole Tait at the Cumbria Life Culture Awards presentation
Kendal, 16th February 2017: The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is delighted to announce its full guest list for its Festival Weekend in Kendal in October 2017 (13th – 15th).

This year, by popular demand, the award-winning Festival is launching a new, limited edition Festival Passes system giving exclusive access to a huge range of events through the weekend. Both Day and Weekend Passes are available to buy now.

The family-friendly fifth Lakes International Comic Art Festival’s plans for this year include special tributes to Will Eisner, creator of “The Spirit” and Tove Jansson, creator of “The Moomins”, plus further commissioning of new comics work.

The Festival will open with a “Quick on The Draw” Gala Night, as talents such as Sergio Aragonés and Tom Richmond compete (in a friendly way) to deliver a fully interactive feast of fast-paced cartooning – and will include the awarding of the first ever Sergio Aragonés Award for International Excellence in Comic Art.

Over 48 internationally-acclaimed comic creators will be joining previously-announced guest Sergio Aragones  (MAD, Groo the Wanderer) in Kendal in October, including, from the US and Canada, Jason Latour (SpiderGwen, the award-winning Southern Bastards, Wolverine); Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo)’; illustrator and cartoonist Michael Cho, who has designed this year’s promotional art for LICAF’s 2017 artwork; leading children’s illustrator, writer, book designer and graphic novelist Claudia Davila; Eisner Award winner Ryan North (Adventure Time, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Dinosaur Comics); award-winning artist and writer Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer, Skim, Teenage Age Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tomb Raider and Hulk); Jillian Tamaki (Supermutant Magic Academy); and Chip Zdarsky (Howard the Duck, Sex Criminals, Starlord).

From Australia, inspirational comics creator Bruce Mutard (The Sacrifice) who brings a “caravan” of some of the best and up-and-coming artists and writers from Australia with him.

From Europe, guests include Belgian artist Ivan Petrus, who is returning to the festival from Belgium to continue the story he began in Kendal in 2014; Benoit Peeters – the UK’s Professor of Graphic Fiction and Comic Art (Lancaster University in association with LICAF);  making a very rare convention appearance, Norwegian artist Jason, referred to as one of the medium’s finest storytellers with and unmistakeable style and an approach to narrative like no-one else’s; and award-winning Belgian comic author, animator, writer and illustrator Aimée de Jongh (Snippers, The Return of the Honey Buzzard)

The Festival will also have a special delegation of creative talent from Finland, in partnership with the Finnish Institute, along with many Moomin-themed celebrations. The line-up we can reveal so far includes Johanna Rajola, the equivalent of our Comics Laureate in Finland and one of Finland’s leading comic artists; and comics art rock star Petteri Tikkanen.

From the UK and Ireland, the line-up includes Comics Laureate and Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard; web comic maestro (and more) John Allison; comic creatrix extraordinaire, podcaster and satirist Hannah Berry; “graphic journalist” Darryl Cunningham, who will be launching his new book, Graphic Science; the hard core of VIZGraham Dury and Simon ThorpJonathan Edwards (NME, The Guardian Tank Girl) and his partner FeltMistress (aka Louise Evans), who have been commissioned by LICAF to produce an homage to one of their favourite comics creators, Tove Jansson; “the artists’ artist” Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy and much, much more); British/Japanese artist Fumio Obata, who has been commissioned by LICAF to explore the impact of the 2011 Fukushima Disaster in Japan, a commission launching at the Festival; team Metaphrog, whose work straddles children’s and adult’s comics with a surreal style which has won them many awards and acclaim; award-winning North West-based illustrator Emmeline Pidgen; multi-talented artist and writer Lew Stringer (Beano, EPIC, TOXIC, VIZ and creator of Combat Colin), a man with an unequalled knowledge of British comics past and present; Festival patron Bryan Talbot (2000AD, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright), recognised as one of the most influential British comic artists ever, who will be launching the fifth and last volume of his epic Grandville series at the festival this year; fellow LICAF patron Emma Vieceli (BREAKS, Doctor Who); and Christian Ward, co-creator of ODY-C, described as “one of the most artistically ambitious books on the market”.

Celebrating 40 years of the SF weekly comic 2000AD will be Brendan McCarthy, one of the most gifted of British comic artists (Strange Days, Judge Dredd, Spider-Man: Fever, Dream Gang and designer, Mad Max Fury Road); the audacious, brilliant and insanely imaginative Peter Milligan (Bad Company, Shade: The Changing Man, The Mummy); and former 2000AD editor and writer Steve MacManus, who’ll be telling some fascinating stories of The Mighty One and the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.

“We’re hugely excited to be bringing such a diverse range of comic creators to Kendal this year, enthuses Festival Director Julie Tait. “We also think our new Festival Pass ticketing will encourage a lot more ‘experimentation’ from visitors, finding out more about comics from around the world than perhaps they ever have before.

“Our international exchange programme, bringing ever more incredible guests from around the globe has just exploded this year, she adds. “We think our line-up will be pretty hard to be beat.

“We’re also delighted to be expanding our range of commissioned comics works, side by side with the Festival. This is another part of what makes our Festival unique to the UK.”

Buy your tickets for the fifth Lakes International Comic Art Festival here

Web Links
Festival-related imagery for publicity purposes is available from the Festival Flickr page
• For all events information visit the Lakes International Comic Art Festival web site: www.comicartfestival.com | Find the Lakes International Comic Art Festival on Facebook | Follow the Festival on Twitter @comicartfest
• For more information on the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, contact: Julie Tait: julie@kendalartsinternational.com
New Festival web site
The Festival’s all-new web site offers full ticket sales, guest and Festival information plus more Festival news. Bookmark it now: www.comicartfestival.com

Festival Guests from the United States

Sergio Aragonés
Stan Sakai
From the United StatesSergio Aragones  (MAD, Groo the Wanderer); Jason Latour (SpiderGwen, the award-winning Southern Bastards, Wolverine); Luke McGarry (Sad Chewie); Steve McGarry (Badlands, Shoot, Match, storyboard artist on Minions, Despicable Me 2, President of the National Cartoonists Society); Tom Richmond (MAD, recipient of the Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, Reuben Awards, USA); Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo)’ and Rick Stromoski, one of the America’s most popular and prolific cartoonists.

Festival Guests from Canada

Ryan North
From Canada: Illustrator and cartoonist Michael Cho, best-known for his Silver and Bronze age superhero comics aesthetics, who has designed this year’s promotional art for LICAF’s 2017 artwork; leading children’s illustrator, writer, book designer and graphic novelist Claudia Davila; New York Times bestselling author, master of the subtle, understated and bitter-sweet, John Martz (Burt’s Way Home); Eisner Award winner Ryan North (Adventure Time, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Dinosaur Comics); award-winning artist and writer Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer, Skim, Teenage Age Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tomb Raider and Hulk); Jillian Tamaki (Supermutant Magic Academy); and Chip Zdarsky (Howard the Duck, Sex Criminals)

Festival Guests from the UK and Eire

Emmeline Pidgen
From the UK and Ireland: Comics Laureate and Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard; web comic maestro (and more) John Allison, described as the ultimate indie comic creator and respected the world over; LICAF collaborator and inspiration Dan Berry, who will again adopt a variety of roles at the festival this year from self-publisher to orchestrator of our 24-hour comic marathon, pen-maker to podcaster; comic creatrix extraordinaire, podcaster and satirist Hannah Berry; award winner Gareth Brookes (The Black Project, A Thousand Coloured Castles), a man of many media; “graphic journalist” Darryl Cunningham, who will be launching his new book, Graphic Science; Joe Decie, whose new book, Collecting Sticks, published by Jonathan Cape this April came about in part thanks to support from LICAF; the hard core of VIZ, Graham Dury and Simon ThorpJonathan Edwards (NME, The Guardian, Tank Girl) and his partner FeltMistress (aka Louise Evans), who have been commissioned by LICAF to produce an homage to one of their favourite comics creators, Tove Jansson; the Etherington Brothers (the Phoenix Comic, Transformers); “the artists’ artist” Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy and much, much more); British/Japanese artist Fumio Obata, who has been commissioned by LICAF to explore the impact of the 2011 Fukushima Disaster in Japan, a commission launching at the Festival; Sean Phillips (Fatale); one of the UK’s best and most popular cartoonists, Tony Husband (Private Eye); all-ages comic creator Marc Jackson (Aces Weekly); humour comics writer and publisher Tim Quinn (Sparky, Doctor Who, Marvel Comics); freelance illustrator, comics creator and author Paula Knight (The Facts of Life); Kermit Letheridge and Mal Earl, who will be revealing the graphic poem project that began with a meeting at LICAF 2014; team Metaphrog, whose work straddles children’s and adult’s comics with a surreal style which has won them many awards and acclaim; award-winning North West-based illustrator Emmeline Pidgen; multi-talented artist and writer Lew Stringer (Beano, EPIC, TOXIC, VIZ and creator of Combat Colin), a man with an unequalled knowledge of British comics past and present; Festival patron Bryan Talbot (2000AD, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright), recognised as one of the most influential British comic artists ever, who will be launching the fifth and last volume of his epic Grandville series at the festival this year; Festival patron and internationally acclaimed scholar Mary M. Talbot (Dotter of her Father’s Eyes, Sally Heathcote, Suffragette and The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia) ; LICAF patron Emma Vieceli (BREAKS, Doctor Who, Alex Rider, Manga Shakespeare); Christian Ward, co-creator of ODY-C, described as “one of the most artistically ambitious books on the market”; and Eleanor Yule, who will be presenting BBC documentary on Tove Jansson
Brendan McCarthyCelebrating 40 years of the SF weekly comic 2000AD we have Brendan McCarthy, one of the most gifted of British comic artists (Strange Days, Judge Dredd, Spider-Man: Fever, Dream Gang and designer, Mad Max Fury Road); the audacious, brilliant and insanely imaginative Peter Milligan (Bad Company, Skin, Shade: The Changing Man, The Mummy); and former 2000AD editor and writer Steve MacManus, who’ll be telling some fascinating stories of The Mighty One and the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.

Festival Guests from Europe

Aimée de Jongh
From Europe: Belgian artist Ivan Petrus, who is returning to the festival from Belgium to continue the story he began in Kendal in 2014. Ivan dedicates himself to exploring the Great War through personal stories bringing them to life through comics, painting and performance; Benoit Peeters – the UK’s Professor of Graphic Fiction and Comic Art (Lancaster University in association with LICAF); Spanish comics expert Miguel Dominguez, who knows more about manga and the Minions than you can shake a minion at;  making a very rare convention appearance, Norwegian artist Jason, referred to as one of the medium’s finest storytellers with and unmistakeable style and an approach to narrative like no-one else’s; and award-winning Belgian comic author, animator, writer and illustrator Aimée de Jongh (Snippers, The Return of the Honey Buzzard)
Petteri TikkanenThe Festival will have a special delegation of creative talent from Finland, in partnership with the Finnish Institute, along with many Moomin-themed celebrations.
The line-up we can reveal so far includes Johanna Rojola, the equivalent of our Comics Laureate in Finland – and one of Finland’s leading comic artists; and comics art rock star, Petteri Tikkanen

Festival Guests from Australia

Bruce Mutard
Bruce Mutard and Stuart Medley return to Kendal in 2017 to talk through their work, experience and processes. Photo: Kendal College
From Australia: the inspirational comics creator Bruce Mutard (The Sacrifice) brings a “caravan” of some of the best and up-and-coming artists and writers from down under, including comics creator and educator Stuart Medley, who was a comics artist-in-residence at the Maison des Auteurs, Angoulême, France in 2013/14 and has presented his character design workshops in the UK, Europe and Australia. Stuart is currently researching cartooning to improve public health.

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 this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival, taking place 13th – 15th October 2017.
The 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 Festival’s dedicated organisers are determined to build on this year’s growing visitor numbers still further in 2017, 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.
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