Sergio Aragonés
Sergio Aragonés
Kendal 14 October 2016: The National Cartoonists Society, in partnership with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced the creation of The NCS Sergio Aragonés International Award for Excellence in Comic Art. This honour, named for the famed MAD Magazine cartoonist, will be given annually to an exceptional comic artist, animator, or cartoonist at the Lakes Comic Art Festival beginning in 2017.

The NCS is known for its annual presentation of the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, the highest and most coveted award in the field of cartooning in the United States and Canada. NCS president, Bill Morrison explained, “The NCS Sergio Aragonés Award was created to reach beyond North America and recognise and honour outstanding artists who work in the cartoon and comic arts in all corners of the world. ”

NCS Foundation president, Steve McGarry made the announcement in Kendal to the attendees and guests of the Lakes Festival Friday during the festival’s opening night programme. McGarry stated, “The National Cartoonists Society has a proud 70 year tradition of honouring the best cartoon and comics artists in our profession through the annual NCS Reuben awards.

“Although artists from as far afield as the UK, Australia and the Far East have been honoured in the Reuben Awards, I’m delighted that the Society has partnered with the Lakes Festival to create this new award that’s specifically designed to celebrate outstanding international talent. It’s also very appropriate that the award will be given in the name of one of the world’s most acclaimed and beloved cartoonists, the legendary Sergio Aragonés.”

A jury comprised of Sergio Aragonés, the sitting National Cartoonists Society president, the sitting NCS Foundation president, and two principals of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival will convene annually to select a recipient. The honouree will then be invited to attend the festival as a distinguished guest and receive the award.

Julie Tait, Director of the Lakes Festival remarked “Sergio Aragonés is an icon and inspiration to cartoonists across the world and the National Cartoonists Society consists of some of the leading lights of the medium, both icons and new talent.

“Our festival aims to be truly international, to celebrate all genres of comic art and to encourage people to recognise comics as representing great art for everyone. This new award is a major new step towards our goal and we are extremely honoured and grateful to the NCS for this opportunity”.



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Web Links
• The 2016 Lakes International Comic Art Festival Programme is available to view and download here
• In a hurry? Here’s the Festival in a Flash!

• Buy your Festival tickets now from The Brewery, Kendal – media short link – | Box Office 01539 725133 | Email

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 | 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:
Art by Sergio Aragones
Inside Mad poster by Sergio

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Lakes International Comic Art Festival Logo
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is the only one of its kind in the UK. Celebrating the world of comic art in all its guises, it is an annual weekend festival that takes over the town of Kendal on the edge of the Lake District each October. It features a formal events programme of live draws, performances, films and presentations, a free family zone, workshops, exhibitions, a “marketplace”, windows trails and more. It is truly international with leading creators from across the world and representing all genres of comic art attending as guests. The festival recognises both pioneers and icons in the field, as well as up-and-coming talent. It appeals to existing fans and also attracts new audiences. It also commissions new work and works in partnership with international festivals and organizations, including the NCS.
• For all events information visit the Lakes International Comic Art Festival web | Find the Lakes International Comic Art Festival on Facebook | Follow the Festival on Twitter @comicartfest
National Cartoonists Society
The National Cartoonists Society (NCS) is an organization of professional cartoonists with regional chapters in the United States and Canada. The Society had its origins during World War II when groups of cartoonists joined together to entertain troops overseas. They enjoyed each other’s company and after the war decided to meet on a regular basis. In 1946 the NCS was born.
NCS members work in many branches of cartooning, including advertising, animation, newspaper comic strips and syndicated single-panel cartoons, comic books, editorial cartoons, gag cartoons, graphic novels, greeting cards, magazine and book illustration and web comics.
The organization’s primary purposes are “to advance the ideals and standards of professional cartooning in its many forms”, “to promote and foster a social, cultural and intellectual interchange among professional cartoonists of all types” and “to stimulate and encourage interest in and acceptance of the art of cartooning by aspiring cartoonists, students and the general public.”
NCS Foundation president Steve McGarry
NCS Foundation president Steve McGarry

2016 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.
Guests include: Charlie AdlardEdmond BaudoinRoberto BartualJordi BernetDan BerryAdam BrockbankKate Charlesworth, Dave CraneRufus DaygloJoe DecieOliver EastThe Etherington BrothersDuncan FegredoRobin FurthTom GauldIsabel GreenbergBen HeggartyIlyaJoe KellySally KindbergPaula KnightAidan KochOlivier KuglerBryan Lee O’MalleyJohn MartzLuke McGarry and Steve McGarryDave McKeanMick McMahonLeah Moore and John Reppion.  Ken NiimuraBenoît PeetersSean PhillipsPaco RocaMartin RowsonFrank SantoroJade SarsonGilbert SheltonNicola StreetenBryan TalbotMary M. TalbotPaul ThomasCraig ThompsonUnaEmma Vieceli, the VIZ team, Tillie WaldenIan Williams and Connor Willumsen.
Joining this growing list of top international and British comics guests, in partnership with The Finnish Institute of London , will be artists Hanneriina Moisseinen , Virpi Oinonen , Ville Ranta, Johanna Rojola and Petteri Tikkanen , along with musicians Niko Kumpuvaara and Aleksi Ranta , the latter part of the Comics in Concert project.
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.
This year’s presenters are Warren BernardHannah BerryChris ButcherAlex FitchJohn FreemanMel GibsonPaul GravettPeter Kessler, John McShane and Chris Thompson.
A free Family Zone provides drop-in activities for all ages, alongside a series of fantastic workshops for kids and teenagers. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival brings the town together for a weekend to celebrate the amazing world of comic art. Among others, you’ll find Bunny and ChipOrson and Geoffrey (ZEEL) CouplandRobert DeasPaul Harrison-DaviesMarc JacksonLancaster Guardian cartoonist Jack KnightJoe Matthews of Funny Monster ComicsGraham Pearce (creator of Sgt Mike Battle), Sloth Comics,  Aidan SaundersJordan Vigay and Wizard’s Keep!
Exhibitors in the Comics Clock Tower “marketplace” and the Brewery Malt Room for 2016 include All Things ThomJoe Bailey Sculpture & DesignKathryn BriggsKeith BurnsSilvia CarrusJames ChapmanThe Cartoonists’ Club of Great BritainClockwork Watch FilmsZu DominiakEdieOPGary ErskineFungiiGet Well GamersSarah GraleyHappy Space SlothDaisy HillyardHitsville UKInk Splattery, the Jeff Hawke ClubDaisy HillyardLuke HydeTom KindleyRoger LangridgeJoe LathamDavid LeachLines of EnquiryAimee LockwoodAurora MelchorMidnight MilkAdam MurphyNever Ever AfterStray LinesRichard SwanThis Man, This Pete!Tiny PencilAmanda Eleanor TribbleMyfanwy TristramUniversity of Cumbria Comic Book CollectiveTom WardDan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard, Chris Welch, Andrew WildmanJennifer Winetrobe and Aneurin Wright.
Plus, look out for publishers Arctic Ring ComicsDisconnected Press, Fanfare/Ponent Mon, HumanoidsMyriad EditionsThe Phoenix, Self Made Hero, Soaring Penguin Press, TPub Comics and Wobbly Rock.
Retailers in the Clock Tower this year are First Age Comics, Forbidden Planet International, Imagination Station, Knot Like That, Orbital Comics and Page 45

Check out our “Festival in a Flash page for a quick run through of every ticketed event

• Buy your tickets now from The Brewery, Kendal – (Social media short link – | Box Office 01539 725133 | Email
Event ident images for all tickets events are up on the Festival Flickr page

• For all events information visit the Lakes International Comic Art Festival web | 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

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. It is supported by South Lakeland District Council, Kendal BID and Kendal Town Council
Our main sponsors are comiXology, Westmorland Shopping Centre, Choose Cumbria and the University of Cumbria. Our founder partners are the Brewery Arts Centre and Kendal College.
We are also supported by The Finnish Institute in London, Wallonie Bruxelles International, Institut Français du Royaume-Uni, Santander, Knockabout Press,Fanfare Press, GB Sasakawa Foundation, National Cartoonists Society, Premier Inn and Wacom.

Festival Charity: OCD Action

OCD Action LogoThe 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.
• For more information about OCD Action visit

Recent Festival Press Releases

Art by Steve McGarry, one of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival guests for 2016
Art by Steve McGarry, one of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival guests for 2016
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