Lakes International Comic Art Festival announces 2017 guest list
The UK's biggest celebration of comic arts has announced its guest list of world-renowned names, set to appear in Cumbria later this year.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will return to Kendal in October, with almost 50 top cartoonists, illustrators and writers confirmed for this fifth annual event.
Joining previously-announced guest Sergio Aragones, of MAD Magazine and creator of Groo the Wanderer, in travelling overseas for the event will be US and Canada-based artists: Jason Latour (Wolverine); Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo); illustrator and cartoonist Michael Cho, who has designed this year’s promotional art for the festival; leading children’s illustrator Claudia Davila; Eisner Award-winner Ryan North; award-winning artist and writer Mariko Tamaki (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hulk); Jillian Tamaki (Supermutant Magic Academy); and Chip Zdarsky (Howard the Duck).
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 his home nation with him.
European guests include Belgian artist Ivan Petrus, who is returning to the festival to continue the story he began in Kendal in 2014; Benoit Peeters – the UK’s Professor of Graphic Fiction and Comic Art; making a very rare convention appearance, Norwegian artist Jason, referred to as one of the medium’s finest storytellers; and award-winning Belgian comic author Aimée de Jongh (Snippers, The Return of the Honey Buzzard).
A special delegation of creative talent from Finland will be in attendance, contributing to the many Moomin-themed celebrations.
The line-up so far includes Johanna Rajola, the equivalent of the Comics Laureate in Finland, and comic art "rock star" Petteri Tikkanen.
The family-friendly event'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.
Homegrown talents set to appear, include Comics Laureate and Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard; web comic maestro John Allison; podcaster and satirist Hannah Berry; “graphic journalist” Darryl Cunningham, who will be launching his new book, Graphic Science; Viz creators Graham Dury and Simon Thorp; Jonathan Edwards (NME, The Guardian) and his partner FeltMistress (aka Louise Evans); Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy); Fumio Obata, who has been commissioned to explore the impact of the 2011 Fukushima Disaster in Japan - a project that will be launching at the festival; team Metaphrog, whose surreal style which has won them many awards; North West-based illustrator Emmeline Pidgen; Lew Stringer (Beano, Combat Colin); festival patron Bryan Talbot (2000AD), who will be launching the fifth volume of his Grandville series at the festival; Emma Vieceli (Doctor Who); and Christian Ward, co-creator of ODY-C.
This year, by popular demand, the award-winning festival is launching a new 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 Festival will open with a Gala Night, as artists including Sergio Aragonés and Tom Richmond compete to deliver a fully-interactive "quick draw" cartooning – and will include the awarding of the first-ever Sergio Aragonés Award for International Excellence in Comic Art.
Festival director Julie Tait said: "We're hugely excited to be bringing such a diverse range of comic creators to Kendal this year.
"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. 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."