Mind Probes At The Ready! Presenters Revealed for Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Lakes International Comic Art Festival Presenters 2015

The presenters selected to wield the mind probes at year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival (Saturday 17th – Sunday 18th October 2015) have been announced, and include some top names in the world of British comics journalism and academia, including Panel Borders host Alex Fitch, Paul Gravett, Dr Mel Gibson, John McShane,and Orbital Comics’ Chris Thompson.

Author Mary Talbot, Festival director and comic artist Sean Phillips and Stephan Beaujean from the Angoulême International Comics Festival will also present panels.

The key presenters are a vital part of the Festival’s make up, already preparing their mind probes to find out more about the many comic creators who will attend the weekend-long event in October, whose guests include Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, Canadian comic superstars Darwyn Cooke and Kathryn and Stuart Immonen, Simpsons Comics artist Bill Morrison (thanks to the National Cartoonists Society in the US), top bande dessine artist Boulet, Japanese Shojo manga artist Akiko Hatsu – and many, many more.

Along with a range of great art exhibitions, the free Clock Tower venue will play host to a huge range of creators and independent comic publishers. The Lakes Festival’s Family Zone will feature kids and their parents many special events and workshops, offering a thrilling journey into the world of comics over the weekend.

And, along with panels and mind probing, there will be plenty of fun for all ages on the streets of Kendal – comics fun for all ages brought to you in partnership with local and national business, arts funders both national and international.

[divider]

• Tickets for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival are on sale now from the Brewery Arts Festival – Book Now

• For the latest news on the 2015 Lakes International Comic Art Festival visit: www.comicartfestival.com

• Sign up for the Festival’s newsletter here for the latest news!

[divider]

Presenters: Core Team

Alex Fitch
Alex Fitch

Alex Fitch is the presenter of the UK’s only weekly radio show about comics – Panel Borders – broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM, which we regularly promote here on downthetubes, the Arts Council radio station in London. Panel Borders has been running since 2007 and guests on the show have included Raymond Briggs, Simone Lia, Régis Loisel, Rutu Modan, Alan Moore, Marjane Satrapi, Joann Sfar, David Shrigley, Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware and many others.

Alex is also an assistant editor of Electric Sheep Magazine online and commissions a monthly comic strip for the cult film periodical, with contributing artists including Hannah Berry, Joe Decie, Howard Hardiman, Douglas Noble, Mark Stafford, and many more.

He has lectured on pop culture at the Science Museum, London, and has also been published on the subject of film by University of Chicago Press and the University Press of Mississippi.

Website: www.panelborders.wordpress.com

John Freeman
John Freeman

This bloke looks just plain scary. Writer, editor and publisher John Freeman has worked in the British comics industry for over 25 years, initially as a designer then editor of Marvel UK’s Doctor Who Magazine, then as an integral part of the Marvel 1992 ‘Genesis’ project conceived by Paul Neary, which launched a number of top-selling comics from the company on both sides of the Atlantic, including Death’s Head II and Marvel UK’s 2000AD rival, Overkill.

He has been both publicity officer and Director of the Lancaster Literature Festival, and Managing Editor at Titan Magazines, as hands on editor of titles such as Star Trek Magazine, Star Wars Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine. He’s been heavily involved in digital media since 1999, helping develop an avatar-based social media community and, at ROK Global, has both written and edited a number of audio comics for ROK Comics, whose titles include Team M.O.B.I.L.E., Houdini Adventures and The Beatles Story.

As a freelancer, he runs the downthetubes British comics web site, and continues to write comics including Crucible, a creator-owned science fiction adventure co-created with 2000AD artist Smuzz.

Web: www.downthetubes.net

Dr Mel Gibson
Dr Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson is a UK based comics scholar and consultant who’s run training and promotional events about comics, manga and graphic novels for libraries, schools and other organizations since 1993, when she contributed to Graphic Account on developing graphic novels collections for 16-25 year olds, published by the Youth Libraries Group.

She runs also training events on working with young adults in libraries and working with picture books.>As a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University specialising in teaching and research relating to children and young people, she has a huge interest in visual literacies. She is a National Teaching Fellow and writes about Teaching and Learning in Higher Education in the UK. This writing has also encompassed advising on successfully completing a Humanities PhD in Britain. Tome Reader, located on Mel’s website offers support, guidance and humour about this particular academic challenge.

Mel’s doctoral thesis was on British women’s memories of their girlhood comics reading, which ties in to her training work, and her MA thesis also focused on comics. She has published a number of articles and chapters related to this research and about other aspects of comics, graphic novels and manga. She has presented papers at many conferences and has been involved in organising strands on comics, pedagogy and visual literacies.

Mel has also worked extensively with television and radio, promoting and enthusing about comics, graphic novels and manga, including the BBC4 series Comics Britannia.

Web: www.dr-mel-comics.co.uk

Paul Gravett
Paul Gravett. Photo: Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons

Paul Gravett is a London-based freelance writer and curator who has worked in comics publishing and promotion since 1981. His comics career began manning the Fast Fiction table at the bi-monthly Westminster Hall Saturday comic marts, inviting anybody to sell their homemade comics from it, with all proceeds going to the creator. From there, he worked on pssst! magazine, then launched Escape Magazine in 1983, co-edited/ published with Peter Stanbury, showcasing the cream of the alternative cartoonists of the 1980s.

Under the Escape Publishing imprint, he co-published Violent Cases in 1987, the first collaboration between Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, three volumes of Eddie Campbell’s Alec between 1984 and 1986, and London’s Dark in 1988 by James Robinson and Paul Johnson.

Between 1992 and 2001 he was the director of The Cartoon Art Trust, a UK charity dedicated to preserving and promoting the best of British cartoon art and caricature. He has curated numerous exhibitions of comic art in Britain and in Europe, and since 2003, has been the director of Comica, the London International Comics Festival

Paul is the author of a number of books including Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics (2004) and Great British Comics: Celebrating A Century Of Ripping Yarns & Wizard Wheezes (2006). His latest books are Comics Art, first published by Tate Publishing (2013) and Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK with John Harris Dunning, published by The British Library. This accompanied the exhibition of the same name at The British Library, the largest exhibition of British comics ever held in the UK, which attracted some 60,000 visitors between May 2nd and August 19th 2014.

He is also the editor of The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics (2008) and 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die (2011). He continues to write about comics for various periodicals, including The Guardian, The Times, The Comics Journal, Time Out and more.

Web: www.paulgravett.com

Kate Kessler
Kate Kessler

Kate Kessler watched Spirited Away at the age of five, and fell irreversibly in love with all things Japanese from that point onwards. Later, she was introduced to many comics and cartoons that shaped her into the person she is today, from superheroes to cartoon bands.

Her love of all things Japanese extends to anything cartoonish and dark and although she has yet to visit Japan itself, she’s hoping to discover more about its culture at the lakes International Comic Art Festival in October.

Peter Kessler
Peter Kessler

Peter Kessler has been reading comics since before he could read (he started out by just looking at the pictures). He is the author of The Complete Guide to Asterix’, a book-by-book analysis of the Gaulish warrior’s adventures.

Peter has studied the history of comics and graphic novels in Coursera’s MOOC, and is currently working with Oxford University to establish a Professorship in comics.

When not reading comics, he has also been a BAFTA-winning TV producer, a furniture-maker, a lecturer on German silent cinema, and most recently he founded a primary school in North London.

He is also the proud possessor of a letter written to him by Stan Lee when he was 11, which ended with the words, ‘Many thanks for your enthusiasm, Pete. It’s true believers like you who keep the flame of Marveldom alive. Excelsior!’

Aileen McEvoy
Aileen McEvoy

Aileen McEvoy is the Development Associate with LICAF, working on commissions, exhibitions, new partnerships etc. A relative newcomer to the world of comic art, she has worked in the arts for over 30 years, mainly in the north west of England.

Starting her career in the visual arts and museums, Aileen moved on to senior positions with Arts Council England including Director of Visual and Media Arts and Regional Director North West. Since leaving the Arts Council in 2010, she’s continued to be actively involved in the arts and heritage. In Spring 2015 Aileen was guest curator and art commissioner for the Lakes Culture/Lakes Ignite programme.

John McShane
John McShane

John McShane is a lecturer in English & Scottish Literature and Film Studies. He is the co-founder of the Scottish Screenwriters web site, which boasts over 600 members. His latest book, Robert Burns in Edinburgh was released last year. He’s currently preparing for publication The Glasgow Looking-Glass, a reprint of the world’s first comic (1825) with introduction and historical notes. Due in 2015, this work will feature in exhibitions on the history of comics in Glasgow and Geneva (the birthplace of Rodolphe Töpffer, inventor of the graphic novel.

John was co-founder of Aka Books & Comics in Glasgow, a shop credited with furthering the careers of Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, Jock, Frank Quitely and many other artists and writers. The signing sessions and interviews he organized included Will Eisner, Dave Sim, Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and many other prominent figures on the scene.

His foray into publishing with Fat Man Press led to the famous independent comic The Bogie Man. Created by legendary figures John Wagner, Alan Grant, and Robin Smith, the comic was adapted for the small screen by the BBC and the programme was nominated for a BAFTA Award.

John is also on the committee of the Glasgow International Film Festival. During the Festival John led the Q&As for famous American magician Ricky Jay, Producer Molly Bernstein, Watchmen creator Dave Gibbons, as well as local lads Mark Millar and Frank Quitely.

Stuart Medley
Stuart Medley

Stuart Medley has worked as a professional illustrator and graphic designer for 15 years with clients including the Imperial War Museums in the UK, and he was Deanne Cheuk’s comics artist for her ground breaking Mu magazines.

In the 1990s he was a contributor to, and editor of, [sic] BAG Comics, now in the Michael Hill Collection at the Australian National Library. He is the illustrator of Crouch and Pearce’s Doing Research in Design, using comics for each explanatory diagram. His comic, The Great Tree was the winning entry in the 2013 Adventures in Comics competition in the UK as judged by critic, Paul Gravett.

Stuart was also a comics artist In residence at the Maison des Auteurs, Angoulême, France throughout the winter of 2013/14. He is currently working on his first long-form comic. He has a PhD in the area of picture perception and is the author of The Picture in Design, which seeks to explain the communicative potential of the drawn image to art directors and designers, and ss a founding partner, art director and illustrator for Hidden Shoal Recordings, a critically acclaimed record label with a roster of international artists.

Tumblr: http://whydraw.tumblr.com/

Bruce Mutard
Bruce Mutard

Bruce Mutard has been writing and drawing comics for 26 years, producing four graphic novels: The Sacrifice (Allen & Unwin, 2008), The Silence (Allen & Unwin, 2009), A Mind of Love (Black House Comics, 2011), The Bunker (Image Comics, 2003) and a collection of short stories, Stripshow (Milk Shadow Books, 2012).

He also has had short comics stories in Overland, Meanjin, The Australian Book Review and Tango among others, and has illustrated several books for Macmillan Educations’ Stories From Australia’s History, series.

He has just completed a Master of Design in comics studies on the interaction of words and pictures at Monash University. He has conducted many comic workshops, and given talks at Melbourne Writers Festival, NMIT, RMIT, Edith Cowan University, University of Melbourne, Monash University, and presented papers on comic theory at Oxford University, Loughborough University and University of Arts, London among others.

Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson is a writer, podcaster and speaker who has appeared at conventions across three continents (and is currently aiming for four!).

Chris hosts the popular Pop Culture Hound podcast and by day works as Events Manager at Orbital Comics in central London, where he arranges gallery shows, signings, talks and art classes. In the rare moments when he’s not working, Chris is often headed to a festival or event of some kind, often as a guest speaker or host.

• You can find Chris online at popculturehound.com, follow him on Twitter @popculturehound, subscribe to the Pop Culture Hound podcast via iTunes

[divider]

• Tickets for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival are on sale now from the Brewery Arts Festival – Book Now

• For the latest news on the 2015 Lakes International Comic Art Festival visit: www.comicartfestival.com

• Sign up for the Festival’s newsletter here for the latest news!

News Team

News Team

This account features guest posts by a wide variety of comics industry professionals, often cross posted with permission from their web sites. Our thanks to them for their support.

2 thoughts on “Mind Probes At The Ready! Presenters Revealed for Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: