2017 Lakes International Comic Art Festival Programme Revealed, some of the British Comics events highlighted

Art by Sergio Aragonés

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has just revealed its programme for its Festival Weekend in October 2017, celebrating comic art from across the world, and I’ve picked out just some of the highlights for fans of British comics.

The Festival Weekend features over 70 international guests, including Sergio AragonésStan Sakai, Comics Laureate Charlie Adlard, Hannah Berry, Melinda Gebbie, Jason Latour and many more.

Highlights of the weekend include events such as the Ultimate Comics Master Class with top MAD Magazine artist Tom Richmond; an in-depth interview event with Spider-Gwen artist Jason LaTour; the launch of new work by creators such as Mal Earl and Kermit Leveridge; the chance to meet the “insanely imaginative” 2000AD writer Peter Milligan; discover how comics can shine an uncomfortable light on our modern world with Hannah Berry, Darryl Cunningham and Fumio Obata; find out more about the art of top illustrator Michael Cho, who provided this year’s gorgeous Festival artwork;  meet Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai; and experience Finnish comics – and the Moomins! – as you have never experienced them before.

The full programme of events is now live on the Festival web site

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.

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

Among the highlights for fans of British comics:

LICAF 2017: Steve MacManus

Meet the Mighty One – A Celebration of 2000AD
Panel discussion, 15+ age recommendation
Saturday, 14 October, 10:30am – 11:30am
Main Theatre, Brewery Arts Centre

This event will celebrate one of the world’s longest running and most influential comics through the words of one of its most popular and successful editors, Steve MacManus. Steve’s recent book The Mighty One offers his unique, warm and witty insight into 2000AD’s golden age during the 1980s.

To provide further insight and illumination he’ll be joined by one of 2000AD’s most important writers of the golden era, Peter Milligan and hot on their heels, Sean Phillips and Duncan Fegredo.

LICAF 2017 - Metaphrog

The Little Mermaid Re-emerges/Re-told
Presentation, all ages
Saturday, 14 October, 10:30am – 11:30am
Comics Clock Tower Chamber, part of the small and beautiful series

Metaphrog is a remarkable duo based in Scotland who have won many awards and accolades for their unique work and for their constant promotion of comics as a medium. Their work has been compared to Jimmy Corrigan and Charlie Brown and straddles children’s and adults’ comics with a surreal style.

They have now turned their artistic gaze to the classic tale The Little Mermaid (reviewed here on downthetubes) with stunning effect and are here at LICAF to launch this new comic book in the UK. Hosted by LICAF Patron, Mary Talbot.

Art from Take Care, Son by Tony Husband
Art from Take Care, Son by Tony Husband

Just for Laughs? The Life and Work of Tony Husband
Interview
Saturday, 14 October, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Screen Two, Brewery Arts Centre

Michael Palin has declared that “Tony Husband is consistently one of the funniest cartoonists around”. Tony is best known for his yobs strip in Private Eye. He co-founded and co-edited Oink! comic and has more than 40 books published, many taking a satirical look at a wide variety of subjects and obsessions such as football, animal husbandry and Yorkshire puddings.

He received critical acclaim for his telling of the story of his father’s dementia, Take Care Son, and has recently From A Dark Place: How A Family Coped With Drug Addiction, launched a comic book about his son’s journey through drug addiction. Tony, who is a great collaborator (e.g. with the poet Ian McMillan) and raconteur, brings his warm, sometimes wicked, humour and Mancunian honesty to an enthralling interview with John McShane.

LICAF 2017 - Grandville, The Last Chapter – Bryan Talbot

Grandville, The Last Chapter – Bryan Talbot
Interview
Saturday, 14 October, 1:15pm – 2:15pm
Malt Room, Brewery Arts Centre

Recognised as one of the most influential British comic artists ever, Bryan will be launching the first and last volume of his epic ‘Grandville’ series at the festival this year. We are deeply honoured as his series of steampunk detective thrillers featuring a badger (Detective Inspector Brock) and a glorious array of anthropomorphic characters has received global critical acclaim for its combination of intrigue, suspense, humour and distinctive art. Come and find out more about Bryan’s journey to this final chapter alongside LICAF patron and comics expert Peter Kessler.

Sponsors: Jonathan Cape

There will be signings immediately after the event. Bryan will also be officially launching his book in Page 45 room in Comics Clock Tower on the same day.

LICAF 2017 - Mal Earl & Kermit present: Lies and Other Fools

Mal Earl & Kermit present: Lies and Other Fools
Presentation/interview, 15+ age recommendation, part of small and beautiful series
Saturday, 14 October, 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Comics Clock Tower Chamber

In 2001 Kermit Leveridge drew a key on a notebook. Within the book he intended to pen a series of poems, based upon the ‘rockier’ stages of his trek through the music industry since the early 80s.

Traversing the Electro Funk scene as a founder member of the breakdance crew ‘Broken Glass’ through to the world conquering force that is ‘Black Grape’, alongside Shaun Ryder, Kermit’s rocky road trips make for thunderously affecting tales.

In 2013, at the first Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Kermit came looking for an accomplice and found the artist Mal Earl. Unbeknownst to him, in 2017, he drew the lock for Kermit’s key.

Lies and Other Fools is a powerful graphic poem exploring the near-death experience brought about by septicaemia, contracted from a dirty needle. The text was recorded and released on vinyl in 2014 by the late Howard Marks. The graphic poem will have its official launch at LICAF. Hosted by Chris Thompson of Titan Comics.

There will be signings immediately after the event.

LICAF 2017 - MAD meets Viz

MAD meets Viz
Live Draw, adult content
Saturday, 14 October, 2:45pm – 3:45pm
Screen One, Brewery Arts Centre

MAD is an American humour magazine, founded in 1952, that has been widely imitated and hugely influential. Inspiring Monty Python amongst many others, affecting satirical media as well as the cultural landscape of the 20th century. Viz was born in 1979 and is now established as “an institution in the UK on a par with Broadmoor Hospital for the Criminally Insane, the DVLA and the Porton Down Chemical Weapons Research Facility”.

What happens when the two meet for the first time and go head-to-head? Does anyone care? Featuring Sergio Aragonés & Tom Richmond from MAD and Graham Dury & Simon Thorp from Viz and refereed by John McShane.

Sponsors: In partnership with NCS. There will be signings immediately after the event.

LICAF 2017 - Peter Milligan

Audacious, Brilliant and Insanely Imaginative – Meet Peter Milligan
Interview, age recommendation 15+
Saturday, 14 October, 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Screen Two, Brewery Arts Centre

Peter Milligan was at the forefront of the revolution in comics created for a more sophisticated, adult audience. Shade the Changing Man for Vertigo offered a skewered look at American culture, while Enigma, Face and Rogan Gosh pushed the boundaries of what comic books could do.

The hugely-popular X-Statix was a radical reworking of the X-Men paradigm that led to controversy when Milligan tried to recruit the late Diana Prince of Wales into his celebrity-obsessed bunch of heroes. Milligan was the longest-running writer of the cult horror comic Hellblazer and has had two films produced: Pilgrim starring Ray Liotta and An Angel for May starring Tom Wilkinson.

Find out why Peter was one-time Entertainment Weekly’s ‘Man of the Year’ with comics expert Tim Pilcher.

There will be signings immediately after the event.

Art from Livestock by Hannah Berry
Art from Livestock by Hannah Berry

Telling the Truth
Panel discussion
Sunday, 15 October, 10:30am – 11:30am
Comics Clock Tower Chamber, part of small and beautiful series

Comics offer the perfect format for revealing the unseen and unknown in a subtle yet graphic way. Encouraging you to read between the panels (not the lines) will be three remarkable comics creators, Hannah Berry, Darryl Cunningham and Fumio Obata. Their recent work is all about exposing truths using different styles and approaches. Hannah Berry with her new book published by Cape, Livestock, out this week in the UK, offers a socio-political satire on the relationship between politics, the media and us. It also casts a long, sad look at the disposability of women in the public eye and features many awful song lyrics, written by Hannah.

Darryl Cunningham’s new book Graphic Science is being launched at LICAF by Myriad, and is a series of graphic essays on overlooked, sidelined, excluded or discredited men and women who have been or are key figures in scientific discovery.

Fumio Obata will offer a special insight into his LICAF commissioned-project On the Palm of Unknown, which makes surprising connections between the nuclear plants at Fukushima and Sellafield and explores the invisible connections and sentiments between the two different worlds. Hosted by Dan Berry.

Sponsors: Jonathan Cape and Myriad Editions. There will be signings immediately after the event.

 

LICAF 2017 - Steve McGarry

Playing for a Draw – Football Focus
Presentation
Sunday, 15 October, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Screen Two, Brewery Arts Centre

Discover and celebrate the history of football in cartoons and comics. Steve McGarry is one of the most prolific and widely published football artists of all time. His work will be familiar to readers of Match, Match of the Day and Shoot! magazines and his World Cup posters have appeared in hundreds of different newspapers worldwide, including The Sun, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Star.

Steve will show examples from his 40-year career and look at the history of football in comics and cartoons, spotlighting such football fiction favourites as “Limp-Along Leslie”, “Billy’s Boots”, “Roy of the Rovers”, “Striker” and “Billy the Fish!”. Introduced by John Freeman.

Sponsors: In partnership with NCS

Art by Aimee de Jongh
Art by Aimee de Jongh

Celebrating 10 years of SelfMadeHero
Panel discussion
Sunday, 15 October, 12:45pm – 1:45pm
Screen One, Brewery Arts Centre

2017 marks graphic novel publisher SelfMadeHero’s 10th anniversary. A list that began with the Manga Shakespeare series has, over the last decade, developed into a collection of books that are a testament to the richness and diversity of today’s graphic novel landscape.

Managing Director Emma Hayley joins Dutch comics artist Aimée de Jongh (The Return of the Honey Buzzard) and Emma Vieceli (Manga Shakespeare: Hamlet) to discuss the evolution of a list that now encompasses everything from fiction to film criticism, sci-fi to biography. They will explore the relationship between creator and publisher, and they’ll consider how the two can work together to ensure the graphic novel remains an increasingly vital and visible part of our culture. Hosted by Alex Fitch of Resonance FM.

Sponsors: SelfMadeHero. There will be signings immediately after the event.

Blimey - The Blog about British Comics Logo - 2017

Comics Gold
Panel discussion
Sunday, 15 October, 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Screen Two, Brewery Arts Centre

British Comics Past and Present – Looking Back, Looking Forwards. Lew Stringer leads a panel looking back at the many highlights of British comics, charting the changes to the industry.

Join artist, archivist and writer Lew Stringer (who also runs Blimey – The Blog About British Comics), comics editor John Freeman and writer Tim Quinn as they trace how British comics, which once sold in their millions every week in newsagents across the UK, adapted to changing demand and times and how publishers and creators are coming to terms with 21st century print and digital distribution channels.

One for fans of comics such as 2000AD, Misty, Beano, Eagle, Roy of the Rovers, Whizzer & Chips, The Phoenix and many more!

On Friday, the Festival’s opening Gala Opening Night this year will be ‘Quick on the Draw‘ – a spectacular evening of live draw featuring some of the fastest, funniest and most talented cartoonists on the planet. The legendary Sergio Aragonés (who has only made occasional visits to the UK in the past) will demonstrate his quick-fire genius together with superstars from the United States’ cartooning scene.

The Comics Clock Tower will also be packed with comic creators from across the UK and beyond and there will also be book launches aplenty, including Grandville: Force Majeure, Festival patron Bryan Talbot‘s fifth and final Grandville book.

The full programme of events is now live on the Festival web site

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.

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

• 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

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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