Spirit of the Lakes Competition Winners Announced, student challenge inspired by work of Will Eisner

LICAF Spirit of the Lakes Promo

Over this past weekend, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival revealed the winners of this year’s student art competition, Spirit of the Lakes, which aimed to help mark the centenary year of the ground breaking graphic storyteller Will Eisner.

Students across the globe were invited to celebrate the incredible creative comic art legacy of Will Eisner and his iconic vigilante – The Spirit – by imagining a vigilante hero or heroine for the Lake District.

Students submitted entries for the Revealing the Spirit of the Lake District competition, judged by Festival Patron and comics artist Sean Phillips and crime author Ian Rankin, which included comic strips, single illustrations or a series of illustrations reflecting Eisner’s comic style in The Spirit. Their interpretations illustrated crime drama, adventure, mystery, horror, comedy and creative reinterpretations of an original artwork from The Spirit newspaper strip – with a Lake District comic art twist.

The winners of the competition – Thomas J. De Greeve and Hazel Patricia Mason – were announced at a special event on Saturday 14th October at the Brewery Arts Centre with representatives of the University of Cumbria, who supported this special project, on hand to announce them.

They will both receive a £50 voucher for the Page 45 comic shop and a LICAF goody bag.

Spirit Centenary Newspaper - Cover“I found it incredibly hard to choose a winner from the shortlist,” says judge Ian Rankin. “There was great talent on display and an exciting range of approaches. It was nice to see a bit of humour, too. All in all a tough competition and worthy winners.”

“The student art competition has become an integral part of the Festival’s activities beyond our annual weekend of events in October,” says Festival Director Julie Tait. “Every year, we’re simply astonished by the breadth of talent we see.”

The top five entries are now on display in the Warehouse Café at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, until 5th November, alongside The Spirit of Eisner exhibition.

Marking the centenary, the Festival has also published a Spirit Centenary Newspaper, featuring a cover by Becky Cloonan and work by Brendan McCarthy, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, Graham Dury and Simon Thorp, Chris Samnee, John M Burns, Sergio Aragones, Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo, Seth, Jason Latour, Jonathan Ross and Bryan Hitch, and Michael Cho. (We have more information here).

The project, the brainchild of comics academic John McShane, was realised with support from IDW Publishing and Kitchen Sink Press publisher Denis Kitchen. Proceeds from sales will go to LICAF’s Creators’ Development Fund.

The special publication was on sale from Page 45 in the Comics Clock Tower over the Festival weekend and is now available worldwide online from the Nottingham-based retailer (and fervent supporter of the Festival) after the event – while stocks last.

“I don’t know how real editors do it, but curating this project has been well worth the wait,” says Sean Phillips, who edited the project and will be signing copies in the Page 45 Georgian Room in the Clock Tower from 11.00am on Sunday morning.

“All the creators involved have more than surpassed my expectations to produce a great tribute to Will Eisner’s The Spirit,” he adds. “The creators include some of my favourite artists and writers and the hard part was deciding who to ask!”

Celebrating comic art from across the world, the Festival annually takes over the town of Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District and runs a number of comics outreach projects in partnership with other organisations, exploring the rich diversity of comics and comic creators throughout the year.

The 2017 Festival, which took place 13th – 15th October, brought the biggest names in comic art to Cumbria with over 70 special guests from across the comic world. Alongside many British creators, artists, creators and writers came from Japan, the US, Canada, Australia, Finland and other parts of Europe.

Joint Winners

The Adventures of Kaptain Kayak by Thomas J. De Greeve
Glyndwr University, Wrexham | Twitter: @McSawndering

The Adventures of Kaptain Kayak by Thomas J. De Greeve

The Adventures of Kaptain Kayak by Thomas J. De Greeve Page 2

Spirit in the Lakes by Hazel P Mason
University of Cumbria | Web: hazelpmason.co.uk | Instagram: @hazeymase

Spirit in the Lakes by Hazel P Mason

Highly Commended

The Spice by Lele Saa
Anglia Ruskin (Children’s Book Illustration MA)
Web: www.lelesaa.com | Twitter: @lele_saa | Instagram: @lele_saa

“My entry is basically a version of an old cover from the original comic by Will Eisner but with a character called The Spice,” says Lele Saa of her entry, “which is a ginger bread man (inspired by the delicious ginger bread cookies from Grasmere town). He has a carrot friend because everybody knows carrot and ginger make an amazing couple (carrot cake, for example) and an enemy which is a crazy tea pot that enjoys melting any kind of cookie with its fresh brewed tea.”

The Spice by Lele Saa

The Mountain by Miles Burchell and Elan McCausland
Writer: Miles Burchell and Artist: Elan McCausland
University of Cumbria – Brampton Road Campus
Twitter: @elanstration | Tumblr: elanstration.tumblr.com

The Mountain by Miles Burchell and Elan McCausland Page 1

The Mountain by Miles Burchell and Elan McCausland Page 2

The Mountain by Miles Burchell and Elan McCausland Page 3

The Mountain by Miles Burchell and Elan McCausland Page 4

Buy The Spirit Centenary Newspaper from Page 45

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will be back in Kendal 12th – 14th October 2018.

• Web: www.comicartfestival.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Podcast | View the 2017 Festival Programme on Issuu | Download the 2017 Programme (PDF)

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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