The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced that Mikiko and Julie Rocheleau are the latest comic creators to be part of one of its many Comics Cultural Exchanges between countries.
Continuing its efforts to develop an international network of comics co-operation that has previously included supporting comic creators long stay visits to countries such as Japan, London based German-Japanese artist Mikiko heads to Quebec, Canada, on an Artists’ Exchange this April.
In September, Canadian artist Julie Rocheleau heads to Kendal for a one-month residency, and will be one of many international guests at this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
This latest Comics Cultural Exchange is the result of the Festival’s partnership with Quebec BD, funded by the British Council – and part of a rapidly expanding number of vital international alliances developed by the Festival team.
Comic artist and illustrator Mikiko began her career in Germany, where she went into publishing straight out of school. Since 2011 she has been working with Tokyopop Germany, releasing five books in total.
Her most well-known manga, Crash ‘n’ Burn, has won the prestigious Max und Moritz Preis award in 2016. Over the years she’s been featured on various TV shows, such as J-mag (as a presenter) and Tigerentenclub, a German children’s show, which runs on national television.
Today, she’s mainly known for her work online, some published through PYRAMOND, especially her slice-of-life webcomic, Miki’s Mini Comics has gained her a huge online following, viewed by millions, and a successful book collection.
“When I was approached about the residency, I was quite excited, as I have never been to Canada before,” says Mikiko. “At the same time I was terrified, as I realised I didn’t actually know anything about Quebec at all, and the whole thing sounded too good to be true.
“Thankfully I speak French, and I’ve gotten insanely positive feedback from friends and family, which has built up my confidence. Now I’m greatly looking forward to it!”
What is she expecting from the trip?
“I’m not entirely sure,” she muses. “I’ll be attending the Quebec BD comic festival and I’ll meet some people, but aside from that I was told I’m quite free to work on my projects.
“In my mind, I see myself in a cozy flat, drawing my projects until the dead of night (without the usual interruptions), and ideally return home with a stack of comic pages I always wanted to finish.
“But I could be wrong, and go on a crazy artistic adventure with new found art-friends, who knows. I’d be up for it, though!”
Julie Rocheleau is an illustrator and cartoonist, most recently of About Betty’s Boob (Boom Studios) with Véro Cazot, an inspiring and surprisingly comedic tale of loss and acceptance told largely through silent sequential narrative.
She worked in traditional animation for twelve years, before devoting herself to books and comics. Her albums, fruit of collaborations with writers from many different backgrounds, have won numerous awards in Canada, France and elsewhere abroad.
She also illustrated of many novels for teen and children, and posters for cultural events. She lives and works in Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, Montreal.
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to support the work of two terrific international comic creators as part of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival’s outreach work, ” says Festival Director Julie Tait.
“These residencies are an important part of our development work, to not only promote comics but comics creation too, which we’ve also been doing through the work of the Comics Laureate, and our partnerships with various international organisations.”
“British Council is pleased to support the cross-cultural residency project between Lakes International Comic Art Festival and Festival Québec BD,” commented Carrie Hage, Arts Manager at the British Council Canada.
“The residency and the culminating exhibition to follow will provide a unique and important platform to showcase the work of UK and Québec artists collaborating between different cultural milieus.”
• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns to Kendal at various venues across the town 11th – 13th October 2019
– Early Bird Passes are on Sale Now until 31st March 2019 at www.comicartfestival.com/buy-tickets
• Julie Rocheleau online: https://rocheleau.format.com