David Leach at work on an instalment of Psycho Gran. Or maybe he just likes eating pencils.

David Leach, Darryl Cunningham, McGarrys, join Lakes Festival Guest List

Lakes International Comic Art FestivalThere’s only four months to go until his year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October… are you ready? Tickets bought? Accommodation booked?

The Festival has just revealed a number of further guests: Darryl Cunningham, ahead of the release of his new book, Billionaires, published by Myriad Editions; and Titan Comics Senior Editor, cartoonist and Come Dine With Me winner David Leach; plus an appearance by graphic novelist Rob Davis, whose latest graphic novel, Book of Forks, launches at the event, published by SelfMadeHero.

Darryl Cunningham
Darryl Cunningham

Over 30 British and international guests have already been announced for the weekend long event in October so far, including Charlie Adlard, Serge Baeken, Comics Laureate Hannah Berry, Laurence Campbell, Kate Charlesworth, Becky Cloonan, Garth Ennis, Duncan Fegredo, Loic Gaume, Ben Gijsemans, Jibé, Staz Johnson, Michael Lark, John McCrea, Junko Mizuno, Benoit Peeters, Arthur de Pins, Julie Rocheleau, Declan Shalvey, Simon Spurrier, Bryan and Mary Talbot and Rob Williams, with some 20 or so guests, including some great names from Estonia, Denmark and Finland, and more British creators, to be announced soon.

Luke and Steve McGarry will also be back in town to add to the comics craziness, both of them, we’re sure, lending their amazing talents to various Live Draws and other activities.

The cover of Rain by Mary and Bryan Talbot, which will get its launch at this year's Festival, published by Jonathan Cape. Set against the backdrop of disastrous floods in the North of England, Rain dramatically chronicles the developing relationship between two young women, one of whom is a committed environmental campaigner. Their wild Brontë moorland is being criminally mismanaged, crops are being systematically poisoned and birds and animals are being slaughtered
The cover of Rain by Mary and Bryan Talbot, which will get its launch at this year’s Festival, published by Jonathan Cape. Set against the backdrop of disastrous floods in the North of England, Rain dramatically chronicles the developing relationship between two young women, one of whom is a committed environmental campaigner. Their wild Brontë moorland is being criminally mismanaged, crops are being systematically poisoned and birds and animals are being slaughtered
Art by Lucy Sullivan for Barking, a graphic novel about grief, madness, and the ghosts that haunt us that will get its launch at the Festival from Unbound.
Art by Lucy Sullivan for Barking, a graphic novel about grief, madness, and the ghosts that haunt us that will get its launch at the Festival from Unbound.

Right now, Festival Director Julie Tait is putting the finishing touches to the weekend’s schedule, which not only includes a mix of Live Draws, talks, film screenings, book launches, signings and more, but they’re also hosting a Waffle Party, too, thanks to Belgian guests – and the other big news is that the Festival just gained its official Pechakucha licence!

“What’s Pechakucha?”, I hear you ask? (I did!) Well, it means “chit chat” in Japanese, Pechakucha is a quickfire format that allows a presenter to show 20 images and describe them in 20 seconds each. It’s a great way to showcase creators who each want to take seven minutes of your time to show you something new and tell you something you didn’t know!

Among the comic creators who’ll be joining in with this will be Rob Davis, whose new Book of Forks will be launched at the Festival by SelfMadeHero – the final book in a trilogy that began with the amazing The Motherless Oven back in 2014.

The number of international guests at this year’s Festival is possibly the widest yet, with creators from Africa, Australia, Belgium, Italy, Mexico and elsewhere.

I’m looking as forward to being there myself – not just because I help promote the event, but because I’m sharing a table with Dan Dare Audio Adventures producers B7 Media in the Comics Clock Tower, too!

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns to Kendal at various venues across the town 11th – 13th October 2019 | Buy your tickets at www.comicartfestival.com/buy-tickets

• Web: www.comicartfestival.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Podcast

David Leach at work on an instalment of Psycho Gran. Or maybe he just likes eating pencils.
David Leach at work on an instalment of Psycho Gran. Or maybe he just likes eating pencils.

Guest Spotlight: David Leach

David Leach’s career as a cartoonist, writer and editor spans over 30 years beginning in 1986 when he started working as Bob Godfrey’s ghost artist on Henry’s Cat. During his subsequent career he’s worked for IPC, Marvel UK, Marvel US, BBC Worldwide, Panini, Egmont, Tundra, and Fleetway. His work has appeared in Whizzer & Chips, Gas, Brain Damage, UT, Moose Kid, Casper, The Toxic Crusaders and 1980’s cult British comics, Toxic! and Oink!, as well as The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and Private Eye.

Psycho Gran Vs... Promotional Image
© David Leach

He created Psycho Gran for Oink!, Arthur Pilkington: Chartered Barbarian for Gas, The Dinner Ladies from Hell and The Driver (which he co-created) for Toxic! He also co-wrote and drew The Toxic Crusaders for Marvel US.

After working as an editor for eight years he retrained as an animator in 2001 and spent the next six years working for Codemasters, and as a storyboard artist and development producer for the CHASE animation company.

In 2008 he joined Titan Books as the Graphic Novel Editor editing classic collections like Roy of the Rovers, Jane, Betty Boop, Flash Gordon, Dan Dare, Mandrake the Magician, Best of Battle, Tank Girl snd Lenore, before moving to the Titan Comics to edit and write for the SpongBob SquarePants and Adventure Time comic magazines, the Wallace and Gromit daily newspaper strip for the The Sun newspaper, and Titan’s new range of newsstand comic titles including The Blacklist, Fighting American, Hammer Horror: The Mummy and Captain Kronos, Dan Dare, Anno Dracula: 5 Days of Mayhem, SuperMansion and the critically acclaimed new series of The Prisoner: The Uncertainty Machine.

In 2011 he brought Psycho Gran out of retirement to appear in David Lloyd’s Aces Weekly digital comic and her own comic, published by Dead Universe Comics.In 2013 David co-won Channel Four’s Come Dine With Me.

David Leach on 'Come Dine With Me', first broadcat on Channel 4 on 18th September 2013
David Leach on ‘Come Dine With Me’, first broadcat on Channel 4 on 18th September 2013

In 2018 David was promoted to Senior Creative Editor and is currently working on new titles including Blade Runner 2019 and an adaptation of Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Phantom of the Opera.

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns to Kendal at various venues across the town 11th – 13th October 2019 | Buy your tickets at www.comicartfestival.com/buy-tickets

• Web: www.comicartfestival.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Podcast

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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