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LICAF Guest Spotlight: Charlie Adlard

Charile Adlard. Photo: Olivier Roller
Photo: Olivier Roller

Award-winning Charles “Charlie” Adlard is a British comic book artist and penciller, one of over 80 comic guest at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October, is best known for his work on the long-running, best-selling Image Comics series The Walking Dead created by Robert Kirkman.

“Charlie Adlard is the nicest man in comics,” says Festival patron and fellow artist Sean Phillips. “No matter how many times he’s asked to draw a zombie, he always smilingly does. No matter how many hours he’s been sat there drawing, he always makes sure every fan gets a sketch or an autograph. No matter how nervous the fans might be, he always puts them at ease. Nothing is too much trouble for Charlie. I wish I was more like Charlie”.

Born in 1966, he says he “did the usual school stuff, usual O and A levels blah, blah… All of this done in Shrewsbury – born and bred, y’see… Then went to study film and video at Maidstone Art College – emerged after three years with a BA and went to the bright lights of London to become a rock star!

“I found out that my BA was a pretty useless one where technical things were concerned so I found it hard to get a job within that industry – but I was also playing drums in a band and that seemed the better path to follow…

“Anyway – eight months later I found myself back in Shrewsbury and looking for what to do next – the band thing just didn’t work out…

“Then I suddenly realised why don’t I do comics again? Consequentially I spent the next 2 years struggling to get into that industry – and eventually succeeded! Thankyou to all concerned at Fleetway for giving me the chance…”

A oanel from 'Gulag', a Judge Dredd story by Gordon Rennie, which began in 2000AD prog 1382. Image © Rebellion
A panel from ‘Gulag’, a Judge Dredd story by Gordon Rennie drawn by Charlie, which began in 2000AD prog 1382. Image © Rebellion

His early credits include Warheads: Black Dawn for Marvel UK and Judge Dredd and Armitage for 2000AD. In 1995 he drew The X-Files for Topps, beginning his ongoing work as an artist for various US companies including Image and DC Comics as well as continued art for numerous 2000AD strips such as Nikolai Dante and Savage.

His major calling card today is his long-running role in the success of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead.

A stunning duble page spread by Charlie Adlard from The Walking Dead Issue 78
A stunning duble page spread by Charlie Adlard from The Walking Dead Issue 78 – one of the artist’s favourite scenes from the hit comic. “he best work comes out when you least expect it,” he told Boomtron. The Walking Dead © 2013 Skybound LLC

“It staggers me why that’s the one that’s broken through,” he told German comics web site G Wie Gorilla in 2006. “It’s not like we’re leading the charge, there’s not a load of other books that aren’t about superheroes coming up behind us. We just seem to be floating around on our own. There might be a built-in audience for zombie books, but that’s even smaller and more specific than the superhero audience. And none of the other zombie books are going through the roof. It’s a phenomenon that I can’t really explain. And I don’t think there’s a new kind of reader who’s found his way into comics, it’s just the same old fandom. Which actually has its good sides, because they’re reading something other than superheroes for a change. If I was a publisher two years ago, and Robert had pitched The Walking Dead to me… But now it seems like we might actually get to finish this thing, however long it takes.”

Official web site:

Charlie Adlard is on Facebook

Charlie appears at two events at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival

• Watch them Draw – Charlie Adlard: Saturday 19th October 2013 – 12:15 – 13:15 The Box, Wildman Street, Kendal
Ticket Price: £7.00. Purchase tickets online at The Brewery Arts Centre or by telephone Box Office: 01539 725 133 or in person in advance.

An opportunity to get close up to see Charlie drawing live and to find out how he goes about creating the images we see in comics like the popular Walking Dead series which he produces with American writer Robert Kirkman.

• The A-Z of Charlie Adlard – Sunday 20th October 2013 – 14:00 – 15:00 The Brewery Arts Centre Screen One
Ticket Price: £7.00. Purchase tickets online at The Brewery Arts Centre or by telephone Box Office: 01539 725 133 or in person in advance

Fellow comic artist Dan Berry will help chart Charlie’s fascinating journey as an artist, his life since “becoming” the Walking Dead and will help reveal how there is much more to Charlie than meets those scary eyes…

In order to ensure access to events LICAF advise you book tickets in advance and you’ll be guaranteed a seat – no uncertainty, no queuing. We’ve devised two options:-

1) Purchasing tickets for individual events

2) Purchasing a special pass offering substantial discounts to which you can add additional tickets if you wish.

Weekend Pass – £25 includes unlimited access to Comics Clock Tower plus you choose 4 daytime events (starting before 7pm).

Day Pass – £14 Saturday or Sunday includes unlimited access to Comics Clock Tower plus you choose 2 daytime events.

The Walking Dead © 2013 Skybound LLC. Judge Dredd © 2013 Rebellion

John Freeman View All

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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