Friends Of Dalton Leisure Centre fundraising HeART Auction features comic art and more

Connections with Britain’s comic community mean the upcoming Friends Of Dalton Leisure Centre HeART Auction is crammed with art, graphic novels and more, in an effort to keep the venue open in difficult times.

Many artists (local, regional, national and international) have been donating artwork and books to raise funds in support of the Cumbrian community centre, including Charlie Adlard, Nick Brokenshire, Inko, Chie Kutsuwada, Dave Windett and more, and you can bid here on Facebook.

For comic strip fans, Nick has donated a page from a story called “The House” and another is from a 2000AD story, “Scorched Zone”.

  • The Walking Dead collection, including sketch by Charlie Adlard
  • VIZ art donated by Simon Thorp
  • Art prints by Chie Kutsuwada
  • Art by Nick Brokenshire
  • Star Wars comics
  • Donated graphic novels
  • Pedantic Stan, Comics Fan, and the first issue of Marvel UK’s G-Force, donated by John Freeman
  • Assorted cards donated by Gwen Ashworth Shackleton

The deadline for donations is the end of February. All work will be auctioned and all monies raised will go to help save Dalton Leisure Centre.

The Centre – the only non-profit community run leisure centre in the UK, was built more than 35 years ago – is in need of much repair and faces an uncertain future.

Friends of Dalton Leisure Centre member Phil Robinson told the North West Evening Mail this week that he hopes the art auction fundraiser will provide the much-needed funds to survive.

“We have been hit so hard by the lockdowns and the 35-year-old air handling system is also having its own lockdown and is in urgent need of repair,” he said.

“Money was allocated for that before COVID came along which has been a massive drain on the centre’s finances. Without replacing the heating system, the centre will not function and would be at danger of closing.

“As a community hub we cant let this happen, so we will be embarking on a major crowdfunding project to raise much-needed monies.”

The centre is aiming to raise £20,000 through a buy-a-brick campaign and also through auctioning off dozens of unique artwork from talented local, national and international artists.

“A huge thank you to everyone who is donating artwork and a huge thanks to anyone who goes on to bid,” says local artist Sharon Tait, who is part of the co-ordinating group, previously part of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival team, who has created some stunning murals for the Centre.

“You can bid by commenting under the picture and the amount you want to bid. The final auction date is due to be announced,” she explains. “Postage and packing will be added to the price of the winning bid.”

Happy bidding and thanks for supporting Dalton Leisure Centre.

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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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