New guests announced for October’s ninth Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Yomi Ayeni. Photo: Harry Atkinson
Yomi Ayeni. Photo: Harry Atkinson

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced more guests for its ninth event taking place in Kendal 15th – 17th October 2021.

Joining already-announced Greg RuckaMichael Lark and others will be transmedia creator Yomi Ayeni, graphic novelist Sayra Begum, Icelandic cartoonist Hugleikur DagssonAlbert Luba Ntolila, an artist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lakes-based artist Sean Phillips, and graphic novelist and Instagram comics star Clarice Tudor.

The latest names to join the guest list reflect the Festival’s aim to offer a diverse, international line-up of guests, echoed in its international and research projects work working with Comic Art Europe, among others.

“We’re really excited about this year’s line-up,” enthuses Festival Director Julie Tait. “After our foray into the virtual last year, the aim is to make our return to the physical space in Kendal as exciting and entertaining as ever.”

The Festival will take place across multiple venues around Kendal, including the Brewery Arts Centre, which has played an important part in the weekend-long event’s activities since it began back in 2013. The Comics Clock Tower is also set to be busy, albeit with a smaller number of publishers, creators and retailers present, reflecting social distancing requirements.

Yomi Ayeni is currently working on a new story, which will see its debut in some form at the Festival, featuring art by Graham Leggett (1826), lettered by Mike Stock.

“It’s called ‘Operation Noyade’ and it’s a twisted look at what some will call the final days of the Thatcher government,” he teases. “It was written as a film script, and was inspired by the socio-economic situation, unemployment, homelessness, and the excesses of the Yuppie tribe – remember them?

“We will have the first instalment ready for LICAF, or at least a teaser.”

You can expect many more new project reveals, exclusive announcements, and more at the Festival in October… so be ready to book your tickets!

The Festival will confirm its physical event is to go ahead in May, with tickets going on sale in June.

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival – back 15th to 17th October 2021 – is online at: www.comicartfestival.com | Lakes International Comic Art Festival Podcast: www.comicartpodcast.uk | Twitter: @comicartfestpod| Facebook: @ComicArtPodcast | Instagram: @ComicArtPodcast | Virtual Comics Clock Tower: licafclocktower.com

• Want to receive news about the Lakes International Comic Art Festival? Then sign up for their newsletter now

• Check out their LITTLE LICAF Facebook Page here and the dedicated LITTLE LICAF Instagram here

Lakes International Comic Art Festival – Guest Profiles

Yomi Ayeni

Yomi Ayeni
Yomi Ayeni

Yomi Ayeni is an award-winning Transmedia creator, producer, filmmaker, and storyteller.

His current project – Clockwork Watch – is a retro-futurist Steampunk / Victoriana story told across graphic novels, interactive theatre, online and film. The project has so far spawned three tangential threads, immersive live events, exhibitions at the Royal Observatory, Scottsdale Civic Library (Arizona), National Maritime Museum, The Asylum in Lincoln, and a fictional online newspaper.

He is one of a few writers engaged in bringing a multicultural slant to the Steampunk genre, by exploring Victoriana outside Great Britain. Clockwork Watch is a collaboration of talents, including Corey Brotherson (editor/adapting writer), Jennie Gyllblad (artist) and Megan Bradbury (artist).

Yomi lectures Transmedia Storytelling at the Royal College of Arts, and believes mapping stories to everyday life creates experiences that bring audiences closer to the heart of a narrative. He has developed several reality TV formats, including Global E-Missions (ITV), winner of the 2002 Broadcast Award for “Best Use of New Media”.

His 2009 project “Breathe” was one of the first interactive participatory stories to explore how an ongoing narrative offered the audience a chance to become characters in a film, and help solve a fictional murder mystery. He is currently writing a sequel, which he hopes to produce in 2019/2020.

Yomi worked as a Broadcast Journalist in the BBC newsroom, was an active part of the Burning Man Festival media team, and is a founding member of the European Burning Man Regional event, ‘Nowhere’ (Spain). He owned and produced music on the seminal drum and bass label Tone Def Records.

Yomi lives in London, loves cooking, street art, travelling and making music.

Sayra Begum

Sayra Begum
Sayra Begum

Sayra Begum released her first graphic novel, Mongrel, in August 2020, published by Knockabout Comics, and supported by Arts Council England. A graduate of Falmouth University, completing her Masters in Illustration: Authorial Practice in 2016m,

Sayra is currently training with the institute to become a lecturer, studying for a PGCHE, whilst tutoring on the MA Illustration course, and is also working on her next graphic novel.

Begum’s style is influenced by Islamic miniatures and Surrealism, her primary tools are her mechanical pencils. Her acclaimed first graphic novel, Mongrel, tells the story of a British Muslim woman who grew up in-between two cultures. She challenges conventions and looks beneath the surface to celebrate differences and reveal the common humanity.

Hugleikur Dagsson

Hugleikur Dagsson
Hugleikur Dagsson

Hugleikur Dagsson was born in the winter of 1977 in the northern part of Iceland. Since then, he has been breathing oxygen and eating sharks to fuel his artistic tendencies. He graduated from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2002 and is now an established comedian, cartoonist. screenwriter and director. He has published around 30 books, mostly comics or cartoon collections with focus on dark humour. He has written three plays, directed his own animated TV series and is also in a boyband.

Albert Luba Ntolila

Art by Albert Luba Ntolila
Art by Albert Luba Ntolila

A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa, Albert Luba Ntolila began his career in the Ninth Art in 1989, in the monthly Le Sport africaine, illustrating “Ndaye”, the story of a blessed striker.

In 1991, he participated with Roger Beley and Fifi Mukuna in the creation of the monthly comic strip, Évasions, published by Le manager. Three years later, he released his first album (on a screenplay by Nlandu Mayamba, with Roger Beley as co-author), a political awareness work entitled People in action: Zaire, free and democratic elections, edited by the Amos Group. A version in Swahili (Raia katika maendeleo: Zaïre uchaguzi huru na wa kidemokrasi) and one in Tshiluba (Bena ditunga mbadiele ngoma: Zaire masungula a mu budisuile ne budikadile bua Bantu) are being published in parallel.

From 1996 to 2002, Albert worked for the educational magazine BD Bleu blanc, created and edited by Kizito Muanda. Then, in 1996, he participated in two collective comic projects. The first, Le Retour du crayon noir, was supported by the Center Wallonie-Bruxelles in Kinshasa, while the second emerged from a competition organised by the non-profit organisation Ti Suka, who released a collective album, A Dinner in Kinshasa, revealing the artists of tomorrow.

This was followed by art on several local comic strip magazines, Fula Ngenge (1999-2001) and Nkento (2001 to 2003). Subsequently, he published legal awareness-raising comics with the Belgian NGO RCN – Justice et Démocratie, including Who Owns the Land?, written by Me Guillain Malère, and Mabongisi mpe makoki ya misala mya bosembo o mboka na biso, written by Eugène Mukala). His work has also featured in constitutional and election campaigns, on awareness-raising posters and as comics.

After having been a member of the Média BD association, he founded, with others, the Kin Label association, one of several creators who contributed to the collective comic album, Là-bas… Na poto , published in 2007, working with Faux Départ.

In 2009, he participated in the Algerian collective album, La co mic book tale Africa, published by Dalimen Éditions, and his work appeared in the collection 50 years of independence 100 caricatures. published by the Lille School of Journalism in 2010.

In 2008, he created, with other artists, the association A.b.Communication, which he chairs, which publishes the magazine Fara fara, which has also featured his work.

Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
Sean Phillips

Drawing comics professionally since the age of fifteen, Eisner Award winning Sean Phillips has worked for all the major publishers. Since drawing SleeperHellblazerBatmanX-MenMarvel Zombies, and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, Sean has concentrated on creator-owned books including CriminalKill Or Be KilledIncognitoFataleThe Fade OutPulp and the Reckless series.

Sean lives in the Lake District, where he is currently drawing the next Reckless book written by his frequent collaborator Ed Brubaker.

Clarice Tudor

Clarice Tudor - How to Make Comics (Lakes International Comic Art Festival)

Clarice Tudor is a comic artist and cartoonist specialising in sad dogs and self-deprecating comedy. Her introspective comics go from wholesome to savage fast enough to give you whiplash.

Clarice’s quippy one-liners have amassed over 62,000 followers on Instagram. But it’s not just webcomics! Clarice also writes longer form graphic short stories such as Love at First Bite, a sweet tale of two queer vampires which was longlisted for the coveted Observer/Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize.

After graduating from the University of Leeds, she turned her personal artistic practice into a thriving small business as well as working freelance! Clarice’s impressive list of clients includes The Guardian, Sanrio/Hello Kitty, It’s Nice That and Tumblr.

Clarice’s visual style relies heavily on cuteness and animals as a means of taking ugly feelings and making them more digestible. She thinks “anthropomorphism makes it far easier to look at ourselves honestly.” She states that her goal is similar to that of many cartoonists – to take a thought, concept, feeling or issue and break it down into an appealing, simple, easy-to-digest piece of art that inspires or soothes the soul. What sets Clarice apart is her youthful wit.

Lakes International Comic Art Festival Guests in 2021 announced so far…

Announced guests for October 2021 in Kendal so far, in alphabetical order, are Yomi Ayeni, Sayra Begum, Chris Condon, Hugleikur Dagsson, Nicola Jennings, Michael Lark, Jeff Lemire (now making a virtual appearance due to COVID-shifted work schedules), Lou McKeever (aka BlueLou), Albert Luba Ntolila, Sean Phillips, Martin Rowson, Rachael Smith, Jack Teagle, Clarice Tudor, and Steve Yeowell

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival – back 15th to 17th October 2021 – is online at: www.comicartfestival.com | Lakes International Comic Art Festival Podcast: www.comicartpodcast.uk | Twitter: @comicartfestpod| Facebook: @ComicArtPodcast | Instagram: @ComicArtPodcast | Virtual Comics Clock Tower: licafclocktower.com

• Want to receive news about the Lakes International Comic Art Festival? Then sign up for their newsletter now

• Check out their LITTLE LICAF Facebook Page here and the dedicated LITTLE LICAF Instagram here

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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