Dave McKean joins Lakes International Comic Art Festival Guest List

Dave McKean. Photo: Allen Amato
Dave McKean. Photo: Allen Amato

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced award-winning graphic novelist Dave McKean is joining this year’s international guest line-up in Kendal in October.

Dave is no stranger to the long-running Lakes-based comic Festival, not only appearing as a guest but also designing this year’s promotional art for the event, and creating the acclaimed graphic novel Black Dog: the Dreams of Paul Nash, a book and accompanying performance work, commissioned by the 14-18 Now Foundation, The Imperial War Museum, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival and On a Marché Sur la Bulle. It was published as an artist’s edition in the UK, and worldwide by Dark Horse Publishing and Glénat to wide acclaim.

Dave also premiered his associated multimedia work based on the book in Kendal; a series of projections, combined with a performance of orchestral music and songs, all written and produced by the artist.

Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2021 Art by Dave McKean - Portrait
Dave McKean’s stunning promotional art for this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival
Black Dog – The Dreams of Paul Nash - Sample Art 5
Black Dog: the Dreams of Paul Nash Art © 2016 Dave McKean

His latest graphic novel, Raptor: A Sokol Graphic Novel, is to be published on 29th July 2021 by Dark Horse Comics, a story following two storylines. In one, Arthur, a nineteenth century writer in Wales, mourns his late wife whilst dabbling in the supernatural in the hopes that he might commune with her again. In the other, Sokol wanders a feudal landscape hunting monsters for those who can afford to pay the cost for his bounties.

Dave joins a line-up of guests at the Festival, running Friday 15th – 17th October 2021, that includes Charlie Adlard, Steven Appleby, Yomi Ayeni, Sayra Begum, Maria Björklund, Neill Cameron, Kate Charlesworth, Hugleikur Dagsson, Marc Jackson, Nicola Jennings, Olivier Kugler, Michael Lark, Jeff Lemire (now making a virtual appearance due to COVID-shifted work schedules), Leomacs, Vojtěch Mašek, Lou McKeever (aka BlueLou), Luke McGarry, Steve McGarry, Ziki Nelson, Wang Ning, Sean Phillips, David A. Roach, Miles Ross, Martin Rowson, Greg Rucka, Rachael Smith, Clarice Tudor and Steve Yeowell.

“We’re delighted Dave is joining us for this year’s return to a physical Festival,” says Festival Director Julie Tait. “He’s been a tremendous support to the organisation and his amazing work speaks for itself.”

• Tickets are on sale now for this physical event from the Festival web site

• 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

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Meet Dave McKean

Dave McKean, who designed this year’s LICAF Festival poster, has illustrated and designed many award-winning and ground breaking books and graphic novels including The Magic of Reality (Richard Dawkins), The Homecoming (Ray Bradbury), Varjak Paw and Phoenix (SF Said), The SavageSlog’s Dad and Mouse Bird Snake Wolf (David Almond), What’s Welsh for Zen (John Cale), Arkham Asylum (Grant Morrison), Wizard & Glass(Stephen King) and Mr. PunchSignal to NoiseThe Wolves in the WallsCoraline and the Newberry and Carnegie Medal-winning The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman). His self-penned Cages received several awards for the year’s best graphic novel.

He has also written and illustrated Pictures That Tick vol. 1 and 2 (collections of short comics) and Celluloid, an erotic novel. He has created hundreds of CD, book and comic covers for Michael Nyman, Alice Cooper, The Rolling Stones, Bill Bruford, Bill Laswell, Tori Amos, Altan, Fear Factory, Roy Harper, Frontline Assembly, John Cale, and the entire run of Neil Gaiman’s influential Sandman series.

His recent book projects include Caustic, a collection of drawings inspired by silent erotic cinema, Colorado Kid (Stephen King), I Am Legend (Richard Matheson), Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist (David Almond), Postcard from Venice (a sketchbook), and Apophenia (an art book).

In 2016, Dave wrote and illustrated Black Dog: the Dreams of Paul Nash, a book and accompanying performance work, commissioned by the 14-18Now Foundation, The Imperial War Museum, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival and On a Marché Sur la Bulle. It was published as an artist’s edition in the UK, and worldwide by Dark Horse Publishing and Glénat to wide acclaim.

Dave transferred the book to a series of projections, and wrote an hour’s worth of orchestral music and songs. This performance occurred at the Somme Memorial in Amiens, and, after several festival performances, at the Tate Britain opening of Nash’s retrospective.

Art from Raptor © Dave McKean
Art from Raptor © Dave McKean

His latest graphic novel, Raptor: A Sokol Graphic Novel, is to be published on 29th July 2021 by Dark Horse Comics, a story following two storylines. In one, Arthur, a nineteenth century writer in Wales, mourns his late wife whilst dabbling in the supernatural in the hopes that he might commune with her again. In the other, Sokol wanders a feudal landscape hunting monsters for those who can afford to pay the cost for his bounties.

Dave has also exhibited in the United States, Europe and Japan, with an exhibition of his work at the Adam Green Gallery in Reigate, until 29th August 2021, and an exhibition of work from Black Dog is running at the Philippe Labaune Gallery in New York until 14th August.

He has also released four monographs of photographs, and designed characters for two of the Harry Potter films. He has also directed five short films and three feature films, MirrorMask (which won seven International Awards), Luna (BIFA and Raindance Best Feature Awards) and The Gospel of Us (two Bafta Cymru awards) with Michael Sheen.

DAVE MCKEAN ONLINE

Web: www.davemckean.com

Twitter: @DaveMcKean

RECENT INTERVIEWS

• Comics Beat: Read an interview by Dean Simons with Dave McKean about his recently-released graphic novel, Raptor

Publisher’s Weekly: Dave McKean Tells a Complex, Dreamlike Story in ‘Raptor’

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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