Comics Workshops announced for Lakes International Comic Art Festival, award-winning Italian artist Manuele Fior joins guest line up

Italian Comic Creator Manuele Fior
Italian Comic Creator Manuele Fior

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has just announced its comic creator workshops taking place over the Festival weekend (15th -17th October) in Kendal, Cumbria, hosted by comic creators that include artist and writer Matt Smith, Instagram comic star Clarice Tudor and others.

“We’re thrilled to present this programme of workshops,” says Festival Director Julie Tait. “Supporting the development of comic creators is integral to the Festival’s ethos, which we work on all year round through international partnerships and by supporting the work of the Comics Laureate, in schools and other learning environments.”

All of the workshops are aimed at comic creators aged 12 and up, with a limited number of places – so it’s advisable to book your place as soon as possible through the Festival web site.

Animator Stephen Brown and comic creators Matt SmithLucy Sullivan and Clarice Tudor will be leading this year’s workshops, offering guidance on a variety of subjects, from comedy timing to drawing time in comics, and tips on stop motion animation too.

The Festival is also pleased to confirm the addition of award-winning Italian artist Manuele Fior to this year’s international line up of comics talent, whose graphic novels include Celestia, released in English by Fantagraphics to huge acclaim. 

Manuele joins a large line-up of international talent that includes Yomi Ayeni, Charlie Adlard, Kate Charlesworth, Greg Rucka and many, many more.

• Check out the Festival’s workshops programme here

• 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

• 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

Comic Creator Spotlight: Manuele Fior

Born in Cesena, Italy, in 1975, after getting a degree in architecture, Manuele Fior moved to Berlin, where he worked until 2005 as a cartoonist, illustrator and architect. In 1994 he won the first prize at Bienal do Juvenes Criadores do Mediteraneo, Lisbon for his comics work. His collaboration with the German publisher Avant-Verlag began in 2001 with the magazine Plaque, which brings together a wide range of Italian authors, among them Mattotti, Igort, and Giandelli. Since then, he began an intense work on comic short stories written by his brother Daniele, which appeared in BlackBile NoireStripburgerForresten and Osmosa.

His graphic novels include Celestia, first published by Oblomov / Atrabile last year, and in English by Fantagraphics later this month, who have also published some of his many other longform works, including The Interview and Red Ultramarine.

Based in Paris, Manuele collaborates with his illustrations for a huge range of titles, which include The New YorkerLe MondeVanity FairFeltrinelliEinaudiLa Repubblica, and Rolling Stone Magazine.

Lakes International Comic Arts Festival Workshops 2021

Brewery Arts Centre – workshops for 12+ (maximum 15 participants)

Matt Smith – Drawing Time in Comics

Canadian comic creator Matt Smith

Saturday 16 October 10.30am
Brewery Arts Centre
Length: 90 mins
Age Range: 12+ (maximum 15 participants)
Tickets: £12.50 over 18 / £7.50 under 18

Materials provided by LICAF

How does time work in comics? When we move across the page, how does a cartoonist show the passage of time? Can you draw a comic strip that lasts for a second? How about an hour? What about a year? 

In this interactive 90-minute workshop, Canadian/British cartoonist and comics educator Matt Smith! (SmithvsSmith.com) takes a closer look at how time is shown (and manipulated) in comics! 

We will examine and discuss example comics pages that play with time in interesting ways. Participants will then draw (and share!) their own comic strips of different lengths of time! All drawing styles and levels of experience are welcome. Drawing materials will be provided. This workshop is recommended for ages 12+.

Matt Smith is a Canadian/British cartoonist, comics educator and podcaster, who has lived all over the world but currently lives in Paisley, Scotland, with his wife, son and two cats. He is best

known for his autobiographical Smith vs Smith series, but he also teams up with artists from around the world for his Gruesome Comics horror series. Matt’s comics have been published in Sliced Quarterly, Frisson Comics’ Knock Knock collections and Alterna Comics’ IF horror anthology.

In 2020, he successfully Kickstarted his first full-length graphic novel, You’re Stuck With Me Now, the true story of how Matt met his Scottish wife when they were both teaching in Kuwait. It’s a clash of cultures and personalities, with plenty of cat content.

Also in 2020, Matt and his best friend, Cale Werake launched their analytical comics podcast, “Matt and Cale Read Comics.” Every two weeks, Matt and Cale dive deep into a different graphic novel, often joined by their friends from the comics industry.

Additionally, Matt has visited over 30 schools in five continents to run interactive, comics-making lessons based on his interactive instructional series, “Let’s Draw Some Comics!”

• Check out the Festival’s workshops programme here

Secret Formulas of Comedy Timing in Comic Strips – Clarice Tudor

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

Saturday 16 October 2pm
Brewery Arts Centre
Length: 90 mins
Age range: 12+ (maximum 15 participants)
Tickets: £12.50 over 18 / £7.50 under 18 

Clarice will give a short talk to begin the session showcasing her approach and formula for comedy timing. Clarice will dissect examples of her work and others too, followed by a walk-through example of plotting out a comic from ideas through to sketches.

You’ll then have time to create your own comic strip reflecting on the secret formulae (not any more!) she’s just shared.

And Clarice will be on hand with a list of prompts for anyone who is stuck coming up with a joke. It’s for people of all skill levels.

“I personally think you don’t have to be able to draw well to create a great comic strip as long as there’s a banging gag!” she says.

Clarice Tudor is a British comic artist and cartoonist. Her introspective comics bounce from wholesome to self-deprecating fast enough to give you whiplash. Clarice is known for her webcomic series Dog with Boots and viral standalone comics which walk the ever-blurring line between art and meme.

Since graduating from the University of Leeds in 2019, Clarice has also written and illustrated two graphic short stories and worked with such names as Hello Kitty/Sanrio and Tumblr.

• Check out the Festival’s workshops programme here

Lucy Sullivan – Hands & Faces Drawing Workshop

Lucy Sullivan

Sunday 17 October 10.30am
Brewery Arts Centre
Length: 90 mins
Age range: 12+ (maximum 15 participants)
Tickets: £12.50 over 18 / £7.50 under 18

Materials provided by LICAF

In this workshop Lucy will show you a variety of techniques to help you tackle drawing realistic hands & features. Participants will draw themselves and each other in a lively workshop to focus on using and reference. Lucy will also show you how to use these skills in a character design for comics and animation.

Covering a variety of observational drawing techniques such as contour drawing, tonal studies and negative space we will look at how to break down complicated subjects and look for the true line. Using our own hands and fellow participants as studies, we will look at examples from comic artists and explore how to reduce the detail to an economical design ready for comics and animation.

Come along ready to draw quickly, discover the importance of reference and the fun in using yourself as a subject in action poses.

Lucy Sullivan is a zine maker, animator and the creator of the graphic novel BARKING, supported by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival and Arts Council England/ National Lottery Funding. Her work explores the complex themes of everyday life set amidst allegorical tales. She has a passion for drawing from life and on location and produces prints from the studies. She has drawn commissions for Dark Horse, Black Crown and currently creating IND-XED with writer Fraser Campbell.

Alongside her comics, Lucy is a lecturer in Illustration & Animation, teaches Observational drawing and graphic narrative mentor.

• Check out the Festival’s workshops programme here

Stop Motion Animation Workshop – Stephen Brown

Animator Stephen Brown

Sunday 17 October 1.30pm
Brewery Arts Centre
Length: 90 mins
Tickets: £12.50 over 18 / £7.50 under 18
Age Range: 12+ (maximum 15 participants)

In a group of just 10-15, participants will build basic “Morph” style characters (plasticine but with no internal armature) and learn to animate as a group on one table. The characters can then interact with each other to create a collaborative animation mash-up. Participants will gain skills in building characters and a variety of ways in which to create and animate movement, learning not only from their own creations but the rest of the group and how different approaches can be combined to greater effect. We will spend about 30 minutes sculpting characters and then animate for an hour. Final animations will be uploaded to a Dropbox folder and participants invited to access via their emails.

Stephen Brown MA (RCA) FHEA has been teaching animation on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses for over twenty years. Outside of education, he has had a diverse career in film and television, being, amongst other things, an animator, character designer, horror movie creature concept designer, puppet designer, puppeteer, story editor and scriptwriter. 

He is currently a lecturer on the Illustration Animation BA course at Kingston University, which is rated top in its subject in the 2021 Guardian university league tables.

• Check out the Festival’s workshops programme here

Festival Guests in 2021

Announced guests for October 2021 in Kendal so far, in alphabetical order, include: Charlie Adlard, Roger Beley Alonzo, Steven Appleby, Yomi Ayeni, Sayra Begum, Maria Björklund, Boulet, Neill Cameron, Kate Charlesworth, Chris Condon, Darren Cullen, Darryl Cunningham, Hugleikur Dagsson, Oliver East, Manuele Fior, Simon Hanselmann, Marc Jackson, Nicola Jennings, Olivier Kugler, Michael Lark, Jeff Lemire (now making a virtual appearance due to COVID-shifted work schedules), Leomacs, Mike Luckovich, Jul Maroh, Vojtěch Mašek, Dave McKean, Lou McKeever (aka BlueLou), Luke McGarry, Steve McGarry, Ziki Nelson, Wam Ning, Albert Luba Ntolila, Jacob Phillips, Sean Phillips, Kate Prior, David A. Roach, Miles Ross, Martin Rowson, Greg Rucka, Matt Smith, Rachael Smith, Glen Southern, Lucy Sullivan, Jack Teagle, Ann Telnaes, Clarice Tudor, the VIZ team and Steve Yeowell

• Profiles of all LICAF LIVE guests feature here on the official Festival web site

Comics Clock Tower Exhibitors 2021

Visit the Virtual Comics Clock Tower via the Festival web site for more information on Comics Clock Tower exhbitors

Exhibitors include: 1826 Comic, Art-Bubble, B7 Media, Big Brown Eyes Collective, Bruno Stahl, Cast Iron Books, Catfood Comics, Cathy Brett, The Cartoonists Club of Great Britain, Centrala, Chris Askham, CoCo Comics, Colleen Douglas, Conundrum Press, Cutaway Comics, E Merlin Murray, the Etherington Brothers, Gold Lion Comics, Gustaffo Vargas, Hocus Pocus, Ian Sharman, Joe Latham, Kate Mia White, Kev F Sutherland, Knockabout, Lancaster University, Lewis Campbell, Madzines, Martin Simpson, Matt Simmons, Matt Smith! (Smith vs Smith), Mereida, Metaphrog, Mister Hope, Moonsquid Ink, Myriad Editions, Nona Gallery, Norm Konyu, Olivia Sullivan, Peter Morey, Pitteville Press, Roger Langridge, Ronny Worsey and Brian Gorman, Schnumn, SelfMadeHero, Soaring Penguin Press, Turnaround and Woodland Creatures

• Check out the Festival’s workshops programme here

• 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

• 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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