Lakes International Comic Art Festival readies for weekend of comics fun in Kendal next month

Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2021 Art by Dave McKean

This year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival is on course for its physical return next month – and gearing up to bring the best comic artists, writers and creators to the Lake District for a comic art weekend spectacular.

The family-friendly festival takes over the scenic town of Kendal with the hub at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal – Friday 15th – Sunday 17th October 2021.

The signs are up in Kendal for this year’s Comics Festival

Whether you’re a comic art addict, new to the world of comics or just love exceptional art and storytelling, this is the ideal festival to see and hear from the best comic art creators and writers.

LICAF offers a diverse, international line-up of guests from the UK, Europe, the US, Africa, China, the Philippines and more. The majority of guests will be joining the event in Kendal with some guests, due to travel restrictions, joining us via live streaming.

The Festival programme includes live drawing, creative workshops, a comic market place, debates, cartoonists, satire, exhibitions and some of the most amazing comic artists from across the globe.

“We are delighted to be back in Kendal with an incredible line-up of guests, exhibitions, events and workshops,” says Julie Tait, Festival Director. “This year, we have a strong focus on the role comics can play in responding to and interpreting some of the biggest issues of our time.

“The Festival is bringing new work to a global audience tackling issues such as the climate crisis, deforestation, the human impact of the one child policy in China and Putin’s dictatorship in Russia. Comics remain a powerful force for change and we are delighted to be celebrating their global importance at the festival this year.”

Highlights of the festival this year include:

Battle of the Toons – opening gala 15th October

LICAF 2021 - Battle of the Toons

The Friday night opening gala live from Kendal and New York! The Festival is collaborating with NCS Fest (the National Cartoonists’ Society Festival) with will be a balloon debate featuring eight guests, each taking on the role of their own chosen comic character. At the end of the night, only one will survive, and that depends on how well they make their case to our audience.

10 Years to Save the World – anthology launch

10 Years to Save the World

Ten Years to Save the World’ is one of the creative commissions supported by the British Council exploring climate change through art, science and digital technology. The project has an urgent message, we have ten years to make the big changes required to save our planet. Ten leading comic artists from the UK and the Philippines have collaborated to create a digital comic anthology to be launched at the festival. There’s much more information about this project here.

The Comics Clock Tower – market place

Lakes International Comic Art Festival - Comics Clock Tower 2019

The free comics marketplace returns to Kendal with the line-up reflecting the wide range of both mainstream and independent talent working in the comics medium across the UK. The free Comics Clock Tower takes over Kendal Town Hall for the Festival weekend.

Martin Rowson: What a Fur Cup Exhibition

Martin Rowson is a multi-award-winning cartoonist, illustrator, writer, graphic novelist, broadcaster, ranter and poet. For nearly 40 years Martin Rowson has been the scourge of the political establishment, focusing his unflinching eye and scurrilous wit on those in power. What a Fur Cup, which will be presented at the Cross Lane Projects gallery from 15th October until 5th November 2021, will feature some of Rowson’s most powerful political cartoons, caricatures and comics and present an entertaining journey through the past forty years of politics and celebrity.

Little LICAF – for younger comic fans

Lakes International Comic Art Festival Little LICAF Banner

Little LICAF will be running activities both physical and online for younger comic fans and aspiring creators. Comic artists Sayra Begum, Neill Cameron, Hannah Eaton and Marc Jackson will be running free bookable workshop sessions on both Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th October.

My Only Child – launch

My Only Child by Wang Ning

Joining the Festival from Beijing will be leading Chinese comic creator Wang Ning, for the worldwide launch of his anthology My Only Child, a co-commission by the festival and Fanfare UK – the first global publication of a beautiful yet harrowing set of real-life stories exposing the human impact of the world’s most extreme programme of population control.

Creative Workshops

From stop frame animation and drawing, to using humour in your comics we are running a number of creative workshops for the next generation of comic artists to learn their craft. The workshops are hands-on, practical and brought to you by leading artists working in the comic industry.

You Can’t Draw the Same Tree Twice – Launch

During his talk at this year's Festival, Oliver East, amongst other things, will be talking about the one time he walked 200km north out of Helsinki. The resulting book, You Can't Draw the Same Tree Twice, is out this month. Photo: Oliver East
During his talk at this year’s Festival, Oliver East, amongst other things, will be talking about the one time he walked 200km north out of Helsinki. The resulting book, You Can’t Draw the Same Tree Twice, is out this month. Photo: Oliver East

Illustrator, public artist and lecturer Oliver East will be launching his new comic, You Can’t Draw the Same Tree Twice, a commission by the festival, The Finnish Institute and Helsinki Comic Festival.

Sneak Peek: Rebellion’s Brian Bolland and Mick McMahon Apex Editions

The Brian Bolland Apex Edition SNIP

Comic artist and archivist David Roach, author of Masters of British Comic Art, will be revealing the cover of the upcoming Mick McMahon Apex Edition and just some of the original art in store that will feature in the new Brian Bolland Apex Edition during a talk about his career at the Brewery Arts Centre.

Pilgrim 2121 – Launch

Pilgrim 2121 - art by Wam Nick

B7 Media will be launching its first comic project from is B7 Comics imprint, the SF adventure Pilgrim, which features in a special preview as part of SHIFT Issue 8, the latest edition of the comics anthology available in all good newsagents, and from the B7 Media stand at the Comic Clock Tower, written by John Freeman, who will be at the event.

And much, much more…

The Festival is held at venues throughout the Brewery Arts Centre and across the town of Kendal and tickets are on sale now for this physical event from the Festival web site: www.comicartfestival.com

• 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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Please check online for location details and guidance regarding the accessibility of our venues. The Festival is committed to strictly adhere to all safety guidelines that may be in place in October.

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.



Categories: 2000AD, British Comics, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Exhibitions

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1 reply

  1. FANTASTIC.
    Sorry We Can’t Be There. but we are happy, because we were able to publish all the news and we contributed to the dissemination of the Lakes Festival.
    We will do everything to be there next year.
    mario, president of “Fumettomania Factory, italian social promotion Association

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