Tickets are now selling fast for some of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival events, and organisers are warning that some events – such as digital comics guru Scott McCloud, Watchmen and Secret Service artist Dave Gibbons, Bone creator Jeff Smith and top Japanese manga artist Junko Mizuno – likely to sell out soon.
Sadly, one creator, Bryan Hitch, has been forced to cancel his appearance, but otherwise, the Festival organisers are telling us it’s all systems go for a terrific-looking weekend, bringing a European-style comic festival to the Lake District.
Demand for workshop places – many organised for children by the hugely popular The Phoenix comic – is also proving strong.
Locally, promotion for the Festival (17th – 19th October) is ramping up, with comics exhibitions, including “The Great War in Comics” and “The Universe Within” featuring the work of Doug Braithwaite up and running and a special comic-themed “Windows on Comic Art Trail” involving 40 local shops already in place.
A pre-Festival event in Kendal town centre on Saturday 4th October, with local businesses, including Game, helping highlight the upcoming event, their staff dressing up to highlight the fun to come when comic creators descend on the town next month. They’ll also be running child-friendly activities and some giving away free comics until they run out, thanks to Beano publisher DC Thomson, Doctor Who Magazine and others.
The events take place in Elephant Shopping Yard, involving Costa and Claire’s. Nearby clothes store Fat Face will have a Star Wars theme with a fantastic Star Wars Legacy Graphic Novel worth £19.99 for anyone who goes in and says “You are my only hope” until they run out!
“We’ll have comic creators at the Festival linked to all these themes,” enthuses Festival Director Julie Tait, “And we’re thrilled at the work that’s gone into this year’s ‘Windows on Comic Art Trail’ thanks to 40 businesses who have displays in windows including centre-piece at Beales with our Lakes Gang mascots.”
Along with tickets events at the Brewery Arts Centre and other venues, the Festival Weekend is jam-packed with plenty of free events for all ages, with Kendal’s Clock Tower set to be packed out with publishers, comics creators and other attractions and Elephant Shopping Yard taken over by crazy cartoonists from VIZ and Knockabout Comics.
While the event is attracting comic creators from across the UK and the US, inevitably work schedules can sabotage the plans of some, and, unfortunately, world-famous and former Cumbria-basd comic artist Bryan Hitch will now not be attending the Festival.
“It’s with a heavy heart and much regret I’m sorry to say I will no longer be able to journey to Kendal for the Lakes International Comics Art Festival next month,” says Bryan. “Sadly, other pressing commitments have made my attending the show impossible this year. I’d very much looked forward to bringing my work ‘home’ and meeting many readers and fans on my old home ground.
“Fortunately the Festival has a truly impressive list of events to attend and guests to meet so I’m sure anybody going will have a truly wonderful experience.
“The Lake District is a truly magical place to visit and a show like this has only added to it’s extraordinary landscape. I’m truly sorry I can’t be there to share it with you.”
• Tickets for all the events at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival (17th – 19th October) are on sale now. For bookings, the full guest list, details of events visit: www.comicartfestival.com
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Here’s the links to details of the numerous exhibitions taking place in Kendal both in the run up to and during the Festival Weekend
- The Great War in Comics: joe Colquhoun, Charlie Adlard and Ivan Petrus
- The Universe Within : The Art of Doug Braithwaite
- Drawing on Japan: Glyn Dillon, Junko Mizuno and Fumio Obata.
- Windows on Comics Art Trail
- Sean Phillips @ Baba Ganoush
Festival Weekend Exhibitions:
- The BatCave @ Ruskins Bar
- Oliver East: The Homesick Truant’s Cumbrian Yarn
- Metaphrog @ Kendal Library
- Viz Unmasked