Lakes Festival kicks off with Steve Bell, Dave McKean

French comic artist Boulet at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2015

French artist Boulet is at the Lakes Festival with a limited edition English language release of some of his work – on sale from Soaring Penguin in the “Magnificent Emporium”, which also hosts Knockabot Comics stand, the VIZ Fulcherster Model Railway and a Bartkira Exhibition.

The 2015 Lakes International Comic Art Festival opened last night with a great talk from Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, introduced by local MP and leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron.

Tim was demonstrably supportive of the Festival (he’s a long time VIZ reader and comics and SF fan, overheard enthusing about The Martian before the event). His geekery cut no ice with Steve of course, who happily included his recent cartoons of the MP in his presentation of his work!

Steve charted the development of his “If” strip and how his characterisation of leading political figures evolved over time, poking wicked (and occasionally censored) fun at Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and more, revealing he was currently finding it hard to lampoon Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as he identified with his political agenda.

That hasn’t stopped him turning the new leader into a Jedi knight for his latest strips, running in The Guardian at present and finding himself stuck in a hole filled with something unpleasant.

Later in the evening acclaimed comics creator and artist Dave McKean introduced his new project, Luna, to fans.

LICAF 2015 Windows Trail: Colin Shelbourn

Windows Trail art in a vets by newspaper Colin Shelbourn.

LICAF 2015 Windows Trail: Doodle Gang

Windows Trail art by the talented young Doodle Gang

The Cumbrian town of Kendal is alive with comics goodness, most obviously with the superb Windows Trail that features art in shop windows created by both professional comic artists and local school children.

 

The team behind VIZ comic and Kendal College students have created a model railway version of Fulchester for the Festival.

The team behind VIZ comic and Kendal College students have created a model railway version of Fulchester for the Festival.

There’s a huge variety of great art to enjoy, complementing the huge range of both paid and free events throughout the weekend, including panels, workshops, amazing exhibitions, the Comics Clock Tower crammed with comic creators – and even the Fulchester Model Railway, courtesy of VIZ, who have also organised a Drunken Bakers Bake-Off event tonight.

It’s all great fun, so if you’re in the area, why not pop along.

• Full info: www.comicartfestival.com

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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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