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.
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.
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