Just as Marvel’s latest blockbuster superhero movie Deadpool hits UK cinemas, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announce its first major US guest for the 2016 is Joe Kelly, who will be making an exclusive UK appearance at the Festival weekend in October.
A creator, writer and producer, Kelly is the creator of the lauded graphic novel I Kill Giants, published by the Man of Action imprint on Image Comics, and whose run on Marvel’s Deadpool is considered an industry standard. His credits also include Four Eyes, Bad Dog, BANG!TANGO and Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men and DC’s Action Comics and JLA.
As part of Man of Action Entertainment, he’s also is one of the creators of the hit long-running animated series, Ben 10 and one of the creators/executive producers and head writers of an upcoming Ben 10 series as well as the upcoming Mega Man series.
Currently in pre-production as a feature film with the screen adaptation also written by Kelly, I Kill Giants was winner of the 2012 International Manga Award from Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a rare feat for an American. His original graphic novel Four Eyes was a YALSA “Great Graphic Novel for Teens” selection.
Deadpool was his first monthly title for Marvel back in 1997 and was immediately well received by fans and critics. When it was cited for cancellation, a write-in and Internet campaign by fans led Marvel to reverse their decision. Twenty years later, he and artist Ed McGuinness recently returned to the character with Spider-Man/Deadpool, with Issue 2 on sale in comic shops this week.
Joe is credited with writing “The best Superman story of all time” in Action Comics #775, which he adapted into a feature animation home video, What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way? for Warner Brothers, released to great reviews in 2012. He also teaches Writing for Animation at his alma mater, NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing.
Much like their super-powered protagonists, Man of Action exists across all platforms, generates and adapts ideas into films, high-rated television shows and best-selling merchandise lines in the US and around the world. It began in 2000 as a group of four friends from differing back-grounds: Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey, Joe Kelly and Steven T. Seagle, all graphic novelists with a strong appreciation for structure and storytelling, who wanted to do something bigger.
The bi-coastal creative collective is responsible for creating such mega-hits as the Ben 10 – the most commercially successful original new superhero franchise of the past two decades and an upcoming feature film from producer Joel Silver – and Generator Rex on Cartoon Network and served as executive producers/writers for Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel’s Avengers Assemble for Disney XD. Man of Action Entertainment will also be creating/writing/producing a new Mega Man animated series with 26 episodes in 2017 for Dentsu and Capcom and they are also returning to their original creation as executive producers of a new Ben 10 series for Cartoon Network.
They are also the creators of the team and characters for the Academy Award-winning animated feature film, Big Hero 6, the first-ever animated Disney film based on a Marvel property and the first film to win an Academy Award based on intellectual property derived from comic books.
Man of Action has many films in development and production based on their original graphic novels and they are not only producers on the films, but also wrote the screenplays for Joe Kelly’s I Kill Giants and Joe Casey’s Officer Downe. Man of Action is also responsible for successful video games, toy lines, comic books, graphic novels, stage productions, international animated franchises and a number of upcoming primetime live action TV series.
“I’m excited and honoured to be a guest,” says Joe. “Really looking forward to it!”
Commenting on the announcement, Festival Director Julie Tait said: “We’re obviously delighted to have Joe join us in October 2016. He’s the first of our North American guests to be announced for this year – and there are more giants to come.”
The fourth Lakes International Comic Art Festival will run from 14-16 October 2016 in Kendal, Cumbria, celebrating great comic art from across the world. It is the only one of its kind in the UK taking over the whole town of Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District, for a weekend.
The festival features comic artists from around the world, as well as performance, film, exhibitions, comic trails, workshops, master classes, live drawing and independent retailers and publishers. Our events programme is bursting with opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the leading comic artists and writers from across the world – see them draw, talk about their work and bring comics to life. A free family zone provides drop-in activities for all ages, alongside a series of fantastic workshops for kids and teenagers. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival brings the town together for a weekend to celebrate the amazing world of comic art.
Recent activities include an online comic art auction which raised £1500 for the Festival’s events.
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