Top Cartoonists Steve and Luke McGarry Lined Up for October’s Lakes Comics Festival

Steve and Luke McGarry
Steve and Luke McGarry – in Kendal for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has just announced the upcoming appearance of two top British, California-based comic creators at this year’s Festival, who will be bringing their unique cartooning talents to bear on a host of activities throughout the weekend.

Steve McGarry – a multiple award-winning creator best known for his football illustrations and cartoons, his comic strips for a number of national British newspapers and his work on the Minions movie characters – says he is looking forward to his Lakes Festival appearance, along with his son, the Reuben Award-nominated cartoonist and animator Luke McGarry.

“Luke and I are delighted to be part of this year’s Festival,” says Steve. “Although we’ve been based in Los Angeles for many years, my career was launched and established in the UK and I’ve continued to work for British publications during that time. We are a family of transplanted Mancunians so it’s an absolute pleasure to be invited to ‘come home’ and join in the festivities.”

Steve McGarry’s career began as a designer of record sleeves for such artists as Joy Division and John Cooper Clarke, before beginning a long and much-admired career as a newspaper cartoonist and also working on top British weekly comics such as Look-In and Tiger, as well as several football magazines, including Shoot!

Sunday Times World Cup 2014 Poster by Steve McGarry
Sunday Times World Cup 2014 Poster by Steve McGarry

He created the long-running newspaper strip “Badlands”, which ran in The Sun for 12 years. He also created the daily cartoon strips “The Diary of Rock & Pop” for the Daily Star and “Pop Culture” for Today, both of which were syndicated worldwide by United Media.

Biographic: Krysten Ritter by Steve McGarry

His current strips, “Biographic” and “Kid Town”, are syndicated to over 200 newspapers, including the New York Daily News and the Boston Herald, his sports features appear in newspapers and magazines worldwide, and he has served as a story artist on the movies Minions, Despicable Me 2 and The Secret Life of Pets, and the video game Minions Paradise, a joint production by Illumination Entertainment and EA Games. He is a two-term past President of the National Cartoonists Society and current President of the NCS Foundation, the Society’s charitable arm.

One of Luke McGarry's viral "Sad Chewie" cartoons
One of Luke McGarry’s viral “Sad Chewie” cartoons

Luke McGarry, the creator behind the recent Star Wars-inspired “Sad Chewie” cartoons that quickly became an internet viral phenomenon, is one of the the most sought-after young cartoonists in Los Angeles. He has created animated commercials for clients as diverse as the IFC Movie Channel and VISA and his print clients range from Bloomberg Businessweek to the NY Observer.

Luke is also heavily involved in the music business – he is a member of the indie dance duo Pop Noir, alongside his twin brother Joe – and has created animated music videos for major label recording artists including Jack Black and Tenacious D and is considered the go-to designer for some of the biggest festivals and music promoters in the US.

Festival Supreme Poster art by Luke McGarry

Steve and Luke will conduct a joint presentation that will cover the span of their careers and talk about everything from Joy Division to Jack Black, and how they set about breaking into the worlds of illustration, syndication and animation and more. Steve will also present a children’s programme on “How to Draw Minions and More” in the Family Zone and Saturday night will see a live show at Ruskins featuring a special appearance from Luke’s band, Pop Noir.

“We’re thrilled Luke and Steve are coming to Kendal in October,” enthuses Festival Director Julie Tait revealing the pair will also play an integral part in a special Opening Night event at the Brewery Arts Centre that will play to their much-praised shared talents as high-speed cartoonists.

“The National Cartoonists Society has been a longtime supporter of the Festival, and Luke and Steve’s appearance reinforces the event’s wide-ranging remit to cover every aspect of the comics medium – and have plenty of fun along the way!”

Steve and Luke will be joining previously announced guests Joe Kelly (I Kill Giants, Deadpool), Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim, Seconds), 2000AD‘s Mick McMahon , Ken Niimura (who has designed this year’s Festival art) and Benoit Peeters – Britain’s first Professor of Graphic Fiction and Comic Art, at Lancaster University – for this year’s prestigious event.

Many more international and British comic creators will be announced over the coming weeks, joining a host of writers, artists, publishers and retailers for a long weekend in the Lakes crammed with panels, exhibitions, children’s events and other activities. The town will be entirely given over to comics, with business owners lining up to support the Festival’s famous “Windows Trail”, giving over store front space to display comics art created by artists and local groups and school children.

The October weekend is just one of a number of comics projects from the Festival on its way this year, with the world premiere performance of Black Dog – the Dreams of Paul Nash by Dave McKean already announced, taking place at Kendal Town Hall on 28th May.

• Lakes International Comic Art Festival: www.comicartfestival.com | Find the Lakes International Comic Art Festival on Facebook | Follow the Festival on Twitter @comicartfest

• Steve McGarry’s Official Site: http://stevemcgarry.com | Find Steve on Facebook | Follow Steve on Twitter @stevemcgarry | Instagram

• Luke McGarry Official site: http://lukemcgarry.com | Find Luke on Facebook | Follow Luke on Twitter @lukeymcgarry | Instagram | Tumblr

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", working as an editor, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years. His credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel UK and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines. He also edited STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics, including Team M.O.B.I.L.E. and The Beatles Story. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare” for Tian Books. 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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