Lakes International Comic Art Festival announces second wave of guests for October

Art by Sayra Begum
Art by Sayra Begum

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced more guests for its Festival weekend in Kendal (12th – 14th October 2018), who include veteran British comics artist Ian Kennedy and New Yorker illustrator Stanley Chow.

The latest guests revealed are Steven Appleby, Sayra Begum, Corey Brotherson, Stanley Chow, Alan Grant, Ian Kennedy, Steve McGarry, Graeme McNeeEmmi Nieminen and Ken Niimura.

Already announced are Yomi AyeniElizabeth BreitweiserGuy DelisleOttilie Hainsworth, Rian HughesKripa JoshiJoe Kelly, Kaisa LekaVictoria LomaskoMikiko, Ian RankinOrijit SenSeth and John Wagner (see our news story here).

Many more guests will be announced in the coming months from the UK and abroad, with an increase in the number of comic creators exhibiting in the Comics Clock Tower and other venues around the Lake District market town of Kendal.

Corey Brotherson
Corey Brotherson

“I’m flattered to be invited back for my third consecutive year at LICAF, even more so as a guest,” says writer and editor Corey Brotherson.

“Along with a brand new Magic of Myths story, I’ll be giving new sci-fi/fantasy anthology Deadlier Than… its LICAF debut, and working with ‘Clockwork Watch’ creator Yomi Ayeni to unveil something a little bit special, which I’m not allowed to fully talk about quite yet…”

“We’re delighted to be announcing this latest ‘teaser’ of our guest list,” says Festival Director Julie Tait. “We’re bringing more new faces to Kendal, but we’re excited that some amazing creators are returning, too.

“Not only is Steve McGarry at the Festival but he’s also working with us on a new exhibition in partnership with the National Football Museum,” she reveals. “The full details of that are still being finalised, but needless to say, given Steve’s love of football and his work on football comics, he was the perfect choice for this!”

The Festival is the only one of its kind in the UK, taking place in one of the the country’s most beautiful areas – the English Lake District, in the market town of Kendal. Modelled on European-style festivals, such as Angoulême in France, it takes over the whole town for a weekend of comic art. Its aim is to celebrate the whole spectrum of comic art, inspiring existing comic art fans and creators and, it hopes, generating new audiences and creators too. It invests in creators through a commissioning programme and has an emphasis on developing international collaborations.

•  A range of Early Bird Passes, available for a limited time only, are on sale now

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will be back in Kendal 12th – 14th October 2018

• Web: www.comicartfestival.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Podcast

Art by Ken Niimura
Art by Ken Niimura

Meet The Guests

Steven Appleby. Photo: Jasper Appleby-Sherrin
Steven Appleby. Photo: Jasper Appleby-Sherrin

Steven Appleby is the absurdist creator of comic strips for many newspapers, including The Guardian, The Observer, The Times and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

His other works include animated television series Captain Star; the musical play Crocs In Frocks; over 25 books, including Miserable Families; the BBC Radio 4 series, Steven Appleby’s Normal Life, as well as paintings and drawings for numerous exhibitions.

His artwork and murals illuminate the Royal Brompton Hospital’s Centre for Sleep and Room 9a of the Carlton Arms Hotel, New York.

He contributed drawings to the sleeve of Pixies album Tromp Le Monde and illustrated The Good Inn, by Black Francis & Josh Frank.

He is currently working on Dragman, his first graphic novel, for Jonathan Cape.

• Steven is online at www.stevenappleby.com

Sayra Begum
Sayra Begum

Sayra Begum is a Cornwall-based illustrator. She studied Illustration at Plymouth College of Art and then completed a master’s degree in Illustration at Falmouth University; with a focus on female and marginalised voices.

She is currently working on her debut graphic novel: Mongrel, which will be published by Knockabout Comics. It tells the story of a girl growing up as a British Muslim caught between two cultures, challenging and tearing away the differences to reveal the common humanity.

• Sayra is online at www.sayra.co.uk

Corey Brotherson is a writer and editor, with over 15 years’ experience writing copy and content for websites, publishers, magazines and TV.

He’s also scribed a variety of comic book stories during his 12 years in the medium, including tales in the Unseen Shadows, Bayou Arcana and Dead Roots series’, and is the co-creator of the critically acclaimed ongoing graphic novel series, Magic of Myths (along with commended artist Sergio Calvet).

He’s the adapting writer and editor for Yomi Ayeni’s popular and award-winning transmedia series Clockwork Watch, and his most recent work includes forthcoming sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel collection Deadlier Than…, as well as currently co-adapting an Amazon bestselling novel for TV.

Corey appears to have grown out of at least some of his debilitating cat allergy, which he thinks is a sign that his soul is now far purer than it previously was (possibly).

• Follow Corey on Twitter @CoreyBrotherson

Stanley Chow
Stanley Chow

Stanley Chow is an illustrator from Manchester. He is best known for his portrayals of icons from the world of entertainment, politics and sport which have appeared in magazines around the world like The New Yorker, Der Spiegel, Empire, Time, GQ and Variety to name a few.

Stanley’s freelance career started soon after he left art school in 1995. His work was more fashion orientated back then, working for teen/girls magazines like Just 17, Sugar and More as well as The Times Style magazine, Marie Claire and Elle.

In what seemed to be a plateauing career through the late 1990’s up to the late noughties, Stanley got a lucky break when his work was spotted by the American rock group The White Stripes. He was asked to design a USB stick containing their album Icky Thump. This was later nominated for a Grammy Award in 2008… he hasn’t looked back since.

Soon afterwards his work started appearing in The New Yorker magazine and is now their resident portrait artist. Other notable works include collaborating with Aardman Animation to produce idents for the BBC.

His artwork was also used for the McDonald’s animated billboard on Piccadilly Circus, London, where he created a McDonald’s village, populated by McDonald’s people, which was in prime view for four years. The billboard can be spotted in the Paddington Bear movie and in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.

More recently he has been working for Apple and Manchester United, and he just had an exhibition at The National Football Museum.

• Stanley is online at www.stanleychow.co.uk

Alan Grant
Alan Grant

Alan Grant has written a boat-load of stuff. For DC: Batman, Lobo, The Demon, LEGION, Bob the Galactic Bum and Outcasts. For Marvel: RoboCop, The Last American, Punisher and Nick Fury. For Dark Horse: Terminator. For Rebellion: “Judge Dredd|, “Anderson PSI”, “RoboHunter”, “Strontium Dog” and “MazeWorld”. For Renegade: The 1812 War, Channel Evil and Tales of the Buddha (before he got enlightened). For Waverly Press: Kidnapped and Jekyll and Hyde. Plus various short stories, novels and movie/TV scripts.

He’s also written three children’s books and a couple of graphic novels based on LEGO characters, and worked behind the scenes on their “Bionicles”movie.

Currently, he’s just finished adapting Mark Hamilton’s trilogy of novels, Neothink, into graphic novel format and is about to start on a new Anderson story for the Judge Dredd Megazine.

Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy

Born in 1932, Ian Kennedy grew up in a Dundee surrounded by wartime airfields which resulted in a burning ambition to fly with the Royal Air Force. Unfortunately, a severe and lasting ear infection put paid to any chance of realising his much cherished dreams. He admits now, that he probably would have been a “lousy” pilot anyway, so his long career in illustration can be viewed as more than just an unsatisfactory alternative!

On leaving school in 1949, he was taken on by D.C.Thomson & Co. as a trainee illustrator, spending the next five years with what he describes as “a most talented group of experienced professionals” whose invaluable influence laid the foundation for what was to be a lengthy, fairly successful career in commercial art. Incidentally, his first professional job was inking in the black squares in the Sunday Post crossword !

Having married in 1953, and a son coming on scene the following year, an increase in income became imperative, so Ian went freelance, working initially for Amalgamated Press on the Knockout then inevitably, shortly after, getting back with Thomsons.

Since those early days, he has been fully occupied during what he terms “The Golden Times”, of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, with work appearing in quite a variety of publications – Knockout, Air Ace, Battle, Hotspur, Wizard, Warlord, Football PSM, Judy, Bunty, Blake’s 7, M.A.S.K., 2000AD, Judge Dredd Megazine, Eagle and Commando (drawing 1500+ covers), to name but a few.

Recently, he was greatly honoured to receive from the Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance, an Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Comics 2017”.

In the meantime, he has maintained his abiding interest in aeronautics, producing the covers for RAF Leuchars’ Annual Airshow Programmes until the onset of computer designs in 1998.

Now in “semi retirement”, Ian still accepts commissions as well as enjoying a new career meeting fans and friends, old and new, at various Comic Conferences which will, this year, include his first visit to Lakeland – a date he is looking forward to with much anticipation!

Steve McGarry
Steve McGarry

Steve McGarry is one of the most prolific and widely-published cartoonists and illustrators that Britain has ever produced. In the UK alone, his daily strips include “Badlands,” which ran for a dozen years in The Sun, “The Diary of Rock & Pop” in the Daily Star, “Pop Culture” in Today and “World Soccer Diary” in The Sun.

Over his four-decade career he has regularly graced the pages of soccer magazines Match, Match of the Day and Shoot! and his comics work ranges from Romeo in the 1970s and Look-In in the 1980s, through to Toxic! today. When The People launched his “Steve McGarry’s 20th Century Heroes” series, they billed him as the “world’s top cartoonist.”

His sports features have been syndicated worldwide since 1982 and his two current features – “Biographic” and “Kid Town” – are syndicated to over 200 newspapers, including The New York Daily News, The Boston Herald and papers as far flung as the South China Morning Post and Kuala Lumpur New Straits Times.

For the last three years, Steve has also been collaborating with Illumination Entertainment, creating story art for such movies as Despicable Me 2, Minions, and The Secret Life of Pets. He was also a story artist on the recent Minions Paradise game from EA Games.

Manchester born and bred, Steve has been based in California since 1989. A two-term former President of the National Cartoonists Society, the world’s most prestigious organisation for Professional Cartoonists, his honours include Illustrator of the Year awards from the NCS and the Australian Cartoonists Association, and he is a recipient of the Silver T-Square for “outstanding service to the profession of cartooning.”

He is currently the President of the NCS Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Cartoonists Society.

• Steve is online at stevemcgarry.com

Graeme McNeeGraeme McNee was raised in Scotland and now lives and works as a freelance artist in the Kobe area of Japan. He has collaborated with companies such as Muji, Pia and L Maga in Japan, and in the UK has produced comics and illustrations for BBC Scotland and the Edinburgh International Festival.

He draws a regular monthly comic in Japanese for Colocal Magazine, published by Magazine House in Tokyo.

Over the last five years, he has built a steady audience for his limited edition, risograph printed zines, most of which are sold through independent book stores and art book events in Japan and South Korea.

His attendance at LICAF will be his first visit to a comic festival, and he will produce a limited edition comic journal of his experience at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2018.

• Graham is online at www.graememcnee.com

Emmi Nieminen
Emmi Nieminen

Emmi Nieminen is a visual artist (BA), illustrator and comics artist from Tampere, Finland. Since her debut in 2010, she has published five books and participated in several anthologies.

She works with themes like miscommunication, cats, family, food and the imperfection of human life.

Nieminen’s most recent work, created together with the journalist Johanna Vehkoo, studies the phenomenon of online misogyny and she is currently working on a historical graphic novel together with the writer Jamie E. Rhodes.

• Emmi is online at emminieminen.wordpress.com

Ken Nimura - photo by Paula Fujiwara
Ken Nimura – photo by Paula Fujiwara

Ken Niimura’s breakthrough in the industry came with the publication of the acclaimed graphic novel, I Kill Giants, earning co-creators illustrator Niimura and writer Joe Kelly nominations for the prestigious Eisner Award and winning the International Manga Award in 2012.

I Kill Giants is now a soon-to-be released feature film.

Niimura is also the author of the short story collection Henshin, published originally in Japan by Shogakukan.

His new series, Umami, launched in 2017 through Panel Syndicate.

• Follow Ken Niimura on Twitter @ken_niimura


•  A range of Early Bird Passes, available for a limited time only, are on sale now

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will be back in Kendal 12th – 14th October 2018

• Web: www.comicartfestival.com | Facebook | Twitter |YouTube |Podcast

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.