Award-winning comic creators Mai Koraiem and Sean Phillips join Lakes International Comic Art Festival guest line-up for 2023

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is delighted to announce award-winning comic creators Mai Koraiem and Sean Phillips as guests at this year’s annual weekend long gathering in Bowness-on-Windermere, returning Friday 29th September – Sunday 1st October 2023.

Tickets are on sale now for the event with Comics Laureate Stephen L. Holland,  DC Comics and Marvel artist Gustavo DuarteRawand IssaMai Koraiem and Sean Phillips joining previously-announced guests: Mehdi Annassi, aka Machima, Charlie AdlardGigi CavenagoGerhardLina GhaibehPeter HoganMichael LarkLucie LomováDave McKeanBill MorrisonSteve and Annie ParkhouseMarek Rubec, Festival poster designer Mohamed SalahRachael Smith and “Awkward Yeti” creator Nick Sulek.

The weekend-long event will open with a never-to-be repeated opening night of comedy with comedian and comic creator Frankie Boyle and comic Josie Long on Friday 29th September – 1st October 2023.

More internationally acclaimed creators are still to be announced over the next month.

“The Lakes Festival has always featured a great range of internationally-acclaimed creators in our line-up, and this year is no exception,” says Festival Director Julie Tait. “International voices bring fresh perspectives to comics and comic creation for our audiences, and it’s fascinating to learn more about how the form has a voice elsewhere in the world.”

The Festival’s efforts to boost its offering for younger comic readers, as well as established fans, continues, with a crowdfunding campaign to support the work of its “Little LICAF” team. The organisation is determined to help grow new audiences, echoing the work of many other comic events, representatives of several of them visiting the Festival this year for an event that will provide an opportunity for an exchange of ideas.

Early backers of the Little LICAF Crowdfundr can choose to buy a Festival 2023 Weekend Ticket for just £20, but only a limited number are available.

Head to the Festival’s official web site now and book your weekend tickets at a special “Early Bird” price, an offer that ends 31st May 2023

Buy your “Frankie Boyle and Josie Long Talk Comics” Festival Opening Night tickets here

FESTIVAL DATES: The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns to Bowness-on-Windermere 29th September to 1st October 2023

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is online at: | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Little LICAF on Facebook | Little LICAF on Instagram | Sign up for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival Newsletter

Meet The Guests 

Gustavo Duarte

Gustavo Duarte

Gustavo Duarte is a Brazilian cartoonist, comic creator and graphic designer, born in São Paulo in 1977. He graduated in Graphic Design from Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp – Bauru) in 1999 and started his cartoonist and illustrator career publishing his works at the newspaper Diário de Bauru, between 1997 and 1999. 

Returning to São Paulo in 2000, he began to collaborate with the major magazines and newspapers in Brazil, among them Lance! and Folha de S. Paulo, where he published regularly for over ten years. 

Since 2009, he has worked in comics as writer and artist with books like Có!TaxiBirds and Monsters. His books have been published in Brazil, the United States, Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. 

He also works for US publishers such as DC Comics, Marvel and Dark Horse, among others, on titles such as DC’s Silent Tales, BizarroDear Justice League, and Marvel’s Spider-Verse – UnlimitedGuardians of the GalaxyMoon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and many more.

Rawand Issa

Art by Rawand Issa

Rawand Issa is a comic artist and writer from Lebanon. Her work is political, and focuses on documenting real life stories. She is now doing her MA in cultural studies at Istanbul Bilgi University, and publishes cartoons and comics in different magazines.

Her latest work is a graphic novel في بطن الحوت published in Arabic with Al Mahrousa in Egypt and in English as Inside the Giant Fish with Maamoul Press, translated by Amy Chiniara.

Inside the Giant Fish by Rawand Issa (Maamoul Press)

Through the story of a girl looking for her lost memories on a beach that no longer exists, Rawand Issa poignantly describes the effects of privatising public beaches on the locals of the El Jiyeh town in Lebanon. A graphic memoir that is political, social and personal.

Follow Rawand Issa on Instagram

Read an interview with Rawand Issa and Amy Chiniara about Inside the Giant Fish from Arablit & Arablit Quarterly, a magazine of Arabic literature in translation

Mai Koraiem

Mai Koraiem

Born in Alexandria in 1980, award-winning comic creator Mai Koraiem graduated from the faculty of fine arts painting department in 2003, but didn’t start her comics career until 2013. Her first graphic novel, When the Gods gave up on Kavafis, was published in 2015, it was selected as one of the best three graphic novels at the Cairo Comics Festival.

Mai would go on to win the prize for best short story (by a woman) at the same Festival in 2017, and published her first children’s book with Aphorisma publishing house in Berlin the following year.

Her second graphic novel, Case 43 labban, was published in 2020 by Kotobna, winning the award for best graphic novel in the Mahmoud Kahil Awards in 2022. She has since published new two comics, West Bank, and The City’s Key.

• Follow Mai Koraiem on Facebook: mai.koraiem.58

Stephen L. Holland

Stephen L. Holland, Comics Laureate 2021 - 2023

Stephen L. Holland – owner of the independent comics shop Page 45, and a fervent comics advocate, freelance artist, tutor and more, is the current Comics Laureate.

When young, Stephen, who took over the Laureate role from graphic novelist Hannah Berry, was a very reluctant reader – to which his mum successfully applied the then-inspired solution of comics. The proof of the pudding: he now has a degree in English Literature and History of Art, which is certainly pretty handy when preaching and teaching comics.

Stephen’s tenure as Comics Laureate is drawing to a close, but his will be difficult shoes to fill. During his tenure, he has given 22 presentations, workshops or talks, been guest editor for LoveReading4Kids and been confirmed as a Patron of Refuge in Literacy UK

Reflecting his determination to reach new, diverse audiences and encourage young people to create comics, Stephen has made numerous appearances in schools, to plenty of deserved acclaim.

“I wanted to get straight into schools and start spreading the word in order to generate a renewed love of reading for pleasure,” he reiterated recently, “and empower young minds with the knowledge that they can create for themselves.

“Wherever I roam – in schools and elsewhere – I want to surprise, as we explore together what the comics medium actually is, where it has appeared, what it can do and how it can do it, while emphasising the limitless breadth of subject matter that comics can cover.

“This is the most massive honour of my lifetime – one entirely unexpected – and I’m so very, very charged up about it,” he said of taking on the role of Comics Laureate. “If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t be worried, but I’ve been given this golden opportunity to replicate everything I’ve done for 30 years at Page 45 in Nottingham nationwide! To show everyone in this country who’ll look and listen the true diversity of this medium we all love, and promote its most individualistic voices!

“Because here’s the thing: comics is a visual medium. You can’t tell the public that they must start reading comics! You have to show them this medium’s full, diverse and fascinating glories – which they won’t be expecting – and so tantalise them into exploring graphic novels for themselves!”

• Find out more about the role of the Comics Laureate here:

• Check out the Comics Laureate Recommended Reading Section on the Festival web site:

Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips

Drawing comics professionally since the age of fifteen, Eisner Award winning Sean Phillips has worked for all the major publishers. Destroy all Monsters, created with Ed Brubaker, was recently nominated for an Eisner Award.

Since drawing Sleeper, Hellblazer, Batman, X-Men, Marvel Zombies, and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, Sean has concentrated on creator-owned books including Criminal, Incognito, Seven Psychopaths and Fatale.

He lives in the Lake District in the UK with his wife and three sons.

• Sean Phillips is online at: | Twitter: @seanpphillips |
Instagram | Tumblr

Head to the Festival’s official web site now and book your weekend tickets at a special “Early Bird” price, an offer that ends 31st May 2023

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is online at: | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Little LICAF on Facebook | Little LICAF on Instagram | Sign up for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival Newsletter

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