Beatrix Potter artwork reimagined by award-winning comic artists for 150th anniversary

Captain Peter Rabbit of The Lakes International Rescue by Duncan Fegredo

Captain Peter Rabbit of The Lakes International Rescue by Duncan Fegredo

Marking the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter, award-winning comic artists have given their time and talents to reimagine her characters and artwork, with stunning results.

Contributors to the project, organised by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, include Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, Hellboy artist Duncan Fegredo, illustrator, cartoonist and animator Luke McGarry and comics creator, writer, illustrator and podcaster, Hannah Berry.

The Lake District – For Comics and Quiet Imaginings by Charlie Adlard

The award-winning artists have contributed their artwork to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in support of the Beatrix Potter Reimagined student art competition, which  encouraged students to give Beatrix Potter a modern or unusual twist and create new work in a comic art style.

An exhibition of both professional and student work will feature at Kendal Library from 7th  – 28th October as part of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016, which is also when the winning student entries will be announced.

Several talented comic artists will be selecting the prize winning entries – Bryan Talbot, Sean Phillips, Emma Vieceli and Mary Talbot – alongside festival patron Stephen Holland, owner of the award-winning Page 45 comic shop in Nottingham.

Limited edition prints of the comic artists work will be on sale from Page 45 in the Comics Clock Tower during the Festival weekend (14th – 16th October).

The Festival takes over the town of Kendal on the edge of Lake District for a weekend to celebrate great comic art from across the world.

Beatrixpotting by Luke McGarry

Beatrix Potter Reimagined is an educational, artistic project organised on a not-for-profit basis as a tribute to the talents of Beatrix Potter.

“The artistic entries for Beatrix Potter Reimagined are simply stunning,” enthused Julie Tait, Festival Director.

“The creativity, skill and humour of the student artwork is just astonishing and to top it all we now have contributions from some of the most talented comic artists on the planet!

“Our festival is not only a celebration of the best of comic art, it’s also about encouraging the next generation of artists to explore their creative talents. Beatrix Potter Reimagined is a fantastic project to celebrate a Lake District icon and to encourage and inspire the comic storytellers of the future.”

“I was more than happy to be part of the Beatrix Potter Reimagined project,” says Duncan Fegredo, explaining his approach to the artwork.

“The idea of depicting Peter Rabbit as a spaceman emerged almost immediately and fully formed ­– Lakes International Comic Art Festival blending with International Rescue from Thunderbirds. My aim was to retain the innocence and appeal of Potter’s Peter Rabbit, setting him against a dramatic landscape and secret launching pad inspired by The Lakes.”

The project was aimed at students aged 16 and over and has been supported by the University of Cumbria with prizes generously provided by Wacom and Penguin Books.

By Hannah Berry, first published last week in New Statesman

Wacom is the world’s leading manufacturer of interactive pen tablets and displays. Their tools have been used to create some of the most exciting digital art, films, special effects, fashion and designs around the world. A stunning selection of Designer Edition Beatrix Potter books have also been provided as prizes by Penguin Books.

• For more information about the Lakes International Comic Art Festival and the Beatrix Potter Reimagined project visit

About the artists

All four artists will be at the Festival in October

Duncan Fegredo’s most well known works are his collaborations with Mike Mignola on Hellboy. Books include Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, The Storm & The Fury and The Midnight Circus, all published by Dark Horse Comics. Earlier significant works include Enigma with writer Peter Milligan (Vertigo), Jay & Silent Bob with writer/director Kevin Smith and more recently MPH with writer and iconoclast Mark Millar (Image books). A step outside comics saw Fegredo work as lead storyboard artist on Darren Aronofsky’s NOAH movie.

Charlie Adlard has been a “veteran” of the comic industry for over 20 years. He’s spent the majority of his time since 2004 working on The Walking Dead for which he has received many industry awards. In his time as a cartoonist he has worked on many other projects as far reaching as Mars Attacks, The X-Files, Judge Dredd for 2000AD, Savage, Batman, X-Men,
Superman and more – and creator-owned projects closer to his heart like Astronauts In Trouble, Codeflesh, Rock Bottom and White Death.

• Originally from Manchester, illustrator, cartoonist, animator and designer Luke McGarry has quickly become the most sought-after young cartoonist in Los Angeles. He has created animated commercials for clients as diverse as the IFC movie channel and VISA, and animated music videos for major label recording artists including Jack Black and Tenacious D. His print clients range from Bloomberg Businessweek to the NY Observer, and he’s the go-to designer for some of the biggest festivals and music promoters in the United States, and his online work for clients such as Myspace and Super Deluxe routinely goes viral, whether it’s Kanye West Valentine cards or the recent “Sad Chewie” series that has sent Star Wars fans into a retweeting frenzy.

Along with his twin brother Joe, he heads up design outfit Fantastic Heat Brothers, and he sings, plays bass and twiddles knobs in their indie duo Pop Noir, who have shared the stage with the likes of Doves, The Wombats, Robyn and Sebastien Tellier.

Hannah Berry<> is a comics creator and proselytiser; a writer, an illustrator and a podcaster. Her first two graphic novels, Britten & Brülightly and Adamtine, were
published by Jonathan Cape to critical acclaim, with the French edition of Britten & Brülightly chosen for the Angoulême Festival’s Official Selection in 2010. She has been part of numerous collaborative projects, arts festivals and exhibitions all around the world, and is one half of the No YOU Hang Up podcast with Dan Berry (probably no relation).
She is currently working on a third graphic novel, Livestock, a political satire due out from Cape in 2017.

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