Comic Art Europe Guests revealed for Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2023 – and the debut of a “Festival Fringe”

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has confirmed five more incredible comic creators are joining the line-up for this year’s annual event in Bowness-on-Windermere later this year, joining the event thanks to the organisation’s continued partnership with Comic Art Europe.

Lebanese comic artist Bernard Hage in Bowness-on-Windermere
Lebanese comic artist Bernard Hage in Bowness-on-Windermere

They have also announced the first unofficial “Festival Fringe” at this year’s weekend-long event, spearheaded by creators that include Dan BerryLucy Sullivan and Kev F. Sutherland.

James AlbonSilvia L. BallartBernard Hage (aka The Art Of Boo), Štěpánka Jislová and Eva Pavlič join this year’s Festival, brought to the Lakes in partnership with Comic Art Europe, a project that aims to unite comics artists and organisations all over Europe.

It’s supported by four organisations from across the continent – Lyon BD, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, Escola Joso, Centre de Còmic i Arts Visuals and Centre Belge de la Bande-Dessinée (the Belgium Comic Strip Centre) – with the support of the European Union program “Creative Europe”. One of its many goals is to create a training and development programme for young comic artists and students across Europe, including summer camps.

Gustavo Duarte
Gustavo Duarte

The CAE-sponsored guests join an all-star line-up of creators already announced, which includes Mehdi Annassi, aka Machima, Charlie Adlard, Gigi Cavenago, Gustavo Duarte, Hunt Emerson, Gerhard, Lina Ghaibeh, Peter Hogan, Jad (George Khoury), current Comics Laureate Stephen L. Holland, Mai Koraiem, Michael Lark, Lucie Lomová, Dave McKean, Fouad Mezher, Bill Morrison, Seif Eddine Nechi, Steve and Annie Parkhouse, Sean Phillips, Pieter De Poortere, Tom Richmond, Peter Rogiers, Marek Rubec, Festival poster designer Mohamed Salah, David Shenton, Václav Šlajch, Rachael Smith, Bryan and Mary Talbot, “Awkward Yeti” creator Nick Seluk, Shennawy and Dr Nicola Streeten, Nancy ArtMusic and Wallis Eates of LDComics.

More creators from across the globe will be revealed soon, part of a weekend-long event that will open with a never-to-be repeated opening night of comedy with comedians Josie Long and Frankie Boyle (the latter also a comics creator) on Friday 29th September.

Full details of the Festival’s guests are here.

This year also marks the arrival of a number of “Festival Fringe” events around Windermere, spearheaded by cartoonist, illustrator, podcaster and educator Dan Berry and fellow comics conspirators such as David Gaffney and Lucy Sullivan.

The events will make the Festival even bigger than ever, complementing the official programme.

“We’re really excited to about these fab-sounding ‘Fringe’ events,” says Festival Director Julie Tait.

“The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has grown its programming since its inception in 2013, but, this year, comic events in Bowness-in-Windermere are going to be even bigger in number.

“These aren’t official events, but just as the Edinburgh Fringe has brought people to Scotland’s capital during its International Festival, way back in 1947, we know that the more that’s going on, the more our Festival will bring comic fans to the Lakes each year. Their presence is welcome!”

Information on confirmed events can be found on the Festival web site, along with links to the web sites or social media of the event participants, who, so far, include John AllisonDan BerryDavid Gaffney, also a guest at the Festival, Roger LangridgeJoe LathamZara SlatteryRachael SmithLucy Sullivan, Kev F Sutherland and Lyndon White.

Please do contact them if you have questions about what they are planning.

“We’re always delighted to encourage comic-related activity and feel honoured our own ‘LICAF Fringe’ has begun!,” says Julie. “From ‘little acorns’…”

• Check out the LICAF “Festival Fringe” Page

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

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

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is online at: | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Little LICAF on Facebook | Little LICAF on Instagram

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Comic Art Europe Festival Guests

Coming to Lakes International Comic Art Festival in partnership with Comic Art Europe

James Albon
James Albon

James Albon is an award-winning illustrator and writer based in Edinburgh. He studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, and went on to a postgraduate scholarship at the Royal Drawing School in London.

As well as having written several graphic novels, including A Shining Beacon (2018) and The Delicacy (2021), he has illustrated books by Mark Twain and John Steinbeck for the Folio Society, produced editorial illustrations for The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and Libération, and has received awards from the V&A Museum, American Illustration, and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers.

Love Languages, supported by Comic Art Europe, is his fourth graphic novel.

Silvia L. Ballart
Silvia L. Ballart

Silvia L. Ballart is a Spanish comic artist, script writer and illustrator. From 2016 to 2021 she attended Escola Joso in Barcelona to study Graphic Art. There she was educated in a diversity of areas such as script writing, drawing and narrative, among others. It was then when she discovered her love of comic books and comic-making. It led her to become one of the five winners of the second Comic Art Europe Open Call with her project, The Hermit.

She is currently working as a teacher, and in the process of publishing her first book.

Bernard Hage aka Art of Boo
Bernard Hage aka Art of Boo

Bernard Hage, commonly known as “The Art of Boo”, is an illustrator and cartoonist who struggled with writing his own biography while referring to himself in the third person.

He was born by accident and grew up in a small and boring town, which had no electricity, infrastructure, or girls. Bernard received his education at an accessible private school, where highly experienced tutors greatly contributed to corrupting his sense of creativity.

During his early years, he succeeded in getting himself into undesirable situations, which helped nurture his childhood traumas, and was credited by renowned bullies for always being in the wrong place at the right time. He also succeeded in getting friend-zoned countless of times and has been hailed as a “brilliant listener”.

Cartoon by Bernard Hage

Bernard chose a career in advertising that eradicated his ethics and social life simultaneously, so he quit his job in 2012. After surviving a profound existential crisis, he hosted his first solo exhibition, Undressed – Society’s Reflection in Its Brands at Artlab gallery, Beirut, in 2014. He then launched his first book of illustrated short stories and an original music soundtrack titled In the Dead of Night – Bedtime Stories for Grown Ups in 2017. His father missed both events.

His recent book, Anatomy of A Hummus Plate, published in April 2021, is a compilation of social and political cartoons that documents Lebanon’s economic and political collapse. Launched in Beirut, the book received disappointing reviews, most of which originated from furious vegans who were misled by the title and thought the content was no laughing matter.

In his spare time, Bernard composes music on his piano, labeled as “neo-experimental-medium-rare-Indie” by his intellectual middle-aged divorced neighbor, with whom Bernard agrees.

Recently, his music became more appreciated among the other neighbours, as it turned out it drives burglars and bandits away. His records are mostly played on weekends, in lieu of a security system when the neighbours leave for their mountain retreat.

Bernard is known best for his cartoons. He’s published weekly with L’Orient Le Jour since 2018, the French language Lebanese daily that offered him a very large amount of exposure in return for his hard work.

His work has been hailed by regional and international media, popular blogs and his mother.

Currently, Bernard resides in Berlin, where he pursues his dream of becoming a young millionaire by introducing sense of humour to the local community.

Štěpánka Jislová
Štěpánka Jislová

Štěpánka Jislová (1992) is a Czech comics author and illustrator. She has completed eight graphic novels so far, ranging from ironic superhero dystopias like this year’s SUPRO (Crew publishing) to personal autobiographical testimonies, like Hairless or Matter of Heart (both released by Paseka publishing). She is the co-founder of Komiksodějky, the Czech branch of Laydeez do Comics.

During the short instances when comics lets her out of its grasp, she does yoga, hikes and dreams of living in the woods.

Eva Pavlič
Eva Pavlič

Eva Pavlič first developed an interest in making comics during her studies in  architecture and urbanism. She earned a Master Degree in Architectural Engineering from The University of Ljubljana and a Master Degree in Art from the Royal Danish Academy of Art and Architecture in Copenhagen. While making the Master Thesis for the former, Pavlič wanted to

challenge the traditional forms of architectural representation and test the ways a comic book format can investigate the relationship between body, building and the space in between.

Through her work she wishes to continue blending the boundaries between the technical, empirical and epic in an attempt to better understand and communicate on the way we  experience our built environment.

Festival Fringe: David Gaffney

David Gaffney
David Gaffney

David Gaffney is the author of the novels Never Never (2008), All The Places I’ve Ever Lived (2017) and Out Of The Dark (2021).

He’s also the author of the flash fiction and short story collections Sawn-Off Tales (2006), Aromabingo (2007), The Half-Life of Songs (2010) and More Sawn-Off Tales (2013). He has also published two graphic novels with Dan Berry – The Three Rooms In Valerie’s Head (2018) and Rivers (2021) – and is working on a third.

He has just published a chapbook, The Country Pub, with Nightjar Press, and this year publishes a new short story collection with Salt Publishing, Concrete Fields, and a pamphlet, Whale, with Osmosis Press.

Yomi Ayeni. Photo: Harry Atkinson
Yomi Ayeni. Photo: Harry Atkinson

Announced guests for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2023 in alphabetical order are: Charlie Adlard, James Albon, Mehdi Annassi, aka Machima, Silvia L. Ballart, Frankie Boyle, Gigi Cavenago, Gustavo Duarte, Hunt Emerson, David Gaffney, Gerhard, Lina Ghaibeh, Bernard Hage, aka The Art of Boo, Peter Hogan, Stephen L. Holland, Jad (George Khoury), Štěpánka Jislová, Mai Koraiem, Michael Lark, Lucie Lomová, Josie Long, Dave McKean, Fouad Mezher, Bill Morrison, Seif Eddine Nechi, Steve and Annie Parkhouse, Eva Pavlič, Sean Phillips, Tom Richmond, Marek Rubec, Mohamed Salah, Václav Šlajch, Rachael Smith and “Awkward Yeti” creator Nick Sulek – with more to be announced.

Jenika Ioffreda
Jenika Offreda

Creators in the Lakeside Comics Marketplace include: Chris Askham, Yomi Ayeni, Bardic Illustration, Sayra Begum, Clark Bint, Tim Bird, Tori Cat, Jon Davis, Doctor Geof, Pete Doree, Jonathan Edwards & Felt Mistress, Emma Evans, Ed Firth, Simon Furman, Steven Fraser, Warwick Fraser-Coombe, Jessika Green, Lyndsey Green, Katie Handley, Isabel Hatherall, Jack Harvey, Luke Hyde, Jenika Ioffreda, Owen Michael Johnson, Roger Langridge, Joe Latham, Russell Mark Olson, Shaun Martland, Drew Marr, Chris Mole, Alex Moore, Beatrice Mossman, Nigel Parkinson, Markus Pattern, Mollie Ray, Reabault, Emma Reynolds, Schnumn, Paul Shinn, Martin Simpson, Matt Simmons, Zara Slattery, Cam Smith, Matt Smith, Rachael Smith, Mark Stafford, Lucy Sullivan, Kev F Sutherland, David Taylor, Tom Ward, Kevin Wells, Lyndon White, Kate-Mia White, Steve White, Dan Whitehead, Andrew Wildman, Manon Wright & Tal Brosh

Hancock: The Lad Himself by Stephen Walsh and Keith Page - Writing a Book
Art from Hancock – The Lad Himself, from B7 Comics

Independent Publishers, and other Exhibitors in the Lakeside Comics Marketplace include: 1826, The77 Publications, After the Robot Apocalypse, Art-Bubble, B7 Comics, The Cartoon Museum, Catfood Comics, Centrala, CoCo Comics, Colossive Press, Comics Youth CIC, Conundrum Press, Fanfare UK, First Graphic Novel Competition, Foxhat, Galaxia Prince, I&M Illustration, Indie Novella, Iqbal A. Comics, Kannter Art, Knockabout Comics, LDComics, Meraki Comics, MoonSquid INK, Nevercity Creations, Nona Gallery, Parable Games, Peak Hare Collective, Playstation Studios, Power Comics Studios, RAWHEAD, Scratch Comics, Sector 13 Comics, SelfMadeHero and Sloth Comics

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