Comic Art Europe teases new exhibition, “Living Together” part of Lakes International Comic Art Festival line-up this year

The pan-European comics project Comic Art Europe has just teased a brand-new exhibition, “Living Together“, which will be on display at this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Bowness-on-Windermere.

In this ‘Part Two’ of a Comic Art Europe project, taking inspiration from the idea that diversity enhances society, CAE asked comics artists to reflect in their own way on “Living Together” in the modern world. Through true stories or fictional creations, comic book artists were invited to present projects that illustrate their interpretation of “Living Together” today.

Five artists were selected to shine their (comic)light on this theme: James Albon, Silvia Ballart, Bernard Hage, Štěpánka Jislová and Eva Pavlič.

The exhibition “Living Together” will be presented for the first time at Lyon BD Festival, opening 9th June and running until 11th June, and will then also be displayed at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, whichruns from 29th September to 1st October 2023.

The exhibition will also be showed at the Comic Art Museum in Brussels (together with CAE first exhibition, “Visions of Tomorrow”, from 29th August unto 10th December 2023.

• Comic Art Europe is online at

COMING SOON: COMICS UP CLOSE – New Perspectives in Comics 2023 11.00 – 17.00 (registration from 10.00) Tuesday 21st February 2023, Kanaris Theatre, Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester. M13 9PL | £25.00 including refreshments and lunch Book here | For further information, please email Richard Foster –

Comics Up Close is an event created by Lakes International Comic Art Festival, in partnership with Creative Manchester for the University of Manchester and Sheffield Hallam University. It is supported by Arts Council England, CAE, Creative Europe, Lyon BD, Escola Joso – Barcelona, Comic Art Museum – Brussels.

FESTIVAL DATES: The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns to Bowness-on-Windermere 29th September to 1st October 2023 – is online at: | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

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• Check out their LITTLE LICAF Facebook Page here and the dedicated LITTLE LICAF Instagram here

Lakes Arts Festivals, who run LICAF, is also planning to run comic art activity in many other cities and towns throughout the UK, including Kendal, along with an extensive international programme.

The Artists

James Albon
James Albon
Art by James Albon

James Albon is a British author and illustrator. He studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, went on to a postgraduate scholarship at the Royal Drawing School in London, and has written three graphic novels: Her Bark & Her Bite (2016), A Shining Beacon (2018) and The Delicacy (2021), as well as working a number of editorial clients including The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and Libération. He was awarded the Gwen May Award from the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers in 2012, and has been a Laureate of the Rene Carcan Biennale in 2014 and 2020. He currently lives in Edinburgh.

His project “Love Languages” is a love story of two people, one from England and the other from Hong Kong. Alienated and isolated in their own lives, they meet in Paris and spark up a friendship communicated in their intermediate levels of French. As they begin learning each other’s languages and discovering each other’s cultures, they find not only love for each other but new confidence within themselves. But as a same-sex couple, the greatest barrier in their communication is their ability to navigate the complex and nuanced conversations about their ownrelationship.

• Find out more about James’ work here

Silvia L. Ballart
Silvia L. Ballart
Art by Silvia L. Ballart
Silvia L. Ballart

Silvia L. Ballart is a Spanish comic book artist and script writer. She has recently finished her studies in Graphic Art at Escola Joso in Barcelona, and is currently working on her first comic book.

Silvia’s project, “The Hermit” pretends to unveil topics like mental health and identity issues; and how the older generations have suffered them in silence. The story itself treats the way living in society can bring us to a dark place and how the same thing can also save us and make us grow.

• Find Silvia’s work on her Instagram

Comic artist Bernard Hage, in the Lake District for a two-week comics residency, at Claife Viewing Station
Comic artist Bernard Hage, in the Lake District for a two-week comics residency organised by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival last year, at Claife Viewing Station

Bernard Hage, commonly known as “The Art of Boo”, is a Lebanese illustrator and one of Lebanon’s prominent political cartoonists. He publishes weekly in L’Orient Le Jour, a leading French-language newspaper in Lebanon. His latest book, Anatomy of A Hummus Plate, is a compilation of satirical cartoons that serves as an introduction to the Lebanese social and political scene, and in which Lebanon’s collapse is documented chronologically through a dark sense of humor. Bernard’s work has been shared and covered by regional and international media. Currently, he resides in Berlin, Germany.

"The Philosopher" by Bernard Hage (Art of Boo)

His project is called “The Philosopher–Project“, a comic strip that portrays a philosopher’s monologue during an outdoor walk, in which he reflects about society, existence, race, human nature, kindness, people’s differences and their ability to coexist. But when he gets back to his apartment he makes an unpleasant discovery.

• Find out more about Bernard’s art here

Štěpánka Jislová is a Czech illustrator and Comics author. Apart from numerous short stories, she has published four stand-alone albums so far. The most prominent, Hairless, an autobiographical story written by Tereza Drahoňovská about a life with alopecia, was awarded The Best Album of 2020 at Muriel Awards. Other notable works are historical comics books (How Beneš yielded to Hitler, Milada Horáková) and Holy Heart Abbey, a fictional dystopian story set in a monastery. In her personal work, she is interested in the human experience and likes exploring how vastly perspectives can differ. Apart from comics and watercolor paintings, she enjoys hiking and cold-water swimming.

Štěpánka Jislová
Štěpánka Jislová

Her project “The Invisible Shade” is an autobiographical comics story that explores what it means to be an autistic woman, as for many, women on the spectrum seem to be invisible or flat out non-existing. The comic explaines autism spectrum, features a little bit of history and talks about the differences between Aspergers in men and women and much, much more.

• Find out more about Štěpánka’s art here

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 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.

Her project on the theme ‘Living together’ is a story told by a building about its inhabitants. The idea? “The thinner the plaster walls, the better we know our neighbours.”

• Find Eva’s work on her Instagram

Categories: Comic Art, Comic Creator Spotlight, Comic Previews, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Exhibitions

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