Comic Art Festival Academic Sessions announced for October in Kendal

Lakes International Comic Art Festival - Friday Sessions LogoThe Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced this year’s “Friday Sessions” – a full day of talks and discussions exploring comic art in all its guises, taking place Friday 12th October 2018 as part of the Festival weekend in Kendal.

The “Friday Sessions” are open to academics, students and all comic fans who wish to dig a bit deeper into this fascinating medium.

Topics will include the history of comics, the craft of comics, new research into the wider impacts of comics and a focus on two of the main Festival 2018 themes, the “Traces of the Great War” and Scottish Comics.

Sponsored by the University of Cumbria, Lancaster University and the University of Dundee, speakers and panellists from across the comics world will lead the discussions through the day, building on the success of previous years’ events.

Speakers include Comics Laureate Charlie Adlard, plus comic creators and academics Hunt Emerson, Kevin Jackson, Joe Kelly, Kaisa Leka, Christopher Murray, Golnar Nabizadeh, Monty Nero, Benoît Peeters, Orijit SenMegan Sinclair, Mary Talbot and Phillip Vaughan.

“For the first time we are opening up the popular Friday Sessions to a wider audience beyond academia,” commented Friday Sessions organise Aileen McEvoy. “We are inviting all who are interested in comics to join us in a day long programme of riveting presentations, debates and discussions with leading comics creators and academics. Thanks to our university partners Lancaster, Dundee and Cumbria for their input and sponsorship.”

• A Day Pass for the Friday Sessions on Friday 12 October ( 9.15am – 5pm) at this year’s LICAF (Lakes International Comic Art Festival) costs £20 (£15 concession). Buy your passes for the Friday Sessions here

The Friday Sessions pass does not include entry the Friday Gala opening event.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns to Kendal in the Lake District 12th – 14th October 2018:

Saltire vs 9thThe Friday Sessions Programme in Full


Christopher Murray, Professor of Comics Studies at the University of Dundee will explore the history of Comics in Dundee from the late nineteenth century to the present.


Phillip Vaughan, Senior Lecturer and Course Director for the University of Dundee’s MDes in Comics & Graphic Novels will look at thecreation of Saltire, a Scottish superhero steeped in the mythology and folklore of Caledonian history.

Chair: John McShane, Comic’s historian, aficionado and expert on Scottish comics


Mary Talbot, Orijit Sen, Joe Kelly and Charlie Adlard discuss the challenges (and pitfalls) of basing their work on historical events(all four write for and/or draw comics and contributed short stories to the ‘Traces of the Great War anthology’) Chair: Natasa Lackovic, Lecturer in Higher Education at Lancaster University & Lancaster University’s Graphic novels and comics network (ReoPeN) Co-Director

Benoît Peeters, the UK’s first Professor in Graphic Fiction and Comic Art

Benoît Peeters, the UK’s first Professor in Graphic Fiction and Comic Art


This session comprises a personal take on the origins and history of comic art Benoit Peeters, Comics writer, scholar and Professor of Graphic Fiction and Comics at Lancaster University, followed by Benoit and Christopher Murray discussing their roles as Professors of Comics and the current state of Comics Studies.

Chair: Andy Tate, Senior Lecturer in English at Lancaster University & Lancaster University’s Graphic novels and comics network (ReoPeN) Co-Director

Four panellists explore the wider impact of comics.

Trauma and Memory in Comics: Golnar Nabizadeh ( lecturer in comics studies University of Dundee) discusses the representation of trauma and memory in comics, focusing particularly on the mechanics of the form. Comics aren’t just a Visual Medium: Monty Nero (a comics creator with a Masters in Comics & Graphic Novels from University of Dundee) discusses how complex interactions between text and image make comics uniquely powerful.

“You could also look normal if you’d just wear pants”: Kaisa Leka (comics creator from Finland) gives an illustrated presentation about things that Normals have said to her during her encounters with them in Normalland.

Graphic Medicine: Megan Sinclair discusses healthcare-focused public information comics produced at the University of Dundee, from ‘Fibromyalgia and Us’, to her own work, ‘Batman Danny and Close to the Heart’.

Chair: Olivia Hicks, PhD student at the University of Dundee and independent comics creator

Bloke’s Progress - Cover by Hunt EmersonKEYNOTE 3 – BLOKE’S PROGRESS

Comic creator Hunt Emerson and writer/ biographer Kevin Jackson discuss ‘Bloke’s Progress’ their new comic book inspired by the ideas of John Ruskin

Chair: Howard Hull, Director of Brantwood House Museum, home of John Ruskin

This session will be followed by a Guided tour of the ‘Bloke’s Progress’ exhibition with Hunt Emerson (spaces restricted to 12 …sign up at registration)

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns to Kendal in the Lake District 12th – 14th October 2018:

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: British Comics, Comics Studies, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events

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