This is the continuation of our round-up of some of the creators who were appearing at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal over the weekend of 17-19 October 2014. The first part is here and this final part will cover, in no particular order, some of the creators appearing in the Comics Clock Tower (above).
One of my favourite new small press titles to appear over the last year was MULP: Sceptre of the Sun, the start of a five part pulp adventure with anthropomorphic mice (mice + pulp = MULP). This is a furry Indiana Jones style romp written by Matt Gibbs (left) and illustrated by Sara Dunkerton (right) that is difficult to get hold of but is well worth tracking down. Matt is also the writer of Improper Books unusual ‘solo dungeon game book’ style Knight and Dragon and, given that I was told that Improper’s Rainbow Gate was unreviewable, Knight and Dragon may prove to be at least as big a challenge. In addition to her own characters Sara also sketches TV and film characters as mice, colouring them with Copic markers, and could be seen working on several over the weekend.
There are more details of MULP including a free 12 page preview on the MULP website.
There are more details of Matt Gibbs work on his website.
There are more details of Sara Dunkerton’s work on her website.
The nominees for the British Comics Awards (which are to be presented at Thought Bubble in November) were announced on the Friday of Lakes and many nominees were present over the weekend. One of them was Team Girl Comic editor Gill Hatcher (above) who was nominated for the Young People’s Comic Award with her first graphic novel The Beginners Guide To Being Outside published by Avery Hill, who were also present in the Clock Tower. The book tells the tale of a young girl who discovers the wonders of nature and the natural world around her while on a holiday with her arguing parents.
Around forty of the shops and businesses around Kendal had joined in the weekend with window displays on a comics theme. Some of these were the shop’s own creation while others had been teamed up with creators by the Festival. As can be seen above the Iridium Fine Stationary shop featured Gill’s book and artwork in their windows over the weekend.
There are more details of Gill Hatcher’s work on her website.
There are more details of The Beginners Guide To Being Outside at the Avery Hill Website.
There are more details of Team Girl Comic on the TGC website.
There are more details of the British Comics Awards on the BCA website.
One of the titles that was most in evidence on comics websites in the immediate run-up to Lakes was independent publisher Soaring Penguin’s new bi-monthly anthology Meanwhile... The big draw for long time comics readers in Meanwhile… is the start of the fourth book of Strangehaven written and illustrated by Gary Spencer Millidge (above). Strangehaven, often described as Twin Peaks meets The Prisoner, was originally published by Gary over 18 issues between 1995 and 2005 and these were then collected into three books, Arcadia, Brotherhood, and Conspiracies. As well as the illustrated cover, Gary has produced 16 pages of the beginning of the fourth Strangehaven book for Meanwhile…, issue 1 of which also includes work from other creators.
There are more details of Gary Spencer Millidge’s work on his website.
There are more details of Meanwhile… on the Soaring Penguin website.
The downthetubes review of Meanwhile… issue 1 is here.
One of those other creators in Meanwhile… issue 1 is Sarah Jane Thompson who has the silent four page Heavy in the issue. Sarah’s other work includes the graphic novel Atomic Sheep, the first chapter of which is available for free on her website, and Now and Then which were available on her table.
There are more details of Sarah Jane Thompson’s work on her website.
There are more details of Atomic Sheep on the Atomic Sheep website.
A familiar face from many British comics events is Aldous Russell who mans the Cinebook stall. Cinebook translate a wide selection of French language bandes dessinees albums into English including the long running cowboy humour title Lucky Luke. The character Lucky Luke first appeared in Spirou magazine in 1946 and his first collected book La Mine d’or de Dick Digger was published in France in 1949. Despite its age it has never been translated into English before and Cinebook have just published it as Dick Digger’s Gold Mine. Most of their translated books are much newer than this including the recently published Wisher which dates from 2008 and features genies, elves, faeries and other mythological creatures in modern day London.
There are more details of all Cinebooks titles at the Cinebook website.
Paul Duffield is perhaps best known as the artist on Warren Ellis’ Freakangels but the current project that he was promoting at Lakes as The Firelight Isle. This is his ongoing web and print tale which he describes as a physidigicomic and he plans to be 300 pages long. This is currently being sponsored via Patreon and Paul has the intro to the story available as a print comic.
There are more details of Paul Duffield’s work at his website.
Another familiar face is artist Gary Erskine who was at Lakes selling his Star Wars prints and promoting his creator owned Roller Grrrls roller derby comic which is currently in the works. Roller Grrrls, which is co-created with Gary’s wife Mhairi Stewart who was also at Lakes, has now launched on Patreon. In addition to selling and sketching over the weekend Gary also ran two workshop on working from a script and storytelling with pictures.
There are more details of Gary Erskine’s work on the Scotch Corner website.
Finally we have Sarah McIntyre in her full Jampires regalia and caught mid-sketch in the Page 45 room. Sarah is as at home writing and illustrating junior comic strips such as Vern and Lettuce for The DFC and Shark And Unicorn for the Funday Times section of the Sunday Times as she is writing and illustrating children’s books such as her own There’s A Shark In The Bath or Jampires with co-author David O’Connell. Jampires tells the rhyming Peter Pan-like tale of vampire bat creatures that suck the jam out of jammy doughnuts and which came out of a ‘comics jam’ comic Jampires: The Great Doughnut Mystery that Sarah and David originally wrote and drew alternate pages of.
Having co-authored (and I use the phrase advisedly) Oliver And The Seawigs with Philip Reeve which has been nominated for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal for children’s literature, Sarah has just taken on the Carnegie committee over their lack of naming the illustrators of the listed books when their names appear on the cover along with the writer’s. The logic of her argument caused the Carnegie committee to reissue their nominations list with those names added which, in addition to Sarah’s, include familiar illustrators such as Chris Riddell. We wish Sarah and previous winner Philip the best of luck in the Carnegie judging.
Thanks to all the creators featured for allowing us to take their photos. There are many more photos of the 2014 festival on the Lakes International Comic Art Festival website.
• The downthetubes review of Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 is here
• The downthetubes round-up of Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 Tweets is here
• The first part of Creators @ Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 is here
• The next Lakes International Comic Art Festival will run from 16th – 18th October 2015 with details on their website closer to the time: www.comicartfestival.com
News, reviews, interviews and features for print and on-line: Spaceship Away (since October 2005), Bear Alley (since February 2007), downthetubes (since June 2007), and Eagle Times (since October 2008). Plus DC Thomson’s The Art Of Ian Kennedy, Titan’s Dan Dare and Johnny Red reprints, Ilex’s War Comics: A Graphic History and 500 Essential Graphic Novels, and Print Media’s The Iron Moon and Strip magazine.