Comics and games have long held shared interests, so it’s no surprise that many of this year’s guests for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival (16th – 18th October) include creators with credits for both, including Bach, Kieron Gillen and Antony Johnston.
Comic artists, writers, animators and video game designers feed our imaginations, creating parallel worlds, giant robots, monsters and more – and the Festival will be celebrating them all as part of its Parallel Worlds theme, which features appearances by acclaimed Swedish artist Mattias Adolfsson, (who is expecting the Lakes to “be like Harry Potter, but without the Dememotors”), returning French artist (and Festival patron) Boulet, Tank Girl artist Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, designer and Festival mascot co-creator Jonathan Edwards, Wicked+Divine and Marvel writer Kieron Gillen, author, games and comic writer Antony Johnston, Tank Girl co-creator Alan Martin, games designer and artist Ian McQue, best known for his work on Grand Theft Auto, Simpsons Comics and Futurama artist Bill Morrison and comics creator, curator, critic and Hergé biographer Benoit Peeters.
On the Saturday of the Festival, Antony Johnston (whose credits include The Fuse, Dead Space, Shadows of Mordor) will host a discussion with fellow creators who straddle the line between comics and games, including Kieron Gillen, Ian McQue and Bach (best known for her strip It’s Hard to Be a Girl). The “Graphic to Games… And Back Again” panel will, hopefully, show that although he worlds of comics and games may seem very different, there’s a surprising amount of crossover between the people who make them and the skills needed to create them.
Kieron Gillen is looking forward to returning to the Lakes for the Festival in October, after driving through Cumbria from his brother’s wedding last year. “We decided to spend a few days. It was basically beautiful. I got my Wordsworth on, even though I’m more like grumpy Coleridge.”
For Kieron, Festivals like LICAF are definitely something he looks forward to.
“It’s the humanity of it all,” he enthuses. “Comics is a lonely business in many ways. Less so now, due to social media, but it’s still isolated. It shows that there actually are people who read the books, and it’s not just some enormous elaborate practical joke being played on you by editors.”
• For more about the 2015 Lakes International Comic Art Festival visit: www.comicartfestival.com