Kendal Calling: To the Clock Tower, Comics Fans!

Lakes International Comic Art Festival out side the Brewery Arts Centre. Photo: Tim Murray

Lakes International Comic Art Festival out side the Brewery Arts Centre. Photo: Tim Murray


Booking for spaces in Kendal’s Comics Clock Tower venue for this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival (16th – 18th October 2015) has just opened.

A huge line up of both British and globe-spanning international comics talent is being lined up for this year’s Festival, and events in the Clock Tower will form a major part of the celebrations.


Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 - Clock Tower

The Clock Tower last year. Photo: John Freeman


The Clock Tower is an area akin to a traditional comics marketplace and artists’ alley at other comics events… However, as is the Lakes International Comic Art Festival way, it is quite a unique style of marketplace!

The building itself is a lovely old Town Hall and is quirky, not the typical sort of space you might be used to for these kinds of events, but it helps create a really interesting and unique atmosphere.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival occupies the whole building for the weekend, spread across a number of rooms: one large main hall and several smaller rooms, offering space to a maximum of about 70 exhibitors.


Tim Pilcher of Humanoides looks on as Knockabout's Nora Goldbrger demonstrates her dance moves in the Clock Tower last year. Photo: John Freeman

Tim Pilcher of Humanoides looks on as Knockabout’s Nora Goldberg demonstrates her dance moves in the Clock Tower last year. Photo: John Freeman


Comic creators, publishers and retailers interested in booking tables are advised to make their enquiries as soon as possible, as the venue was quickly booked up in 2014, which saw some 3000 visitors through the Clock Tower doors. These included many families and young people.

“The wider festival programme – the ticketed events programme, exhibitions and family zone activities etc – goes hand in hand with the Comics Clock Tower,” explains Festival Director Julie Tait, “which provides a free, exciting and welcoming environment for people to discover new creators and learn more about particular genres, as well as of course, an opportunity to catch up with their well-established favourites.

“This does unfortunately mean that we are unable to guarantee a space in the CCT through application alone; space won’t be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Instead, in order to make the best use of the limited space available, we will carefully curate the Clock Tower to accommodate a balanced representation of independent creators, artists, retailers and publishers etc. It is absolutely our priority to ensure that the Clock Tower properly reflects the brilliance and diversity of comic art and we will make sure that it offers the most interesting, high quality experience for exhibitors and audiences alike, as well as complimenting the wider festival programme.


Members of the Cartoonists Club enthralled passers by with their quickfire cartoons at last year's Festival.

Members of the Cartoonists Club of Great Britain enthralled passers by with their quickfire cartoons at last year’s Festival.


“We had a really interesting mix of people through the doors last year,” she says, “from industry professionals, comics’ aficionados and festival-goers, to local town folk who had very little knowledge of comic art, or hadn’t read a comic since they were in their teens! The locals were incredibly keen to dip a toe (back) in the water and see what was going on which made for a diverse and vibrant experience.”

The hugely successful 2014 Festival in Kendal featured a stellar cast of both British and international creators and a number of special exhibitions, and attracted thousands of fans young and old to the Lake District town.

The weekend-long event, whose patrons are Bryan and Mary Talbot, Sean Phillips and Emma Vieceli, which saw the announcement of comic artist Dave Gibbons as the first Comics Laureate, included a hugely-popular 24 Hour Comics Marathon involving top British independent comics talent and featured top creators including Gail SimoneScott McCloudJunko MizunoDoug Braithwaite and many more, reflecting a huge range of diverse comic talent from across the globe. Exhibitions, including the Great War in Comics at Kendal’s Abbot Hall Gallery, garnered wide acclaim from both comic fans and regular gallery visitors.

The Festival’s dedicated organisers are determined to build on last year’s visitors numbers still further, reflecting their aim to deliver a truly European-style comics festival involving the whole of the local community and visitors in a truly unique comics experience.

• To apply for tables (rates start at £95 per table) please download, complete and return the application form: LICAF CCT EXHIBITOR APPLICATION FORM, available from the Festival website:

• The deadline for completed, returned application forms is: Friday 27th February 2015. The Festival will notify all successful applicants by Friday 20th March 2015

• For the latest news on the 2015 Lakes International Comic Art Festival  visit:

• Sign up for the Festival’s newsletter here for the latest news 

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