Lakes Comic Festival twins with Toronto Comic Art Festival in Guest Exchange

Hunt Emerson

Hunt Emerson at work

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has just released further details of its partnership with the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which will see top cartoonist Hunt Emerson and others head to Canada in May – and a host of Canadian creators coming to Kendal in October.

Seven British comic creators – Hunt EmersonDan BerryJoe DecieOliver EastJonathan EdwardsFelt Mistress and David Gaffney – will form part of the first “Lakes Pavilion” in Toronto in the Toronto Reference Library for the entire festival weekend.

In October, Darwyn Cooke – making his first UK comics event appearance – Michael DeForgeStuart and Kathryn ImmonenSeth and Kate Beaton will head to Kendal for the third 2015 Lakes International Comics Art Festival.

TCAF’s headline British guest Hunt Emerson – who will of course also be in Kendal this year – is a titan of the underground comics scene, having drawn cartoons and comic strips since the early 1970s. He has published around 30 books and albums, mainly with Knockabout Comics (London), including Lady Chatterley’s LoverThe Rime of the Ancient MarinerCasanova’s Last Stand, and Dante’s Inferno. His characters include Firkin the Cat, Calculus Cat, PussPuss, Max Zillion and Alto Ego, Pilgrim, Alan Rabbit, and many more.

“While TCAF has gone all over the world to promote and proselytize to folks about the amazing work being done by Canadian cartoonists (at events like the Kaigai Manga Festa in Japan, or the Angoulême Festival in France), this is the first time we are engaging in an honest-to-goodness cultural exchange,” says TCAF Co-Founder and Festival Director Christopher Butcher. “LICAF are setting up in a special UK pavilion.

Poblin, the Lakes Festival's mascot, pops out to Canada. Art by Jonathan Edwards

Poblin, the Lakes Festival’s mascot, pops out to Canada. Art by Jonathan Edwards

“Swing on by to meet a bunch of great artists, read some cool British comics, watch live drawings, and more! We’re so excited!”

“Well, I’m not sure I can top that!” responded LICAF Director Julie Tait. ” Suffice it to say, we hope this is the beginning of an ongoing partnership. We’ll be focussing on our commissions so the new work we have invested in by British creators whilst also, we hope, inspiring the Toronto audience with an injection of British culture too.”

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is the only one of its kind in the UK. Modelled on European-style festivals, such as Angoulême in France, it takes over a whole town for a weekend with comic art. Its aim is to celebrate the whole spectrum of comic art, inspiring existing comic art fans and creators and, it hopes, generating new audiences and creators too. It invests in creators through a commissioning programme and has an emphasis on developing international collaborations.

Other international guests announced so far are Simpsons Comics artist Bill Morrison (thanks to the National Cartoonists Society in the US), BouletWinslussBenoit Peeters and Antoine Cossé – with many more to come.

Announced British guests include 24 Hour Marathon organiser and artist Dan Berry; graphic novelist Joe Decie, who is working on a longform project thanks to funding from the Lakes Festival; Oliver East, author of titles such as Trains Are Mint, who is working on another project with the Festival following the success of The Homesick Truant’s Cumbrian Yarn; internationally-acclaimed cartoonist Hunt Emerson, creator of Calculus Cat;  Arts Council England  officer and writer David Gaffney, who has recently been working with Dan Berry on a new graphic novel, The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head; and UK-based stitcher and prolific tea drinker Felt Mistress AKA Louise Evans, who has created a range of one-off bespoke creatures with her partner, illustrator Jonathan Edwards, including Poblin, the Festival’s mascot.

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Lakes International Comic Art Festival Canadian Guests: Full Details

Darwyn Cooke

Darwyn Cooke

Darwyn Cooke is a graphic designer and animator who turned his attention toward cartooning in the late 1990s. He is perhaps known for his work on the comic books such as CatwomanDC: The New Frontier and The Spirit.

Cooke has won multiple Eisner, Harvey and Shuster awards, as well as the US National Cartoonist Society’s Best Series award. In 2008, he was Emmy-nominated for the animated adaptation of his magnum opus, The New Frontier.

He also recently illustrated IDW’s edition of Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter novel.<

Darwyn is currently working on Revengance, a psychological thriller with darkly humorous overtones that will launch from Image Comics in June.

Kate Beaton

Kate Beaton

Kate Beaton is a Canadian comic artist who made a name for herself finding humour in historical subjects with her series Hark! A Vagrant, but she makes comics about anything from pop culture to literature to autobiography.She came into the comics scene in 2007 and refuses to leave.

Web Links

•  Hark! A Vagrant:

• Twitter:

Seth is the cartoonist behind the comic book series Palookaville, which started in the stone age as a pamphlet and is now a semi-annual hardcover. His comics have appeared in the New York Times MagazineBest American Comics, and McSweeneys Quarterly. His illustrations have appeared in numerous publications including the cover of the New Yorker, the Walrus, and Canadian Notes & Queries.



He is also Lemony Snicket’s partner for the new Young Readers series, All the Wrong Questions, and has illustrated and designed a new, deluxe edition of Stephen Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. He is the designer for several classic comics reprint series, notably collections of work by Charles Schulz, John Stanley, and Doug Wright.

The cartoonist has exhibited throughout the world in a variety of group and solo shows. He was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which showcased the first public display of his model city Dominion. He is now a part of the Gallery’s permanent collection. Dominion City subsequently toured Canada. He is the subject of a 2014 National Film Board documentary entitled Seth’s Dominion.

Seth lives in Guelph, Ontario, with his wife Tania and their two cats in an old house he has named “Inkwell’s End”.

Web Links

Drawn & Quarterly:

Stuart Immonen

Stuart Immonen

Award-winning artistic chameleon and Marvel Architect Stuart Immonen began his comics career in 1988, having worked for most of the industry’s major publishers including Marvel, DC and Image in the quarter-century since.

During his decade-long tenure at DC, in addition to writing and pencilling Adventures of Superman, Stuart illustrated the critically acclaimed miniseries Superman: Secret Identity. For Marvel, in addition to 2011’s Fear Itself event, he has drawn such high-profile series as Ultimate Spider-ManThe Mighty ThorThe Incredible HulkThe Avengers and the cult favourite Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.

After joining forces with Mark Waid to inaugurate Marvel’s digital Infinite Comics line, in the Marvel NOW! era, Immonen launched All-New X-Men and All-New Captain America.

His creator-owned credits include collaborations with Kurt Busiek on Shockrockets and Superstar, and with Kathryn Immonen on Never As Bad As You ThinkMoving Pictures and the recently-completed Russian Olive To Red King.

Kathryn Immonen has been getting paid to make things up for more than twenty years.

She has written stories for both DC and Marvel, but is best known for Journey into Mystery with Valerio Schiti and the sleeper hit miniseries Patsy Walker: Hellcat with David Lafuente with whom she will be reuniting for the 2013 Avengers Christmas Annual. She wrote the final arc of the fan-favourite series Runaways and the X-Men miniseries Pixie Strikes Back! both drawn by Sara Pichelli, Heralds, with Tonci Zonjic and the sell-out Wolverine and Jubilee limited series with Phil Noto.

Kathryn Immonen

Kathryn Immonen

In 2011, she contributed to the canon for Captain America’s first love interest, French Resistance fighter Peggy Carter, in the one-shot Captain America and the First Thirteen and has recently returned to Agent Carter with the Operation S.I.N. miniseries.

With her husband, artist Stuart Immonen, their creator-owned webcomic Never as Bad as You Think was published in a 2009 hardcover edition by BOOM! Studios and Moving Pictures, a story of the theft and commoditization of both art and desire during the Second World War, was released by Top Shelf to wide acclaim in May 2010. It has had subsequent translations by Glenat, Dolmen and Gruppo Pesce for the European market. They recently completed their latest project, Russian Olive to Red King.

Kathryn’s work has been supported by The Canada Council for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation and the Institut Français in Paris. She lives in a forest with her very talented husband and their very bad dog.

Web Links


Michael DeForge

Michael DeForge

Michael DeForge was born in Toronto, Ontario. He has drawn the graphic novels Ant Colony and First Year Healthy and the short story collections Very Casual and A Body Beneath.
Web Links




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  1. Lakes Festival guest on board for Marvel’s Star Wars
  2. Page 45 Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews March 2015 week three – Page 45 | Comics & Graphic Novels | Independent Bookshop | Nottingham Page 45 | Comics & Graphic Novels | Independent Bookshop | Nottingham

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