On Thursday 15th October at 3.00pm, six incredible artists will enter a room in Kendal to draw in a single day a whole 24 page comic book each. The following day each of those books will be printed and available for sale at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
John Allison, Dan Berry, Jonathan Edwards, Jade Sarson, Richard Short and Emma Vieceli clearly do not care for the sweet bliss of restful sleep, the caress of sunlight upon skin or the general wellbeing of their spines and wrists. Their only concern is to draw you the very finest stories, comfort be damned. The 2015 LICAF Comics Marathon is on its way, and comics must be created!
“One of the things that makes our festival different is a programme of commissions which aim to inspire and challenge comic artists, showcase their talent and by doing so bring new audiences to comics,” says Festival Director Julie Tait.
“Last year, one of the ways we decided to do this was by stealing a long-established model of a 24 Hour Comics Marathon (creating an original 24 page comic in 24 hours) and doing it “boutique” style. This meant we curated (i.e. chose!) the artists, created the best possible environment for them to work in and attempted to print all of them as limited editions within 24 hours.”
And who better to produce this second marathon than Dan Berry, a veteran of traditional 24-hour marathons, who, despite being manacled to a drawing board by the Lakes team for last year’s Marathon, was, incredibly, again up for the challenge?
“We aren’t doing anything different from last year’s 24 Hour Comics Marathon,” says Dan. “It worked so surprisingly well that I’m very anxious about upsetting the equilibrium of it all!
“The best thing about last year’s Marathon was getting the opportunity to share a room with some of my favourite artists and to see seven new books emerge in a day. The worst thing about it was of course staying up all night drawing and trying to conceal the true nature of my gastric system from the rest of the participants!”
• Follow the 24 Hour Comics Marathon here on the Comics Festival web site
• 24 Hour Comic Day happens every year and will take place in 2015 from 12 noon on Saturday 4th October and 12 noon on Sunday 5th October. Creators of all ages will be given the opportunity to create a 24 page comic. Check out www.24hourcomicsday.com, the Facebook page or follow 24 Hour Comic Day on Twitter @24hcd
• If you want to know how to approach creating your own, then 24 x 7 editor and Marathon co-ordinator Dan Berry has this very handy guidance here on his web site
24 by 7: The Collection
All of last year’s Marathon comics were published in a hardback collection by Fanfare Press earlier this year. The collection features strips by by quality artists (in order of appearance) Sarah McIntyre,Joe Decie, Kristyna Baczynski, Fumio Obata, Jack Teagle, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell and, finally, curator and editor Dan Berry
• 24 by 7 is being sold by the book’s individual creators at comics events and will be on sale at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2015 in October | Read our review here
• Tickets for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival are on sale now from the Brewery Arts Festival – Book Now
• Check out a digital version of the 2015 Lakes International Comic Art Festival Programme here
• For the latest news on the 2015 Lakes International Comic Art Festival visit: www.comicartfestival.com
• Sign up for the Festival’s newsletter here for the latest news!
The Marathon Team
John Allison is the artist and writer of the popular webcomics Bobbins, Scary Go Round, and most recently Bad Machinery, which won the British Comics Award for Best Comic in 2012 and is now collected by Oni Press. He is also the writer and creator of Giant Days, released by Boom! Studios in 2015.
John was one of the first wave of artists to gain notice by self-publishing on the web, and has published a new comic page almost every weekday since 1998.
A journalism graduate from Sheffield University with a background in music writing and magazine design, John has produced hundreds of standalone illustrations, including covers for all six issues of the Eisner Award-nominated Marceline & The Scream Queens.
Raised in North and West Yorkshire, he now lives just north of London in Letchworth Garden City. He spends most of his spare time raking up leaves.
Dan Berry is a British cartoonist, illustrator, podcaster, designer and lecturer. His comics have been published by Fanfare, Blank Slate Books, OffLife and he also regularly self-publishes. He is the host of the popular Make It Then Tell Everybody podcast and has given workshops, talks and lectures around the globe. He lectures on the Illustration, Graphic Novels and Children’s Publishing degree at the North Wales School of Art & Design, Glyndwr University.
He is the editor and designer of the 24 by 7 anthology which collects all of the 24 hour comics from 2014’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival, published by Fanfare Presents. The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head, his collaboration with writer David Gaffney and Musician Sara Lowes will be performed at this year’s Lakes festival.
Jonathan Edward‘s work first appeared in (the now seminal) Deadline magazine back in 1993. He’s been a regular contributor to UK newspaper the Guardian since 1999. as well as producing illustrations and comic strips for magazines and publishers around the world including the NME, MAD magazine, Mojo, Q, and Radio Times. His artwork has also graced the covers of records by artists such as The Black Eyed Peas and The Jungle Brothers.
The designer of the LICAF “Poblin” mascot (and family, his character design work includes the vinyl toy Inspector Cumulus and many collaborations with his partner, Louise AKA Felt Mistress. Their work has been exhibited all over the world including shows in Osaka, Los Angeles, Berlin and London and used in ad campaigns, music videos and films. In 2010 they were given their own window in Selfridge’s iconic Oxford Street store as part of their Christmas display and were the focal point of their world famous concept store, the Wonder Room.
In 2011 they spent six weeks in Japan as part of a gallery residency which culminated in heading the Headspace arts festival in Osaka. They returned in 2015 as part of a LICAF exchange scheme and visited schools and galleries in preparation for their forthcoming exhibitions in Japan in 2016. Felt Mistress: Creature Couture, a 400 page hardback book containing all their work to date, was published in 2012 and since then they have held solo shows in The Millennium Centre, Cardiff, and Sage Gateshead.
Jonathan’s most recent comic work was as one of the artists alongside Jamie Hewlett in 2015’s 21st Century Tank Girl. His first opportunity to draw Tank Girl after first being approved by Hewlett & Martin back in 1995 when he was still working for Deadline magazine. He’s a very patient man.
Jade Sarson is a Milton Keynes based illustrator and comic artist who graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2011 with a first class honours degree in Illustration. Her style is a fusion of British roots with Japanese influences, and combines digital and traditional techniques.
Her work has been featured in Kerrang!, Neo Magazine, Electric Bloom Webzine, Non Repro and in anthologies such as Ink+Paper, Leek and Sushi, Nami, and Parallel Lives. In 2013 I was nominated for Best Emerging Talent in the British Comic Awards. In 2014 she won the Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel competition.
Her current projects include her popular tea-inspired webcomic Cafe Suada, the Digitalis project (producing a comic and workshops for local libraries), and her graphic novel For the Love of God, Marie!
Jade is also a keen exhibitor, workshop leader and charicaturist and can often be found at comic events.
Richard Short is a cartoonist from Hartlepool. He is mainly known for Klaus, a four-panel comic strip about an eponymous cat, collections of which have been published by Nobrow (2011) and Breakdown Press (2013).
Richard was once described by Forbidden Planet’s Martin Steenton as “the Ginsberg to Schulz’ Whitman” and the New Statesman said of Klaus “I want to hate it: it makes no sense. Nothing happens … And yet there’s something so charming about the whole thing that I can’t bring myself to do so.”
Richard also draws posters for jazz bar Brilliant Corners and has drawn various other comics, none of which have been finished. He lives in London where he works as a lawyer.
From self-publishing to some of the biggest book publishers in the world, Emma Vieceli loves telling storieswith pictures. Her work includes the New York Times-best selling Vampire Academy graphic novel series for Penguin Random House, the Yalsa 2013-recommended Avalon Chronicles for Oni Press and the critically acclaimed independent web series, BREAKS with co-creator Malin Ryden
She is now working a Doctor Who mini series for Titan Comics, on the Alex Rider series for Walker books and provides guest art for titles like Marvel’s Young Avengers and Vertigo’s Dead Boy Detectives.
Alongside comics, she worked on the A&E television series, Bates Motel, providing the sketchbook found by Norman Bates.