Continuing our spotlights of the guests attending the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October 2015, we’re profiling Brighton-based Shojo artist Chie Kutsuwada.
Chie Kutsuwada is a popular manga artist based in Brighton who was born and brought up in Japan. After graduating Royal College of Art, London, now she is based in Brighton, working as a professional manga artist. She creates story as well as illustration by herself like King of a Miniature Garden (2007), her first manga, and Moonlight (2008), which was shortlisted in Manga Jiman competition organised by UK Japan Embassy.
Working with others, Chie has drawn a manga adaptation of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It (published in 2008 by SelfMadeHero), The Book of Five Rings by Musashi Miyamoto (adapted by Sean Michael Wilson, 2012, Shambhala) and Two Sons by Richy K. Chandler (included in Tempo Lush Tales in 2014).
Chie recently started to provide her illustrations for children’s books, such as Warrior Kids by Mark Robson (Caboodle Books, 2014). Her books are available at the most of English speaking countries and Japan. Some of them have also been translated into French, Spanish and Turkish. Besides creating manga comics, she also attends many manga-related events in and out of UK and runs manga workshops at schools, libraries, and museums, such as British Libraries and Victoria and Albert Museum.
Official Site: chitangarden.wix.com/chiekutsuwada
• Tickets for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival go on sale from 3rd June 2015.
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International guests announced so far are award-winning Canadian artist Darwyn Cooke, Simpsons Comics artist Bill Morrison (thanks to the National Cartoonists Society in the US), Boulet, Winsluss, Benoit Peeters and Antoine Cossé – with many more to come.
Announced British guests include Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, 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; author David Gaffney, who has recently been working with Dan Berry on a new graphic novel, The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head; award winning comics writer Kieron Gillen; 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; and the internationally-acclaimed illustrator and graphic novelist Dave McKean.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is the only one of its kind in the UK, taking place in one of the UK’s most beautiful areas – the English Lake District in the North West of the country and in the market town of Kendal. 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.
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 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.
Festival-connected events in the run up to the 2015 weekend include a partnership with the Friends of Lancaster Library for Lancaster Comics Day (Sunday 14th June), which will see the announcement of the winners, and the publication of the “Lost in Space” digital anthology June, which is being produced in partnership with Titan Comics and will include a cover by Festival patron Sean Phillips. Announced guests at that event include comic writer Andy Diggle, Eddie Robson and Tim Quinn, artist Dave Taylor and editor John Freeman.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.