Lakes Comics Festival announces “Family Zone” Events creator line-up – Great Fun for all Ages!

The Phoenix are hosting a series of workshops at The Brewery Art Centre as part of the International Comic Art Festival. You can book tickets now! Image courtesy The Phoenix Comic

The Phoenix are hosting a series of workshops at The Brewery Art Centre as part of the International Comic Art Festival. You can book tickets now! Image courtesy The Phoenix Comic


The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced the full line-up of comic creators for the Comics Family Zone, one of its most popular events last year, comprising both free and pre-bookable events.

Based in Kendal Library, Westmorland Shopping Centre and the Shakespeare Centre off Highgate over the Festival weekend (17th – 19th October), this year’s Comics Family Zone will feature workshops and free activities, plus face-painting, screen printing and ace competitions. You can make your own comics, create your own characters, and even get a crack professional comics artist to draw you a picture of anything you want – so long as you draw a picture for them too!

The Comics Family Zone Line-Up includes…

The Phoenix Comic Logo
•  Join The Phoenix Comic artists Adam MurphyGary NorthfieldNeill Cameron and Laura Anderson, as they guide you through the amazing world of comics in The Phoenix Lakes Workshops! You’ll learn how to: Draw awesomely! Create characters! Tell stories! And then bring all those things together in your very own comic masterpiece!

You’re invited to voyage through deepest darkest space in a giant space ship… that’s also a cat! Battle with pirates… on the back of gargantuan prehistoric monsters! Meet the DEAD famous… for a quick interview!

Hang on! These aren’t delirious dreams, but a small sample of the adventures waiting inside The Phoenix weekly story comic! Learn some of the title’s top-secret, comic-creating tips from the professionals – whilst producing a comic strip of your own!

The Phoenix is a weekly comic for children aged 8-12 (and everyone else who loves stories) featuring thrilling adventures, rib-cracking comedies, boggling true stories and deviously difficult puzzles – and no ads! The comic is available on subscription and from Waitrose supermarkets, or digitally on iTunes. Four creators from the comic will be running workshops over the Festival weekend…

Adam Murphy 

Comics artist, Illustrator, Husband and “Idiot savant”, Adam says he’s “Desperately trying to make sense of it all.

“I’m slowly feeling like I’m getting the hang of it,” he says. He’s been working as a full-time comics artist since 2011 and is currently based in Glasgow. His strips include “Corpse Talk” for The Phoenix.

Gary Northfield

Gary draws popular comic strips for many top notch publications including National Geographic Kids and The Phoenix. Lately he’s been knocking out weekly nonsense in the form of “Gary’s Garden”  for The Phoenix and he has a brand new children’s graphic novel called The Terrible Tales of the TeenyTinySaurs out from Walker books. He lives in the UK

Pirates of PangeaNeill Cameron

Neill Cameron started drawing with robots and dinosaurs. Then he did some other stuff for a bit. Then he decided that drawing robots and dinosaurs was way more fun, so went back to that. His strips include “Pirates of Pangaea” for The Phoenix (written by Daniel Hartwell). He lives in Oxford.

Laura Anderson

Laura’s debut children’s picture book Snowflakes written by CBBC presenter Cerrie Burnell, was published in September 2013. Her new and upcoming picture books include Princess Sleepyhead and the Night-Night Bear, out this October,  She’s also the creator of the comic strip ‘Evil Emperor Penguin‘ for The Phoenix, about a tyrannical seabird of tiny proportions whose main aim is to take over the world!

“I think I’d quite like to live on the Moon when humans finally make it possible,” says Laura. “I’m going to assume that’ll be in my lifetime. But for now I live in London.”

All workshops suitable for 6-12 years except Teen Workshops aimed at 12-16 years. Price: All £3.00 (tickets pre-bookable, visit the events pages on to ensure your place)

Kev F Sutherland

Kev F Sutherland

• Artist Kev F Sutherland (The Beano2000AD and Doctor Who) who’ll be giving a drawing masterclass and helping kids create their very own comics in the library. Suitable for 7-12 years old. No experience necessary. Price: £3.00 (tickets pre-bookable, visit the events pages on to ensure your place)

Kev F Sutherland writes and draws for comics as diverse as The Beano, Marvel comics and Doctor Who. He’s currently writing “Bananaman” and drawing “Pansy Potter”. He was the man who gave us “The Bash Street Zombies” and Roger The Dodger’s “Reservoir Dodge”. For Marvel, he drew Doctor Strange and Star Trek and has worked everywhere from Doctor Who Adventures and Match to Red Dwarf Smegazine and Viz comic.

He also teaches comic art in his Comic Art Masterclass which visits schools, libraries and art centres all around the country and the world – he’s taught comic art from Ireland to Abu Dhabi and from Norway to Toulouse! In 2014,

Kev brings his Comic Art Masterclass back to the Lake District to teach the next generation of comic artists their craft.

• Watch a video of Kev at work on YouTube

Free Events

Metaphrog: John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs

Metaphrog: John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs

• Metaphrog Workshops and Exhibition  – Create your own comics with the award-nominated Metaphrog duo! Suitable for 7-12 years old – and free!

Metaphrog are writer and illustrator duo John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs. Their Louis graphic novels have been nominated for several prestigious awards, including the Eisner and Ignatz Awards, and Louis – Night Salad was Highly Commended for the Scottish Children’s Book Award. Their work has been praised in The GuardianPublisher’s WeeklyThe Comics JournalThe HeraldThe School Librarian, to name but a few.

They both love to share the secrets of making comics and are always travelling to deliver talks and workshops in and outside of the UK.

Recently they have been working on several graphic novel commissions, and are currently working on new stories. Their next graphic novel will be published by Papercutz in early 2015.

• Art Heroes: Join Art Heroes to get comic-making tips, pick up some of their comic books and enter their Create-A-Character competition for the chance to win a great prize! Whether you’re into superheroes, comedy, fantasy, sci-fi , ninjas or anything else, Daniel and Lee will help you turn your ideas into great characters and comic strips. Suitable for all ages – and free!

• We Draw, You Draw – Sharpen your pencils and choose your colours for the epic drawing event! This event features: Manga Mistress Chie Kutsuwada: creative cartoonist Paul Harrison-Davies (Astrodog): Phoenix regular Robert Deas (Troy Trailblazer): and the illustrious, industrious ILYA (Kid Savage, from the people that brought you Ben10). This core team of crack professional comics artists will draw you pictures to take away of Whatever You Want – so long as You draw a picture for them too! All paper and materials provided. Suitable for all ages – and free!

• Follow the Family Trail and visit each part of the Festival – and collect a free little gift on completion of your special, fully stamped card!

Oh, and look out for Poblin and his gang – the Festival’s larger-than-life mascots, created by Jonathan Edwards and the Felt Mistress… they’ll certainly be looking out for you!

• For full details of the Comics Family Zone events at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014, visit:

• All events at the Westmorland Shopping Centre are free of charge

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