After its hugely successful 2014 Festival, which featured a stellar cast of both British and international creators and a number of special exhibitions, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival team have announced the event will return in October 2015.
This year’s Festival – which saw the announcement of comic artist Dave Gibbons as the first Comics Laureate – attracted thousands of fans young and old to the Lake District town of Kendal. The weekend-long event included a hugely-popular 24 Hour Comics Marathon involving top British independent comics talent and featured top creators including Gail Simone, Scott McCloud, Junko Mizuno, Doug Braithwaite and many more, reflecting a huge range of diverse comic talent from across the globe. Exhibitions, including the ongoing Great War in Comics at Kendal’s Abbot Hall Gallery (which closes in December) have garnered wide acclaim from both comic fans and regular gallery visitors.
With the dates of the 2015 Festival set for 16th – 18th October 2015, the Festival’s dedicated organisers hope to build on this 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.
• A number of events, including top digital comics creator Scott McCloud’s opening talk, sold out
• Various drawing events, which included a number of workshops organised by top children’s comic The Phoenix, attracted over 1500 attendees
• Kendal Library was packed out for both workshops and a number of special events to celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who in Comics, which featured guests such as New York-based, award-winning creator Nick Abadzis, Doctor Who TV series storyboard artist Mike Collins and Dez Skinn, who created the weekly comic that is better know as the top-selling SF magazine in the UK, Doctor Who Magazine, today
• More than 3000 people enjoyed the line up of comic talent, publishers and retailers in Kendal’s Clock Tower on Saturday and 2300 on Sunday – figures that were well up on the Festival’s inaugural event in 2013
• Hundreds of children (and some parents!) enjoyed taking part in drawing activities in Kendal’s Westmorland Shopping Centre
“The feedback we’ve had from locals has been very positive, enthuses Festival Director, Julie Tait. “They were impressed by the people who had travelled from all over the world for the event and businesses were delighted by the money spent by Festival visitors accommodation being full. Restaurants and bakeries were all very busy, which bodes well for getting them on board for next year’s Windows Trail.
“Guests said the weekend was inspirational and they they’d rarely heard people just enthusing about comics on the streets!”
The next Festival-connected events in the twelve-month run up to the 2015 weekend include the announcement of the winners, and the publication of the “Lost in Space” digital anthology, which is being produced in partnership with Titan Comics and will include a cover by Festival patron Sean Phillips; and a charity auction of items, including artwork donated to the Festival by numerous publishers and creators to help promote the 2014 event in mid-November.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in this year’s Festival,” says Julie. “Thanks to the support and enthusiasm of the creators, patrons, attendees, the dedicated support team, the venues and local businesses and community, I really think we’ve built on the success of our first Festival in 2013 and we’re all looking forward to what 2015 will bring.”
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.