Lakes International Comic Art Festival announces first guests for October weekend in Bowness, including Jaime Hernandez and Posy Simmonds

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced its first guests for their weekend-long Festival, taking place this year in Bowness-on-Windermere (Friday 14th – Sunday 16th October 2022) – and revealed this year’s Festival promotional art, by Sean Phillips.

Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2022 Art by Sean Phillips

The first guests to be announced are Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Michael Lark (Lazarus), Bill Morrison (The Beatles – Yellow SubmarineMAD), Bex Ollerton (author of Lavender Clouds, organiser of and author of SENSORY: Life on the Spectrum), Mike Perkins (Swamp ThingX-Men), Guardian cartoonist Posy SimmondsGreg Rucka (LazarusBlack Magick), Katie Skelly (Maids) writer Ram V (Blue in GreenSwamp Thing) and Egyptian duo, Twins Cartoon, the pen name of the Egyptian twin brothers duo Haitham and Mohamed Raafat El-seht, who work together as comic book artists and cultural managers.

“I was bitterly disappointed to be unable to attend the Lakes Festival last year, and I swore up and down then that I’d make it this year,” says writer Greg Rucka. “And I will! Pandemics be damned! Impending collapse of civilisation, nuts to that! I’m gonna be there, and someone better buy me whisky! Okay, that last part not so much, but the rest? Absolutely — both Michael Lark and I are eagerly looking forward to it!”

“This will be the first time I’m attending the Lakes Festival and from what I’ve heard, and been told, I’m expecting a wonderful, friendly experience,” says artist Mike Perkins. “I’ve only just recently returned to this side of the pond after 20 years in the States, so it’ll be a new experience for some of the British fans to get their Captain Americas, Lois Lanes, The Stands and The Swamp Things – as well as numerous others – signed by myself. I’m eagerly looking forward to it.”

“We’re thrilled with our line-up of guests,” enthuses Festival Director Julie Tait, “and some of the events and happenings around the weekend we’re planning are very exciting, too. They reflect the opportunities moving to Bowness offers, as we ‘regenerate’ our programme.

“The move seems to have caught the attention of comic creators across Britain, too, she adds. “There has been huge interest from artists and publishers who want to be involved in our new look ‘Lakeview Comics Marketplace’ – and there’s still time to apply.” 

Watch out for further announcements about guests, events, exhibitions, family-friendly programming and more from the Lakes International Comic Art Festival very soon!

• To find out more about exhibitor opportunities, please contact carole@comicartfestival.com

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival – back 14th – 16th October 2022, moving to Bowness-in-Windermere – is online at: www.comicartfestival.com

• Lakes International Comic Art Festival Podcast: www.comicartpodcast.uk | Twitter: @comicartfestpod | Facebook: @ComicArtPodcast | Instagram: @ComicArtPodcast

• Want to receive news about the Lakes International Comic Art Festival? Then sign up for their newsletter now 

• Check out their LITTLE LICAF Facebook Page here and the dedicated LITTLE LICAF Instagram here

Festival 2022: First Guests

Jaime Hernandez
Love and Rockets 24 - Cover Art

As a young aimless Latino punk rocker, Jaime Hernandez, along with his brothers Gilbert and Mario, self-published the first issue of Love and Rockets in 1981. It was picked up by Fantagraphics Books in 1982 and ran 50 issues before the brothers took a break to pursue solo projects. Jaime’s titles included Whoa, Nellie!, Maggie and Hopey Color Fun and Penny Century.

Love and Rockets was revived in 2000 and still continues today. Outside of L&R, Jaime has also done other comic work, magazine illustration and album covers. He lives in Los Angeles.

US comic artist Michael Lark
US comic artist Michael Lark

Michael Lark is the artist and co-creator of Lazarus and Lazarus: Risen from Image Comics.

In his nearly thirty years in the comics industry, he has drawn many of the most iconic characters in the medium, including Spider-Man, Captain America, Daredevil, Batman, Superman, and many others.

Bill Morrison
Bill Morrison
Yellow Submarine - Preview 1

Bill Morrison has spent his career as an artist and writer working with the most iconic characters in popular culture. He began his career painting movie posters, including many for Walt Disney, such as The Little MermaidBambi, and The Jungle Book

Bill has also spent several years drawing The Simpsons, for all kinds of merchandise, and writing, drawing and editing The Simpsons and Futurama comics for Bongo Comics. He was also Art Director on the Futurama TV series.

More recently, Morrison created a graphic novel adaptation of The Beatles Yellow Submarine, and was Executive Editor of MAD Magazine.

Lavender Clouds by Bex Ollerton (Schnumn)
Lavender Clouds by Bex Ollerton (Schnumn)

Bex Ollerton creates introspective comics about mental health, neurodiversity and the general struggles of being a human being in an overwhelming world. She is known for telling stories that convey an emotional truth and her aim is to raise awareness of anxiety, depression, abuse, PTSD and neurodiversity through her work. When she’s not drawing or writing, she enjoys playing piano and taking care of far too many house plants. 

You can find her work on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook under the handle, Schnumn.

Artist Mike Perkins
Mike Perkins
Art by Mike Perkins

Mike Perkins is a comic book illustrator having worked on Captain AmericaThor and Spider-Man. After wrapping up the 31-issue adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, he transitioned into illustrating Astonishing X-Men and has since successfully re-launched DeathlokCarnage and Iron Fist. 

He has recently transitioned to DC comics where he has depicted the adventures of the Green Lanterns, collaborated with Greg Rucka on Lois Lane and, most recently, launched The Swamp Thing with Ram V. 

Mike has been nominated numerous times for Eisner and Harvey Awards and, as well as winning the Eagle Award, counts being on the New York Times Bestseller list and being exhibited in Munich, London and Paris amongst his career achievements.

Sean Phillips
Sean Phillips

Drawing comics professionally since the age of fifteen, Eisner Award winning Sean Phillips, who lives in the Lakes, has worked for all the major publishers. Since drawing SleeperHellblazerBatmanX-MenMarvel Zombies, and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, Sean has concentrated on creator-owned books including CriminalKill Or Be KilledIncognitoFataleThe Fade OutPulp and the Reckless series.

Ram V. Photo: Charlotte Knee
Ram V. Photo: Charlotte Knee

Ram V is a London-based award-winning author and creator of comics and graphic novels such as Grafity’s WallThese Savage ShoresThe Many Deaths of Laila Starr, and the Eisner Award-winning Blue in Green

Since publishing his first book in 2016, Ram’s work has gone on to garner critical and popular success, winning multiple awards. Apart from creating original work, Ram has also written for iconic characters, and titles such as Swamp ThingJustice League DarkCatwoman and Venom at DC Comics and Marvel.

Greg Rucka
Greg Rucka

Greg Rucka is the bestselling and multi-award-winning author of dozens of novels, thousands of comics, and at least one motion picture. His career has allowed him to put words in the mouths of almost every major pop-culture character, from Han Solo to Wonder Woman, and his creator-owned books have earned critical and commercial acclaim. 

He is the co-creator of Lazarus and Lazarus: Risen with Michael Lark; Black Magick with Nicola Scott; and The Old Guard with Leandro Fernandez, all published by Image Comics. His series, Stumptown, with Justin Greenwood was turned into an (unfortunately) short-lived television show starring Cobie Smulders, and The Old Guard was released on Netflix in 2020, starring Charlize Theron as Andromache “Andy” the Scythian. He lives, writes, and sleeps in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, writer Jennifer Van Meter.

Posy Simmonds
Posy Simmonds
Cassandra Drake by Posy Simmonds

Posy Simmonds was born in 1945 and grew up in Berkshire. In a career spanning over 50 years, she is best known for the strip cartoons and serials that were published in The Guardian and the books that derive from them. These include Mrs Weber’s Diary (1979), True Love (1981), Literary Life Revisited (2016) and the graphic novels, Gemma Bovery(1999) and Tamara Drewe (2006). Both graphic novels have been made into feature films – Tamara Drewe, directed by Stephen Frears in 2010, and Gemma Bovery, directed by Anne Fontaine, in 2014. 

She has also written and illustrated several children’s books, including Fred, which became an Oscar-nominated film. The award-nominated Cassandra Darke, her latest graphic novel, was first released in 2018.

Katie Skellie. Photo: Julia Durr
Katie Skellie. Photo: Julia Durr
"The Demon Mother" by Katie Skellie
Katie Skellie. Photo: Julia Durr

Katie Skelly is an artist and writer based in Los Angeles, California. Her comics work includes the graphic novels MaidsMy Pretty VampireThe AgencyTwisted Romance, and Nurse Nurse. In 2021 she edited Queen of the Ring: Wrestling Drawings by Jaime Hernandez. 

She co-hosts the comics podcast Thick Lines with Sally Madden, and is a regular contributor to The Comics Journal. She was awarded the Emerging Artist prize at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus in 2015.

Twins Cartoon
Twins Cartoon
Gender Equality Workshop art by Twins Cartoons

Twins Cartoon is the pen name of the Egyptian twin brothers duo Haitham and Mohamed Raafat El-seht, working together as comic book artists and cultural managers. They grew up reading comic books and studied together in the Faculty of Fine Arts, Animation Department, Minia University, in Upper Egypt.

Since graduating in 2008, Haitham and Mohamed, who work best as a team, have been teaching the art of comics in workshops and festivals around Egypt and abroad. Inspired by the cosmopolitan city of Cairo as a place holding a rich visual identity, culture, and different urban spaces, they drew their own artistic path trying to adapt with this strong unifying culture that coexists with super cultures, subcultures.

In recent decades, as independent artists and cultural actors, they have noticed the birth of a new generation of young artists who have great potential but were being limited by the censorship and the strict and sometimes harsh regulations of the visual art market (especially Comics) in the Arab world where comics were underestimated as a form of expression. So, in 2014, they addressed the need to form a tight knit cultural and artistic initiative which has initiated partnerships with individuals and organisations.

The Kawkab Elrasameen initiative has grown into a big community of nearly 2000 active members, free for independent young artists. It seeks to try to help them by holding artistic gatherings, indoor and outdoor, in the streets of Egypt and various places around the world, holding visual art and comics workshops between advanced, underground, and amateur artists. 

The brothers are also co-founders of Cairo Comix International Festival, and are the driving forces behind Garage Comics Magazine. In 2015, this was a newcomer to the Arab comics scene. It is considered vitally important that the artists and the writers of the Garage collective have total creative freedom – not only for their own benefit, but to challenge the Egyptian and Arab public to take a new perspective on issues of the day.

The brothers have been honoured at the Mahmoud Kahil Awards through Mu’taz and the Rada Sawwaf Arabic Comics Initiative (Beirut, Lebanon), and by the Cairo Comix International Festival, as the patrons of comics in the Arab region, in March 2017.

Their powerful story “Hudhud Al-Ghosn”, about the Nubian people in Egypt in the 1960s, was awarded as “Best Graphic Novel” at the Mahmoud Kahil Awards through Mu’taz and Rada Sawwaf Arabic Comics Initiative (Beirut, Lebanon) in March 2019.

Lakeview Comics Marketplace

Bowness. Photo: John Freeman
Bowness. Photo: John Freeman

Applications for comic creators, publishers and others are still open for exhibitors to feature in their Lakeview Comics Marketplace at the 10th Lakes International Comic Art FestivalIf you would like to exhibit at this year’s Festival, please complete the application form available on the official LICAF web site and return it to carole@comicartfestival.com to arrive no later than 5.00pm on Friday 25th February 2022

While LICAF won’t be able to accommodate all applicants, the team will keep you well informed throughout the process and let you know if you have been successful no later than Friday 4th March 2022

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival – back 14th – 16th October 2022, moving to Bowness-in-Windermere – is online at: www.comicartfestival.com

• Lakes International Comic Art Festival Podcast: www.comicartpodcast.uk | Twitter: @comicartfestpod | Facebook: @ComicArtPodcast | Instagram: @ComicArtPodcast

• Want to receive news about the Lakes International Comic Art Festival? Then sign up for their newsletter now 

• Check out their LITTLE LICAF Facebook Page here and the dedicated LITTLE LICAF Instagram here

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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.



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