Lakes International Comic Art Festival Tickets Go On Sale Today

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival's Poblin and gang - ready for you now. Art © Jonathan Edwards

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival’s Poblin and gang – ready for you now. Art © Jonathan Edwards

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival from the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal.

The Festival, taking place 16th – 18th October, has also detailed three more top names joining this year’s programme: Guardian cartoonists Steven Appleby and Steve Bell, and top concept artist and illustrator Ian McQue, perhaps best known for his work on the chart-topping game Grand Theft Auto.

Multi-award-winning political cartoonist Steve Bell, who started his career as a comics artist, is the Festival’s opening night guest, the event generously sponsored by Specsavers.

For a third of a century Steve’s IF strip has been redefining the boundaries of political satire. In his cartoons our leaders have become grotesque monsters. At this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival, you can join Steve on a roller-coaster ride satirising the last five years of coalition government, right through to today’s political landscape. Savage, funny, rude, transgressing all the rules of good taste and beautifully drawn, don’t make this evening IF but when!

Steve Bell and Steven Appleby both pack a punch in a different way with their work for The Guardian – one through his scurrilous satire of modern politics, the other through his uniquely unsettling but irresistible guide to life. On the Sunday afternoon of the Festival they will get together on stage for the first time to draw live and, hopefully, give away some trade secrets.

These world-renowned creators join a host of already-announced international and British guests including Canadian creators Darwyn Cooke, Stuart and Kathryn Immonen and Seth, top Japanese Shojo manga artist Akiko Hatsu (making her first ever UK appearance) , Dave McKean and Kieron Gillen.  

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, in the market town of Kendal. Modelled on European-style festivals, such as Angoulême in France, it takes over the whole town for a weekend of 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.

This year’s Festival will have four over-arching themes to help visitors navigate through the all-ages, family-friendly event: Konnichiwa Japan featuring Shojo, Manga workshops, Studio Ghibli films, BartkiraAkiraAkiko HatsuInko and much more; Meet the Superleague, which includes the work of Stuart Immonen, Darwyn CookeDave McKeanJockKathryn Immonen and Stuart Immonen introducing one of his films; Parallel Worlds featuring Mattias AdolfssonAntony JohnstonKieron GillenIan McQueBouletAlan MartinJonathan EdwrdsWarwick Johnson-Cadwell and more; and Satire & Comedy in Comics whose guests include Steve Bell, Steven ApplebySeth, the team behind VizKate Beaton and Bill Morrison.

Along with guests offering panels there will be plenty of stuff at the Festival for kids (of all ages) which will be announced later this month, and a huge range of creators, publishers and retailers will also be in residence in the town’s Clock Tower, as we previously reported.

Lakes Guests in the Spotlight…

Steven Appleby

Steven Appleby

Steven Appleby is an absurdist creator of comic strips for many newspapers, including The TimesThe Guardian and The Sunday Telegraph. His strip “Loomus” currently appears in the Guardian Family section. He also created Steven Appleby’s Normal Life for Radio 4; Crocs In Frocks (with Teresa Early) a musical play seen at Peckham Theatre and Comica at the ICA, London; the animated television series Captain Star and over 25 books, including Jim – The Nine Lives Of A Dysfunctional Cat and Antmen Carry Away My Thoughts As Soon As I Think Them.

His paintings and drawings have appeared in numerous gallery exhibitions and, notably, on the Pixies’ album Trompe le Monde and in Black Francis & Josh Frank’s novel The Good Inn (published May 2014 by SelfMadeHero). He lives, works and daydreams among his unusual family in London.

For his Saturday panel at the Festival, guided by Steven himself, you’ll be perfectly safe as you poke about in his dark corners and prise open the drawers and cupboards where his obsessions live and all his ideas come from. You’ll discover the source of cartoon strips and meet the characters and strangers who inhabit his stage show, radio series and his numerous books.

• Book your tickets for Steven Appleby’s “Please Don’t Touch” event on Saturday 17th October here

• Steven Appleby’s Official Site:

• Follow Steven on Twitter @stevenappleby

Steve Bell

Steve Bell

Steve Bell, probably Britain’s most recognisable political cartoonist, started his career drawing comic pages for children’s comics, including WhoopeeCheeky and Jackpot and has produced illustrations and comic strips for many different magazines including Social Work TodayPunchPrivate EyeNew Society, the Radio Times, the New StatesmanThe Spectator and the Journalist.

Steve’s original strip “Maggie’s Farm” appeared in Time Out and City Limits magazines from 1979 through to 1987. Since 1981, he’s written and drawn the If… strip in The Guardian, for whom he has produced cartoons with high penguin content ever since the Falklands crisis of 1982.

It was Bell who created the memorable ‘underpants’ image of John Major, of Tony Blair with Margaret Thatcher’s rogue eyeball, and depicted George W Bush as a malevolent chimp. Mixing surreal visuals with hilarious dialogue, Bell’s cartoons have won him wide acclaim and a host of awards.

At this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival you can join Steve on a roller-coaster ride through the last five years of coalition government and bang up to date. Savage, funny, rude, transgressing all the rules of good taste and beautifully drawn, don’t make this evening IF but when.

• Book Your Tickets for Steve Bell at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival Here

• Steve’s Official Site:

Ian McQue

Ian McQue

Ian McQue is a concept artist/illustrator. He spent over 20 years working in the videogame industry as lead concept artist and assistant art director on the bestselling Grand Theft Auto series.

Now freelance and working mainly in visual development for film, his recent clients include 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros and Sony Pictures.

• Find Ian McQue on Facebook:

• Follow Ian on Twitter @ianmcque

• Tickets for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival are on sale now from the Brewery Arts Festival – Book Now

• For the latest news on the 2015 Lakes International Comic Art Festival visit:

• Sign up for the Festival’s newsletter here for the latest news!

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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1 reply

  1. Really looking forward to this and delighted to be part of the team involved.

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