Nick Abadzis, Stephen Collins, Lizz Lunney and more join Lakes Festival line-up

Nick Abadzis

Photo: Martin Hand

Britain has a long tradition of humour comics such as The Beano, Dandy and VIZ – so it should come as no surprise that the cheeky gang at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival have lined up a number of comic creators well known for delivering a chuckle or two thanks to their work (as well as, on occasion, a more sober tale).

The latest guests announced to join a stellar line up of comics talent in Kendal in October are Guardian cartoonist Stephen Collins, Nick Abadzis (creator of the critically-acclaimed Hugo Tate), Beano and VIZ artist Lew Stringer, Cornwall’s Donya Todd (creator of Death & The Girls), Lizz Lunney (creator of many a surrealist animal!) and Flemish cartoonist Peter van Heirseele, the brains behind the absurdist comic Cowboy Henk.

Previously announced guests for the Festival include The Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard; Fables artist Mark Buckingham; acclaimed independent comics creator Oliver East; Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons; top designer and comics creator Rian Hughes; 2000AD artist Jock; self-taught Japanese artist Junko; Dutch underground comics artist Joost Swarte; writer Robbie Morrison; artist Sean Phillips; digital comics frontiersman Scott McCloud; leading US comics writer Gail Simone; Jeff Smith; COSTA Award winner Bryan Talbot; Vampire Academy artist Emma Vieceli; and Jonathan Edwards, who has designed the event’s “Mascot Family”.

“I’m excited to be asked to attend The Lakes Comic Art Festival – it’s an honour,” enthuses Nick Abadzis. “I’ve heard lovely things about the ‘Angouleme of the North’ and in anticipation of seeing old friends and meeting many new ones to celebrate the art and language of comics, I’m greatly looking forward to my visit to Kendal.”

Laika by Nick Abadzis

Laika by Nick Abadzis

•  Nick Abadzis is a cartoonist, writer and graphic novelist of international renown who has been honoured with various awards including the prestigious Eisner in 2008 for his graphic novel Laika. To date, there have been ten foreign editions. He also works as a visual facilitator, corporate scribe and editorial consultant. He’s devised various magazines and properties that have helped create lasting equity and sales for the many publishing entities and websites that he has been involved with.

As a highly experienced author of stories for both adults and children, Nick has been published in the US by Condé Nast, Macmillan, Marvel Comics, DC/Vertigo Comics and, in Japan by Kodansha and Korea by Marubol Publications. His comics and illustrations have appeared in various national UK newspapers including The Times, The Guardian and The Independent on Sunday and he has been published in Europe by BBC Worldwide, Dargaud, Glénat, Doctor Who Magazine, 2000AD, Punch, Titan Comics, David Fickling Comics and Atrium Verlag among others.

His latest book (co-authored with David Camus) is The Cigar That Fell in Love With a Pipe from Self-Made Hero/Abrams, due out in Spring 2014. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter.

Official web site:

stephen-collins-illoStephen Collins is a British illustrator and cartoonist whose work has appeared in many publications worldwide, and he has a weekly comic in The Guardian’s Weekend magazine, as well as a monthly one in Prospect.

In 2013 Jonathan Cape published his debut graphic novel The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, which won the Edinburgh Ninth Art Award and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Book Of The Year award . Some Comics By Stephen Collins, a collection of his shorter strips, will be published by Jonathan Cape in autumn 2014.

Official web site:

Peter van Heirseele, known better under the pseudonym Herr Seele, is a renowned Flemish cartoonist, author, actor, presenter and piano collector. He is mainly known for the absurd comic Cowboy Henk, created with Kamagurka, which ran in the weekly magazine Humo until 2011.

Originally, the comic was intended for De Vooruit, but soon became an exclusive item in Humo and has since gone on to be published in several countries, including in Scandinavia and the United States.

He began acting in 1983, some shows written by his Cowboy Henk collborator Kamagurka; and he owns one of the most renowned collections of early historic pianos in the world, which is stored at Ostend and contains over 200 instruments.

Lizz Lunney

Lizz Lunney

Birmingham-based Lizz Lunney is an illustrator, comic artist and comedy writer. She draws surrealist animals, household objects and items of food, all endowed with the sometimes-questionable gift of consciousness, exploring various concepts of life and death in a humorous setting; sometimes she draws humans.

Lizz’s first book Ich liebe Katzen und Katzen lieben mich collects her early self published titles translated into German (Zwerchfell Verlag, 2011); her second publication Take Away!, released this year, is a specially commissioned book for Blank Slate that includes work from the last eight years, presented alongside brand new content including two mega stories.

Lizz’s Digital comics are available from Top Shelf Productions presenting titles such as Depressed Cat: Nine Miserable Lives (Top Shelf, 2013), she also co-edited The Hic & Hoc Illustrated Journal of Humour Volume 2 and you can find her range of greetings cards in various well-known stockists in the UK.

Official Site:

Lew Stringer

Lew Stringer

Lew Stringer, well known tocomic fans for his unstinting support of the industry through his Blimey! It’s Another Blog About Comics blog, has been working in British comics for over 30 years, writing and drawing humour strips for a diverse number of titles. His work has appeared in The Beano, Buster, Oink!, Spider-Man, VIZ, Sonic The Comic, Toxic, Tellytots and many more. Amongst his creations are Combat Colin, Brickman, Derek The Troll, Tom Thug, Pete And His Pimple and the Suburban Satanists.

Working with other creators, Lew has supplied scripts for various artists on Sonic The Comic and illustrated Dave Gibbons’ script, ‘The Glut’ for Knockabout’s Seven Deadly Sins book.

Official Blog:

Donya Todd

Donya Todd

Donya Todd is an illustrator, painter and comic artist who lives on a remote farm in Cornwall, England. She specialises in narrative illustration across a variety of mediums including graphic novels, digital commissions, children’s books and traditional methods.

Taking her inspiration from the magical, marvellous and macabre her creations include The Burger Boys and Death & The Girls, published by Blank Slate last year. She also publishes comics anthology Bimba and is one half of ‘Chubby’ – a new teeshirt venture with partner in crime and fellow Festival guest Jack Teagle.

“‘I’m really excited to be coming to the Festival,” says Donya, “joining in all the fun and drawing with a bunch of cool people.’

Official Site:

I think you’ll agree, the line-up just gets stronger and stronger for this event. There are more big names yet to be announced – expect more announcements in early April!

• Tickets for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival go on sale from 25th April 2014. Sign up for the Festival’s newsletter here [LINK] for the latest news! Web:



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