The Lakes Arts Festivals has just announced a dynamic, year-round programme of international comic art activity, and a new location for its Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October 2022, in Bowness-on-Windermere, in the heart of the Lake District National Park.
Offering a re-energised format and a new mission of using comic art to change the world, the dates for the Festival in Bowness-on-Windermere have been confirmed as 14th – 16th October 2022, supported by major partners who include Arts Council England, the Lake District National Park Authority, South Lakeland District Council and Lancaster University.
The dates of the event have been chosen after consulting with local partners, as one of the quietest autumn weekends in the area.
Since its inception in 2013, the annual Festival has been held in Kendal, but for its tenth year, the core of the Festival will take over multiple venues within Bowness-on-Windermere, on the east banks of Lake Windermere.
The new Festival will bring the best artists and creators to the Lake District and explore the potential and power of comics as a force for good and creative endeavour, in the UK, and through continued international partnerships with organisations such as Comic Art Europe, and many others.
Julie Tait, Festival Director said: “Hosting a comic art Festival in Bowness-on-Windermere presents an incredible opportunity to bring the wonder of comics to new audiences within an iconic, world-heritage landscape.
“This isn’t about moving the existing Festival from Kendal to Bowness-on-Windermere, this is about re-imagining the Festival for a new era. The world of comics is continually changing, and we want to reflect this in a new Festival that unlocks the power of comics to change the world.
“We are already looking forward to welcoming our regular Festival visitors and new audiences to LICAF 2022.”
Award-winning comic artist and festival patron Charlie Adlard said: “I’ve been a supporter, patron and guest artist at the festival for many years. I’m super excited to see the festival in its tenth year move even deeper into the Lakes. In 2022 we’ll be on the shores of Windermere, an iconic location for what has become an iconic comics festival. I can’t wait to see you in the Lakes in 2022, for my favourite show in the UK!”
Lakes Arts Festivals will continue to run comic art activity in many other cities and towns throughout the UK, including Kendal, along with an extensive international programme.
The 2022 programme of comic art activity will include:
• A series of pilot projects exploring how comics can improve literacy, health and wellbeing
• An ongoing programme of creating online resources to introduce teachers to comics and showcase how to use them in the classroom
• Using the comics medium to explore mental health and promoting resources to secondary school students in conjunction with Lancaster University
• Forming long-term relationships with Special Schools across the UK, to explore the positive impact of comics in the school environment
• Supporting the UK Comics Laureate to promote the transformational power of comics to educators, librarians and policy makers, as well as the young people directly
• Working with the neurodiverse community and specifically those on the autistic spectrum and undertaking research with the University of Cambridge with a new Autism Comics & Cartooning Project
• Supporting independent creators through our Virtual Comics Clock Tower online marketplace and providing professional development opportunities through a webinars programme, exploring topics such as crowdfunding, pitching to publishers and fundraising
• Providing a range of opportunities for year-round artist residencies and cultural exchanges in the UK and internationally, through programmes such as Comic Art Europe
• Exploring and celebrating how comics intersect with new and emerging art forms including digital art, animation, film, gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality – this will result in new partnerships with international creators at the forefront of new technologies
• Continuing to offer an annual Festival programme in October that features a wide range of British and international guests with the eye on the eclectic, exciting and entertaining, alongside workshops for aspiring creators, children’s events through “Little LICAF” and much more
The Festival is also commissioning new comic work in collaboration with the Lake District National Park Authority to bring comic art experiences to family audiences within an outdoor environment.
The climate crisis, flood risk and sustainability will continue as themes throughout 2022 with new comic artwork being commissioned, alongside the further development of our ‘10 Years to Save the World’ project and website.
The Festival’s international partnerships continue to flourish with projects underway with the Finnish Institute, the Belgian Embassy, Quebec BD Festival, the French Institute, the Czech Literary Centre, the Italian Institute, the Philippines Comic Art Festival, Lyon BD Festival, Beirut Comic Art Festival, the Bilili BD Festival (the Congo) and NCSFest (USA).
The full programme for 2022 along with details of the 10th Lakes International Comic Art Festival will be available in January 2022. This will include initial guest announcements, and detailed visitor and transport information for Bowness-on-Windermere, which is only a 20 minute rail journey from the mainline Oxenholme Lake District station.
The Festival is also working to ensure local Festival weekend transport availability, such as shuttle buses between Kendal and Bowness.
• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival – back 14th to 16th October 2022 – is online at: www.comicartfestival.com | Lakes International Comic Art Festival Podcast: www.comicartpodcast.uk | Twitter: @comicartfestpod | Facebook: @ComicArtPodcast | Instagram: @ComicArtPodcast | Virtual Comics Clock Tower: licafclocktower.com
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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.