Fans of the anarchic animated adventures of The Simpsons will be able to enjoy a stroll through Springfield via Kendal this autumn, because the Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced the stellar signature of award-winning Simpsons Comics artist Bill Morrison, who will make a special guest appearance at the event in October.
Bill is the head of The Simpsons‘ comic arm Bongo Comics, responsible for creating thousands of drawings for t-shirts, video games, posters and toys relating to the series. He also co-created the popular animated series Futurama together with Simpsons godfather Matt Groening, working on the early character designs for the show and serving as the series art director.
Launched in 1989, after more than 500 episodes The Simpsons is one of the most popular shows in TV history regularly with massive global appeal. Such is its stature it regularly tempts major stars as guest voices including the likes of Ricky Gervais, Michael Jackson and Tony Blair.
“This is a major coup for us,” enthused Festival Director Julie Tait, who is grateful to the US National Cartoonists Society for helping make Bill’s appearance possible. “We’ve been working hard behind the scenes and delighted to pull it off. Attracting the creator of comic art work with such resonance in popular culture will help us open up the festival to a wider audience.”
Following hot on the heels of the success of last year’s festival, LICAF has been busy scouring the globe for the best and most original names to appear in October and there will be a vibrant international flavour to this year’s event. As we’ve previously reported, another coup for 2015 is an appearance by Canadian artist Darwyn Cooke (alongside other Canadian guests), famous for his work on iconic superheroes such as Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men and Superman for comic publishing giants Marvel and DC.
His appearance also ties in with a close collaboration with LICAF and similar festivals in Canada and, as we reported yesterday, a delegation from Kendal will be flying out to North America in May to showcase the event at the Toronto Comic Art Festival.
There will be plenty for fans of French flair to enjoy with events from four acclaimed Gallic artists including the famous French comic book creator Boulet who was recently confirmed as a new patron of the festival.
The festival will also see Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre “turning Japanese” hosting a number of events inspired by the Far Eastern home of iconic comic art style Manga.
Closer to home, another confirmed attendee includes the acclaimed political cartoonist Steve Bell, whose series of talks and masterclasses at the inaugural LICAF in 2012 were among the most popular events of the festival and whose next book, If: The Graphic Novel, is released next month.
“The planning for this year’s festival is really gathering pace and we are signing up exciting new artists all the time,” says Julie. “There’s a real buzz about 2015 already.
“Comic art fans have really taken us to heart,” she added. “The unique, bespoke feel of the weekend and the fact we can attract such big names has definitely established us as a “must visit” date on the comic art festival circuit.”
• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival takes place from 16-18 October. Tickets for this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival go on sale from the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, from 1st June 2015
• For the latest news on the 2015 Lakes International Comic Art Festival visit: www.comicartfestival.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.