Sneak Peek: Image Comics “Traces of the Great War” anthology launches this weekend at Lakes Festival

Traces of the Great War  - CoverPoet Simon Armitage, Edmond BaudoinVictoria LomaskoDave McKean and the UK’s Comics Laureate Charlie Adlard are among creators whose work features in a new international comic anthology – Traces of the Great War – which gets its launch during the Lakes international Comic Art Festival this weekend.

Published by Image Comics, Traces of the Great War is an ambitious anthology of new illustrated short stories, the anthology features over forty internationally acclaimed comic book artists, graphic novelists and writers. The stories explore the continued relevance and resonance of the World War One and its aftermath in our lives today.

Part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, the creative collaboration re-evaluates the impacts and legacy of the conflict across a diversity of cultural, geographical and narrative viewpoints. The aim is to introduce new audiences to the narrative of the Great War through the immediacy and wide appeal of the comic artform.

Featuring eighteen short stories from both the UK and around the world, Traces of the Great War includes a number of collaborations between graphic artists and writers (Dave McKean with poet Simon ArmitageSean Phillips with novelist Ian RankinCharlie Adlard with Robbie Morrison) and between artists and illustrators who have never worked together before (Juan Díaz Canales and KrisRégis Hautière and Thomas von Kummant).

Traces of the Great War is commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, La Mission du Centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale, On a Marche Sur Le Bulle and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. It is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

"Sea Sketch - Memorial" by Simon Armitage & Dave McKean

A page from “Sea Sketch – Memorial” by Simon Armitage & Dave McKean

“This powerful new anthology brings together many of today’s most inspiring artists and writers from around the world,” says Jenny Waldman, Director, 14-18 NOW. “14-18 NOW is thrilled to co-commission this exciting project, as part of our final season inviting contemporary artists to create new work in response to the First World War.”

“We are delighted to be part of this inspiring collaborative project,” said Aileen McEvoy for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. “The quality of the artists and writers is just amazing and the diversity of the work makes this a unique anthology that will resonate with existing comic audiences and newcomers to the world of comics.”

“Comics have an amazing power to connect with people and tell stories in different ways,” added Charlie Adlard, the UK’s Comics Laureate. “I hope this anthology will reach out to new audiences and demonstrate the continuing relevance of the Great War on our lives today. It has been a privilege to be involved.”

• Tickets for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, running Friday 12th – Sunday 14th October 2018 in Kendal at various venues across the town, are on sale now from the event’s web site.

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Traces of the Great War – THE STRIPS

"Without a trace..." by Robbie Morrison & Charlie Adlard

“Without a trace…” by Robbie Morrison & Charlie Adlard

“Without a trace…”
Robbie Morrison & Charlie Adlard

Known for his work on 2000AD, Robbie Morrison is a British comics writer and co-creator of the popular character and series Nikolai Dante, serialised for 15 years until 2012.

Best known as the artist for the globally celebrated The Walking Dead comic series, Charlie Adlard is also the UK’s Comics Laureate 2017 – 2019.

“Unfathomable imprints”
Riff Reb’s

Riff Reb’s, whose real name is Dominique Duprez, is a French cartoonist, scriptwriter and founder of Asylum studios.

“Mines for the miner!”
Jean-David Morvan, Scie-Tronc & Hiroyuki Ooshima

Jean-David Morvan is a French author whose main series are Spirou et Fantasio, Sir Pyle and Merlin, all with José Luis Munuera, and Wake with Philippe Buchet. His story for the anthology is brought to life by Croatian artist Scie-Tronc, and Japanese artist Hiroyuki Ooshima, whose work has been widely published in France.

"Crimson" by Mikiko

“Crimson” by Mikiko


Mikiko is a London based German-japanese artist working in comics, Manga, game art, TV, teaching and illustration.

“A pretty little village”

Martin Leclerc, known as Maël, is a Paris-based comic artist, who leads a double life as the lead singer of folkrock group HitchcockGoHome!

“All the far-away stations, where she waited for me”
Kris & Juan Díaz Canales

Kris is a French comics creator and writer. Working alongside Mael he created the comic series Notre Mere La Guerre.

A Spanish comics artist and an animated film director, Juan Díaz Canales is the co-creator of the massively successful 1950s style detective series Blacksad.

“Eternal War”
L’Atelier Virtuel

“Body to body”
Aurélien Ducoudray & Efa

"For want of a bullet..." by Joe Kelly & Ken Niimura

“For want of a bullet…” by Joe Kelly & Ken Niimura

“For want of a bullet…”
Joe Kelly & Ken Niimura

Joseph “Joe” Kelly is an American comic book writer, penciler and editor who is co-creator of Ben 10 and has written titles such as Deadpool, Uncanny X-Men and I Kill Giants. (Read our “Lakes Festival Focus” interview with Joe here)

A cartoonist and illustrator based in Tokyo, Ken Niimura’s graphic novel I Kill Giants, co-created with Joe Kelly, has been adapted as a movie directed by Anders Walter.

"War Games" by Ian Rankin & Sean Phillips

“War Games” by Ian Rankin & Sean Phillips

“War Games”
Ian Rankin & Sean Phillips

Ian Rankin is an award-winning Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels.

An Eisner award-winning comic artist, Sean Phillips is also founder patron of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Marguerite Abouet & Ergün Gündüz

Marguerite Abouet is an Ivorian writer , screenwriter and director born in Abidjan in 1971 . She is best known for the Aya de Yopougon, designed by Clément Oubrerie.

Ergün Gündüz is a Turkish artist, on of the team behind a Turkish version of MAD magazine, Joker.

“Who is to blame?”
Victoria Lomasko

Victoria Lomasko, born in Serpukhov, Russia, is a renowned graphic artist and activist who has lectured and written widely on graphic reportage. (Read our “Lakes Festival Focus” interview with Victoria here)

"Sea Sketch - Memorial" by Simon Armitage & Dave McKean

“Sea Sketch – Memorial” by Simon Armitage & Dave McKean

“Sea Sketch – Memorial”
Simon Armitage & Dave McKean

Yorkshire born Simon Armitage is an award-winning poet, playwright and novelist, appointed as Professor of Poetry at the University in Leeds in 2017.

Dave McKean is an award-winning English illustrator, comic book artist, filmmaker and musician, who has collaborated with Neil Gaiman, Heston Blumenthal and Stephen King amongst others.

Edmond Baudoin

A French artist, illustrator, and writer of sequential art and graphic novels, Edmond Baudoin is known for his atmospheric artistic approach using bold black and white brushstrokes.


"Make Germany pay!" by Mary Talbot & Bryan Talbot

“Make Germany pay!” by Mary Talbot & Bryan Talbot

“Make Germany pay!”
Mary Talbot & Bryan Talbot

Bryan Talbot is now published in over twenty countries and is the winner of many comic awards – including an Eisner award, the Prix SNCF and several Eagles.

Mary M. Talbot is an internationally acclaimed scholar of gender, language and power who now writes graphic novels.

“Kilometre Zero”
Régis Hautière & Thomas von Kummant

Régis Hautière is a French comic book writer with an impressively eclectic bibliography, many of which have been award-winning.

A German freelance illustrator, Thomas von Kummant’s published works include The Chronicle of the Immortals.

"Ship Of Liberty" by Orijit Sen

“Ship Of Liberty” by Orijit Sen

“Ship Of Liberty”
Orijit Sen

Orijit Sen is an Indian graphic artist and designer, his graphic novel River of Stories, published in 1994, is considered to be the first graphic novel of India. (Read our “Lakes Festival Focus” interview with Orijit here)

“Shell Shock”
Denis Lapière & Aude Samama

Denis Lapière is a Belgian comic book writer, who has been a co-author on various projects including the ‘Comme tout le monde’ and Michel Vaillant’ series.

Aude Samama is a French cartoonist and illustrator who works in paint, in a style reminiscent of Expressionism, whose works include À l’ombre de la gloire.

Read Joe Gordon’s review of Traces of the Great War here

A French edition of this book, Traces de la Grande Guerre, published by Editions de la Gouttière, is also available

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All stories and art © respective creators

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