Virtual Guests line up for LICAF LIVE

Lakes International Comic Art Festival LIVE 2020

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has announced some of its programming plans and guest line-up for LICAF LIVE, the virtual comics event taking place 9th – 11th October 2020 that replaces the usual Lakes International Comic Art Festival this year.

A free virtual Festival bursting with ready-made content, plus a special live strand throughout the weekend, LICAF Live aims to enthral, inspire and entertain you.

LICAF LIVE will open with a live launch from a top secret location with special announcements and an all-star band on Friday evening followed by on-the-hour, every hour live events (cartoon challenges, book launches and its very own shopping channel, courtesy of VIZ comic) and a special live feed from creators’ desks.

Announced guests include Charlie Adlard, Yomi Ayeni, Sayra Begum, Hannah Berry, Paul Cornell, Gemma Correll, Robert Deas, Hugleikur Dagsson, Elyon’s, Dave Gibbons, Dave McKean, Ken Niimura, Paul Gravett, Marc Jackson, Nicola Jennings, Sarah McIntyre, Junko Mizuno, Sean Phillips, Tanya Roberts, Julie Rocheleau, Martin Rowson, Posy Simmonds – and many more, both announced and yet to be revealed.

The Festival’s web site has been revamped to promote the virtual event, with guest details and programming already live and a Virtual Comics Clock Tower designed by Joe and Luke McGarry, promoting and offering the means to buy creators’ and publishers’ work, to follow soon.

The physical Festival will return in October 2021, but as we previously reported, the ongoing uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic necessitated LICAF’s first major foray into the digital world, following quickly on the heels of its initial web projects such as supporting artist Marc Jackson’s Marc Makes Comics YouTube Channel for aspiring young comic artists and its recently-launched Digital Colouring Project.

Programming in the works includes:

A live “Big Comics Pub Quiz” – with virtual Festival goers able to compete by yourself or form a team. Suitable for comics fans of all ages, with rounds ranging from Disney characters to the history of comics, to Outer Space, there will be prizes for the winners, plus the immortal accolade: Comics Cleverclogs 2020!

Showing Off – a range of live draws and challenges including creators from locations as far-flung as Japan, Finland and the United States

Drawing on Japan – Both live and pre-recorded, celebrate some of our best live draws from LICAF 2013-2019 with Junko Mizuno (USA/Japan), Ken Niimura (Spain/Japan), Emma Vieceli (UK) and Petteri Tikannen (Finland), who will draw on their inspirations from Japan to create an original piece of art for LICAF LIVE

Pass the Panel – 16 artists are challenged to create a 16-panel story with the loosest of storylines. Taking turns, each of them will draw a panel of a new comic story, passing from one to the next until the story is complete. The finished strip could be tragic, silly, profound or hilarious. “The only thing we can safely predict,” enthuses Festival Director Julie Tait, “is that watching it take shape will be utterly mesmerising!”

Live Cartoon Challenge with Luke McGarry – Live from Los Angeles and featuring special cartoonist guests, no challenge is too great for this award-winning, go-to designer and cartoonist

Daft as a Brush – five cartoonists from Denmark, Iceland, the UK and USA each tackle five crazy cartoon challenges live and pre-recorded for your delight and delectation!

The virtual event, bustling with extraordinary talent, will also offer several “Comics Up Close” events, leading with a huge range of international collaborations – special events featuring top creators from France, Quebec and Denmark in association with Lyon BD, Quebec BD festivals and Art-Bubble, Denmark; “Comics, Clouds and Kendal Mint Cake”, examining why the Lake District is such a great place to inspire artists, and to read comics; Desert Island Comics – asking leading comic creators to choose which five comics, one luxury item, and their favourite crisps they would take to a desert island; and “Through the Comics Keyhole”, where celebrity comics collectors take us into their homes and show us their prized possessions!

The weekend will also offer free workshops, hosted by comics creators Steven Appleby, Jason Chatfield, Ben Cullis, Joe Kelly, Joe and Luke McGarry, Tom Richmond, Lucy Sullivan, Tom Ward and Emma Vieceli.

Plus, a number of exhibitions, two in collaboration with the Italian Institute and the Czech Literature Centre feature as part of a festival online gallery experience and much, much more, to both challenge and entertain. Also planned are “Coronacartoon of the Year”, a virtual exhibition of cartoons about the pandemic, taken from newspapers and other sources worldwide, and “Weirdest Comic Image of All Time“, a collection of the most bizarre, disturbing, accidentally hilarious and just plain wrong comic panels that have ever appeared in print.

“It’s a fantastic line-up,” assures Julie Tait, “and we’ve been blown away by the support from comic creators, publishers and funders for LICAF LIVE. It’s proving an opportunity to introduce some artists and writers to the Lakes Festival experience for the very first time, and already prompting ideas for further collaborations.

“I’m particularly looking forward to our ‘Comics, Clouds and Kendal Mint Cake’ strand, where one of our top guests visits a specific spot in the Lakes, and we can watch them read or discuss a comic there, showing us why they like the place and how the comic relates to it. It could just be a beautiful place to read, or it could be a spot with special relevance. Scenery and art have always been inextricably linked. Now it’s time to find out why.”

“Plus, ‘Through the Comics Keyhole’ will be fun, too! We’ve peered behind the net curtains that conceal some of the most amazing collections of comics in the world. Watch and drool…”

For full programming plans, which also include Infinity and Beyond in association with SouthernGFX, a special section of LICAF LIVE devoted to how technology is pushing the boundaries of comics, and LITTLE LICAF LIVE, designed especially for kids (12 and under) and families – a wonderland of workshops, downloadable resources, readings and more – visit the Festival web site now.

• For the latest news about Lakes International Comic Art Festival Live 2020 visit: | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Podcast

Check out the first of the Festival’s virtual projects –  LICAF Colouring Sheets – here on the organisation’s web site | Have fun with the LICAF online Animated Colouring Book | Check out the colouring entries on Instagram so far at #licafcolouringcomp2020


Charlie Adlard, Steven Appleby, Yomi Ayeni, Sayra Begum, Hannah Berry, Jason Chatfield, Paul Cornell, Gemma Correll , Ben Cullis, Robert Deas, Francis Desharnais, Hugleikur Dagsson, Elyon’s, Björk Matias Friis, Dave Gibbons, Stephen Holland, Igort, Inko, Joe Kelly, Dave McKean, Ken Niimura, Paul Gravett, Marc Jackson, Pavel Korinek, Vojtech Masek, Joe McGarry, Luke McGarry, Steve McGarry, Sarah McIntyre, Metaphrog, Junko Mizuno, Benoit Peeters, Sean Phillips, Eric Reynolds, Tom Richmond, Tanya Roberts, Julie Rocheleau, Martin Rowson, Posy Simmonds, Glen Southern, Lucy Sullivan, Bryan Talbot, Petteri Tikkanen, Emma Vieceli, VIZ, Tom Ward, Joe Wos and Zoom Rockman

• PLEASE NOTE: Registration will be required for the free workshops – suitable for 15+

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