Lakes International Comic Art Festival – Coming In Less Than A Month

by Richard Bruton

One of the two big comics festivals here in the UK kicks off in less than a month as the Lakes International Comic Art Festival comes to Bowness-on-Windermere 14th-16th October 2022.

Here in the UK, we have two big comics festivals – there’s Harrogate’s Thought Bubble in November and The Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October.

Sure, we have other smaller conventions and pop culture shows, but these two specialise and concentrate on comics, comics, and comics. There’s very little merchandise and a distinct lack of the sort of ‘special’ guests you find at pop culture shows (you know the sort of thing I mean – appearing for the first time ever in the UK, the bloke who played the eighth Stormtrooper from the left in the hanger scene in A New Hope).

More on Thought Bubble nearer the time, but let’s take a look at some of the great things you’ll find at The Lakes – or LICAF as it’s known.

 

Set in the heart of the Lake District National Park in Bowness-on-Windermere, LICAF is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022 with a series of events, exhibitions, live drawing, creative workshops, talks, presentations, a comics market place, debates, a comic art trail around Bowness, and a reinvigorated crazy golf course full of cartoon characters! You can even enjoy the warmth of our Finnish sauna by Windermere which includes some fast and hot events.

All of this takes place across the town of Bowness with a family friendly three-day weekend extravaganza featuring a who’s who of comic talent from more than 25 countries.

Just a quick look at some of the guests gives you some idea of what LICAF is all about – Guardian cartoonists Martin Rowson and Posy Simmonds; Eisner Award–winning Alison Bechdel; Simpsons and Yellow Submarine artist Bill Morrison; Steve McGarry, one of the film artists from the Minions movie, the Walking Dead’s Charlie Adlard, the legendary Jamie Hernandez, Dave Gibbons, and Mick McMahon… and many more…

 

The Festival weekend all kicks off with the sold-out Comics on Comics event, mixing comedians with comic artists including Charlie Higson, Adele Cliff, Bill Morrison, Gary Gifford, Luke McGarry, and Lucy Porter.

Among a packed schedule of events, highlights include Bryan Talbot discussing the finale to his epic, The Legend of Luther Arkwright; The Art of Bryan Hitch; political cartoonist Martin Rowson bidding a fond farewell to Boris Johnson; Bill Morrison taking us behind the scenes with his journey into Pepperland; Logo a GoGo with Rian Hughes; Fun Away From Home with Alison Bechdel; and UK comics laureate, Stephen L. Holland of the Page 45 comics shop, who will have their usual incredible presence at LICAF, giving a surprise-packed presentation in The Secret History, Medium & Mechanics of Comics.

Saturday ends with The Ever So Big NCS Live Draw Event presented by the National Cartoonists Society of America that will see live drawing and the announcement of the fifth Sergio Aragones International Award for Excellence in Comic Art.

For something rather unique, on Sunday morning you’ll have the chance for a trip on the Lakes with Posy Simmonds. LICAF has commandeered one of Windermere’s antique pleasure cruisers and Simmonds will chat with artist and previous UK comics laureate Hannah Berry while you get to enjoy a Sunday morning cruise.

Among the exhibitions at LICAF this year you can find Visions of Tomorrow, featuring the work of a group of young European comic artists who spent time in Cumbria, Barcelona, Lyon, and Brussels to create comics on the theme of Visions of Tomorrow. There’s also Starstruck by Sean Phillips, inspired by the golden age of Hollywood; the Walking-Drawing workshop with Oliver East, who’ll take you on a walking and drawing tour of the area.

 

“We are putting the lake into the Lakes International Comic Art Festival for our tenth year. Many of the venues overlook the stunning waters of Windermere and we are delighted that over 100 guests and exhibitors will be with us to celebrate the amazing world of comics and comic art. Comics play a vital role in boosting literacy, telling new stories and tackling the biggest issues of our time. I’d urge all lovers of art, literature and culture to come down and find out how comics really can change the world.”Julie Tait, Festival Director

For more information on one of the great events of the UK comics scene, including details of events, exhibitors and festival pass tickets, head to www.comicartfestival.com. And you can download the entire festival programme here.

 

 

• Tickets available here: www.comicartfestival.com/festival-tickets

• Download the full Festival programme as a PDF

 

 

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