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Saturday, 04 July 2015

South Cumbria to host comic art festival

ARTISTS behind the world’s most famous superheroes are to head to Kendal later this year to lead the UK’s first comic art festival.

Star Wars comic illustration by Sean Phillips.

Organisers have today revealed plans for a three-day celebration of graphic novels, manga, and cartoon strips as part of comic art festival in Kendal.

Leaders in the graphic novel world and award-winning authors have thrown their weight behind The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, which is set to run from October 18 to 20.

The event, hosted by Lakes Arts Festivals Ltd, a not-for-profit company, will include talks from leading comic artists, panel discussions, films, exhibitions and workshops. Authors and artists will sign copies of their work and there will be a marketplace to buy comics and comic art.

The festival will run at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal College and the Town Hall.

Acclaimed graphic novelist Sean Phillips, who has worked on Batman and Hellblazer comics, has stepped up as founding patron with artists Bryan and Mary Talbot, who won this year’s biography category at the Costa Book Awards.

Sean, who has most recently worked on crime comics Criminal and Fatale, believes the festival would promote the range of graphic art available.

“It’s not just superheroes and the Beano, and this festival is a good chance to see that there are comics for everyone, no matter what their interests are,” he says.

“Comics can be used to tell any type of story in any genre, and that should be celebrated.”

Julie Tait, one the thee founders of  Lakes Arts Festivals Ltd, said: “The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will celebrate this exciting and vibrant art form.

“For me, the fusion of great art and great writing is dynamite. It makes it a very exciting, inspiring and challenging art form to be promoting, celebrating and encouraging.”

The event’s founders have looked to the comic art festivals held on the continent, including Europe’s largest celebration of the art form at Angouleme in France, which takes place later this month.

Julie adds: “In countries like France there’s a real appreciation of comics as an art form and our aim is to create something of the atmosphere at comic art festivals like the one in Angouleme. There will be plenty for the real enthusiasts but we also hope it will help to introduce a new audience to comic art.”

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