Are you ready for “Battle of the Toons” this October?

Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, animation director, comics artist and illustrator Maria Björklund2000AD and Doctor Who artist and comics archivist David Roach, cartoonist, illustrator and writer Kate Charlesworth and NOMMO award nominee and storyteller Ziki Nelson are among the latest guests joining the line-up for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, which is on course to take place in Kendal 15th – 17th October 2021. Tickets will be on sale from next month.

Also announced are Neil Cameron, best known for his work on The Phoenix, award-winning comics reportage artist and writer Olivier Kugler, and cartoonists extraordInaires Luke and Steve McGarry.

These creators join already-announced guests who include transmedia creator Yomi Ayeni, graphic novelist Sayra Begum, comics provacateur Darren Cullen, Icelandic cartoonist Hugleikur Dagsson, Lakes-based artist Sean Phillips, American writer Greg Rucka and graphic novelist and Instagram comics star Clarice Tudor. The festival will also feature “Battle of the Toons”, a unique collaboration between LICAF and America’s NCSFest, spearheaded by Luke and Steve McGarry.

The Festival offers a diverse, international line-up of guests, complementing its international and research projects work as part of the Comic Art Europe project, among others. Tickets will go on sale next month.

The exciting alliance with America’s National Cartoonists Society (NCS) will be a joint launch for both from Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre and the New York City Society of Illustrators. The launch event, “Battle of the Toons”, will feature well-known comic creators from both sides of the Atlantic.

“We’ll also be announcing this year’s Sergio Aragones Award,” enthuses Festival Director Julie Tait, “as well as other Reubens Awards.”

After the success of the fully-digital LICAF LIVE in 2020, the Lakes-based Festival will continue to include a virtual element to the weekend-long event in October, after last year’s offering gained an international audience thanks to the power of the internet.

“During the Festival, there will be live links to see what NCSFest is up to and vice versa,” Julie continues, “plus there will be additional joint events, including a transatlantic session featuring political cartoonists and more.

The collaboration means both LICAF and NCSFest will enjoy cross-promotion on both sides of the Atlantic, with live-streams to the United States – and globally, supported by the Festival’s many partners across the world, including Lyon BD and other comic-focused organisations.

“This year’s line-up is really our most ambitious yet,” comments Julie. “After our foray into the virtual last year, the aim is to make our return to the physical space in Kendal as exciting and entertaining as ever.”

The Festival will take place across multiple venues around Kendal, including the Brewery Arts Centre, which has played an important part in the weekend-long event’s activities since it began back in 2013. The Comics Clock Tower is also set to be busy, albeit with a slightly smaller number of publishers, creators and retailers present, reflecting social distancing requirements.

Full details of the LICAF and NCSFest “Battle of the Toons” opening event will be revealed next month, along with more guest announcements soon. Expect to hear, too, about several new project reveals at the Festival, exclusive announcements, and more in October… so be ready to book your tickets!

• Profiles of all LICAF LIVE guests feature here on the official Festival web site

Announced guests for October 2021 in Kendal so far, in alphabetical order, are Charlie AdlardYomi AyeniSayra BegumMaria BjörklundNeill CameronKate CharlesworthChris Condon, Darren CullenHugleikur DagssonNicola JenningsOlivier KuglerMichael LarkJeff Lemire (now making a virtual appearance due to COVID-shifted work schedules), Lou McKeever(aka BlueLou), Albert Luba NtolilaLuke McGarrySteve McGarryZiki NelsonSean PhillipsDavid A. RoachMartin RowsonRachael Smith, Jack Teagle, Clarice Tudor, and Steve Yeowell.

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival – back 15th to 17th October 2021 – is online at: | Lakes International Comic Art Festival Podcast: | Twitter: @comicartfestpod| Facebook: @ComicArtPodcast | Instagram: @ComicArtPodcast | Virtual Comics Clock Tower:

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The National Cartoonists Society is the world’s largest and most prestigious organisation of professional cartoonists, born in 1946, when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops. They found that they enjoyed each other’s company and decided to get together on a regular basis.

Today, the NCS membership roster includes over 500 of the world’s major cartoonists, working in many branches of the profession, including comic books, editorial cartoons, animation, webcomics and other online platforms, newspaper comic strips and panels, gag cartoons, greeting cards, advertising, magazines and book illustration and more.

Membership is limited to established professional cartoonists, with a few exceptions of outstanding persons in affiliated fields. The NCS is not a guild or union, although it has joined forces from time to time to fight for member’s rights, and regularly uses its members many talents to help worthwhile causes.