We're pleased to announce several Australian comic creators have joined this year's line-up of both British and international guests for our weekend-long event, taking place 13th - 15th October 2017.
The Caravan of Comics creators will be visiting the UK thanks to support from the Australia Council for the Arts and the line-up includes both new and familiar faces from the antipodes.
Launched in 2012, the Caravan project has visited numerous festivals and comics retailers throughout the United States and Canada since its inception, showcasing some of the best Australian comics and building relations between other creators across the globe. This is the first time it has travelled to the UK.
Returning to the Festival after several well-received appearances is Bruce Mutard, who brings a "caravan" of some of the best and up-and-coming artists and writers from down under, including another returning comics creator and educator, Stuart Medley. They're joined by Rachel Ang, Leonie Brialey, Sarah Firth, Chris Gooch and 2000AD artist Mark Sexton.
"We've wanted to bring more Australian creators to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival for ages," enthuses Festival Director Julie Tait, "and thanks to Australia Council for the Arts and behind the scenes campaigning by Bruce and Stuart, we're delighted so many talented artists and writers are heading to the Lake District to join us in Kendal this October."
Melbourne-based Rachel Ang's projects include the role of Art Director for Pencilled In, a new magazine devoted to publishing and promoting the work of Asian-Australian writers and artists.
Also from Melbourne Leonie Brialey, a cartoonist and writer whose comics have been described as "sensual phenomenology", who's interested in graphic medicine and cartooning as a way of distilling thought and emotion through the body.
Sarah Firth is currently working on her debut graphic novel that explores personal narratives woven together with philosophy, psychology, science and theory. It's a humorous and idiosyncratic exploration of multiple narratives, cognitive dissonance and everyday life.
It's a great time to meet Chris Gooch this year in Kendal, as his first book, Bottled, comes out with Top Shelf comics in September 2017.
No stranger to the Lakes Festival, comic creator and educator Stuart Medley has presented his character design workshops in the UK, Europe and Australia, and has run comics study tours to Japan, France and Belgium. He is currently researching cartooning to improve public health.
Another of the Australian creators with new work will be Bruce Mutard, whose latest graphic novels, Bully Me will debut at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in 2017.
Rounding off the Caravan of Comics is Mark Sexton, who's currently fulfilling a childhood dream of working for 2000AD, providing art for the famous “Judge Dredd”, as well as other stories in the landmark 2000th issue which was published at the end of 2016. He is also developing four graphic novel projects, and working for Marvel Studios on a number of their hugely successful superhero films.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is the only one of its kind in the UK, taking place in one of the UK’s most beautiful areas – the English Lake District in the North West of the country, in the market town of Kendal. Modelled on European-style festivals, such as Angoulême in France, it takes over the whole town for a weekend of comic art. Its aim is to celebrate the whole spectrum of comic art, inspiring existing comic art fans and creators and, it hopes, generating new audiences and creators too. It invests in creators through a commissioning programme and has an emphasis on developing international collaborations.
This year, the Lakes Festival is moving to a pass system for the festival. The main events programme will be exclusive to pass-holders, there will be exclusive guest-related goodies and a fancy wristband identifying you as a festival supporter.
The full programme of events is now live on the Festival web site, along with details about its new Weekend Pass.
• You can read comics by the Caravan of Comics creators past and present here: http://caravanofcomics.com/giveaway
Rachel Ang Online
Leonie Brialey Online
Sarah Firth Online
Chris Gooch Online
A large selection of Chris's shorter works are available to read online at chrisgooch.com.au
Stuart Medley Online
Bruce Mutard Online
Mark Sexton Online
Follow Mark on Twitter @mark_h_sexton