First Guests Announced for Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2019

Junko Mizuno artwork for LICAF 2019

Kendal, 5th March 2019: The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is delighted announce its first guests for its weekend-long event in October 2019, with Early Bird Passes on sale now.

Announced are Japanese manga artist Junko Mizuno, who has also provided the stunning art for this year's Festival, an event focused on how comics are always Pushing Boundaries, while celebrating, as usual, the rich diversity of the entire comics medium.

Other announced guests are Doug Braithwaite, Becky Cloonan, Garth Ennis and Rob Williams - with many more international and British guests to be announced.

From 11 - 13 October 2019, the Festival, now in its 7th year, will offer comic creator panels, workshops, Live Draws and Family Zone fun, plus a range of exhibitions across Kendal that will include a celebration of The Smurfs and Hellboy, and much, much more!

As usual, there will be plenty of international comic stars at the Festival this year, including Belgian, Québécois, Finnish and Italian guests, with a particular focus on Belgian comics and, more widely, Belgian beer and waffles... but the Festival is playing its cards close to its chest on that front about exactly what is planned for now in that department!

Opportunities for comic creators to be part of the Festival to promote their work have been expanded this year, with more dedicated spaces across Kendal being opened up as an extension of the event's popular Comics Clock Tower platform for artists, writers and publishers.

Early Bird Passes for the Festival - which enable admittance to most events through the entire weekend at one price - are on sale now!

There will, as usual, be many free events too, including the Family Zone, and once again the town will be taken over by comics thanks to the generous support of local businesses taking part in the annual Windows Trail.

The first guests for October 2019 are announced hot on the heels of the Festival's ground-breaking Breakthrough project to develop new comic voices, and the launch of its online resources as part of the Traces of the Great War project.

"We're really excited about this year's line-up," says Festival Director Julie Tait. "We've done even more than ever to bring a huge diversity of comic creators to the Lake District, whose work spans a huge range of themes, from work on 2000AD and horror comics through to humour and manga tales."

"Our work promoting comics is constantly expanding with projects through the year, but the Festival remains the highlight of the year for everyone."

- Julie Tait, Festival Director

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns to Kendal at various venues across the town 11th - 13th October 2019

Early Bird Passes are on Sale Now until 31 March 2019 at

// First Guests

Junko Mizuno

Having grown up in Tokyo, Junko Mizuno, who has created the art for this year's Festival poster, is a self-taught artist recognised for her unique visual iconography of powerful and often sexy women.

Although her art refuses to be categorised, much of it is based on Japanese pop culture from the 1970s and '80s with the sources of her inspiration stemming from fetish art, folk art, religious art, psychedelic art, pin-up art, advertising art, vintage toys, fashion, comic, food, nature, movies, TV shows, video games… almost everything that surrounds her.

Currently residing in San Francisco, she is constantly working on new comics, paintings, illustrations, and product designs ranging from toy figures to t-shirts. Her work has been featured in stores, museums, and fine art galleries around the world.

Motivated by the pure pleasure of creating art, she celebrates the power of women and creates a universe of them, full of energy, both positive and negative.

• Junko is online at

Doug Braithwaite

Award winning artist Doug Braithwaite is best known for his work on the Punisher, Wolverine, Universe X, Justice, Thor and Journey into Mystery and has drawn just about every major comic book character for Marvel and DC Comics.

He co-created the sci-fi noir thriller, Storm Dogs, with David Hine (Image Comics) and since 2016 his work for Valiant, on titles such as, Unity, Bloodshot, Imperium and the award-winning X-O Man O’ War have won him critical acclaim.

He is currently working on Valiant’s eagerly awaited title, Incursion.

• Follow Doug Braithwaite on Twitter @dougbraithwaite

Becky Cloonan

Becky Cloonan  is an American, manga-influenced comic book creator, perhaps best known for her work on Gotham Academy (for DC Comics), The Punisher (Marvel), True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys (Dark Horse), and her Eisner Award winning short stories collected in By Chance or Providence (Image Comics). She was the first female artist to draw the main Batman title for DC Comics in 2012.

Her first major comics work came when she teamed with writer Brian Wood to create Channel Zero: Jennie One.  However, she is best-known for her second collaboration with Wood, DEMO, a 12-issue limited series that was named "Indie of the Year" by Wizard Magazine in 2004 and nominated for two Eisner Awards including Best Limited Series.

In 2009 Cloonan and Wood expanded DEMO and re-published it through DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint. Cloonan's first solo graphic novel, East Coast Rising Volume 1, earned her a third Eisner Award nomination for Best New Series.

Her other work for DC Comics includes American Virgin, co-created with writer Steven T. Seagle, and Northlanders for Vertigo as well as issues of Batman and Swamp Thing.

Recent work includes the upcoming self-published Adventures of the Moss Babies and a forthcoming short story written by Warren Ellis for Detective Comics #1000.

Becky has also created numerous film posters for Mondo and illustration work for bands like Clutch, The Sword, My Chemical Romance and Black Sabbath.

• Becky Cloonan is online at

Garth Ennis

Garth Ennis has been writing comics since 1989. Credits include Preacher, The Boys (both of which have been adapted for television), Hitman and Crossed, as well as successful runs on The Punisher and Fury for Marvel comics.

He is particularly known for his military fiction, including the titles War Story, Battlefields, Sara and Johnny Red, a revival of the classic British character from the weekly comic, Battle, for Titan Comics.

Recent work includes A Walk Through Hell and Out of the Blue for Aftershock Comics, and "Code Pru" in the anthology Cinema Purgatorio, published by Avatar Press

Originally from Northern Ireland, Ennis now lives in New York City with his wife, Ruth.

Rob Williams

Rob Williams is a comics writer whose comics works include Suicide Squad, Trinity, Martian Manhunter and action comics for DC, Amazing Spider-Man, Ghost Rider and Daken for Marvel, Kingsman: The Red Diamond for Millarworld, “Judge Dredd” for 2000AD, Doctor Who for Titan Comics and Star Wars and Indiana Jones for Dark Horse.

His creator-owned titles include Unfollow and The Royals: Masters Of War for Vertigo, Ordinary for Titan Comics and Cla$$War for Com.X.

He has recently written the pilot script for the forthcoming TV show Judge Dredd: Mega-City One and is writing the new series of Roy Of The Rovers graphic novels for Rebellion.

• Rob Williams is online at