It's Christmas - and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival Podcast has a very special guest - Aaron Rackley, the founder of Little Heroes Comics, a charity comic bringing joy through sending comic kits to children in hospitals.
Aaron, who is also the publisher of Fair Spark Books, whose titles include How to Make Comics, Megatomic Battle Rabbit and Gallant and Amos, discusses his love of comics, why he set up the charity and the future plans.
The interview is timely: Aaron recently won a Points of Light Award for his voluntary work on the Little Heroes project. Points of Light are considered outstanding individual volunteers – people who are making a change in their community - and every week day, the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Point of Light award.
“You know from your own experiences how difficult time in hospital can be," noted Prime Minister Theresa May in a personal letter to Aaron, "and by creating ‘Little Heroes Comics’, you are bringing happiness to the days of young people in hospitals across the UK. You should feel incredibly proud of distributing hundreds of comic making kits to young patients so they can have a welcome distraction from the difficulties of hospital wards.”
“When I started on this journey, the goal was simply to send kits, as a thank you, to the hospital that treated me for cancer," says Aaron. "I knew how much I would have appreciated a kit like this when I was stuck in bed there!
"I didn’t expect the charity to grow into what it is today and I never would have expected to be rewarded for doing this. This charity is my life and I hope one day it will be my full-time occupation. There is no greater feeling than the joy we get seeing the impact the charity makes on the lives of these children.”
Have a listen to the Podcast - then please, do go and support the cause in any way you can.
Podcast hosts Ian Loxam and Nikki Bates also review a trio of great comics: Captain Cosmic Issue 2 by Andy W Clift, Killtopia by Dave Cook and Craig Paton - and the Tut & Groan Collection by Tom Nash.
Mike Williams also talks all about the comic Fight Club 2 and Pete Taylor looks at some great gift ideas for those last minute festive purchasers. Plus, Ian and Nikki talk about the Podcast's latest project - a new audio drama coming in 2019 entitled The Cosplays.
Listen to the episode right here on the Festival Podcast web site.
"The Cosplays is a new audio comedy drama and we've created a small introduction to work out characters and so forth," says Ian. "This has come from me doing a comedy writing course which gave me the confidence to start writing it, and a tie-in comic, too."
• Have a listen to this three minute segment and let the team know what you think (good or constructive improvements, please).
• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is back in Kendal in the Lake District 11th – 13th October 2019: www.comicartfestival.com