Race into Space Comic Challenge

The Lakes International Comics Art Festival is delighted to announce its 2020 Race Into Space Comic Strip Challenge, a new competition for unpublished comics creations. The deadline is now 7th September 2020.

This article has been updated to note the extended deadline of 8th September 2020 for entries

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is delighted to announce its Race Into Space Comic Strip Challenge, a new competition for unpublished comic strip creations - with a top prize of £500.

The competition goes live today (Tuesday 10th March 2020) and is an exciting opportunity for comic creators to submit completed short stories in the graphic medium, with a “Race into Space” theme.

One overall winner will win a cash prize of £500, sponsored by the Lancaster-based Videö Gaming Platform, with the winner one of ten finalists whose work will be published in a digital anthology to be produced by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Winning entries will also be considered for print publication in a new title from Lancaster-based Crucible Comic Press, working in partnership with B7 Media. Any physical print publication in this new title will optional, on a paid basis, with creators retaining all copyright of their work.

The winning entries will be announced at this year’s annual festival between 9th – 11th October 2020, and be published by the Festival in a digital anthology comic, in the same format as the organisation’s Lost in Space project published in 2015 in partnership with Titan Comics.

This year, the Festival is looking for derring-do heroes and heroines  – human, alien or otherwise! – in an adventure set in outer space that introduces the character and their world in a short and exciting story with a twist at the end.

The story can be serious, funny or sad – as long as it’s aimed at an all-ages readership that might not object to a bit of a scare. So no gore, please, although suggesting it is OK.

The competition will be judged by comics and magazine editor John Freeman, publisher of downthetubes.net, Andrew Mark Sewell, producer at B7 Media, the company behind the Dan Dare Audio Adventures, and Blade RunnerDoctor Who and Star Wars Concept Artist Dan Walker, who will be a guest at this year's Festival.

“I’m really excited to play a part in this competition with The Lakes International Arts Festival,” says John. “New creators are the life-blood of this industry, and what we’re hoping to see from the entries are characters as dynamic and memorable as the comic characters that helped shape some of our best-loved comics – be they 2000ADBeanoThe Phoenix, international comics, or British titles of yesteryear.”

“The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has always been about creating new audiences and finding and nurturing new talent,” says Festival Director Julie Tait. “We’ve published work by a number of comic creators in recent years and we are delighted to provide the opportunity for another platform for creative spirits.”

The Lakes International Comics Art Festival, which takes place in Kendal in Cumbria, celebrates the very best comic art from across the world, from cartoon strips to superhero comics and manga to non-fiction graphic novels, and has an impressive guest list for its 2020 event.

Announced so far are: Charlie Adlard, Steven Appleby, Comics Laureate Hannah Berry, Neill Cameron, Gemma Correll, Robert Deas, Francis Desharnais, Inko, Marc Jackson, Bill Morrison, Nicola Jennings, Chie Kutsuwada, Lou McKeever, Metaphrog, Terry Moore, Benoît Peeters, Sean Phillips, Mike Ramirez, Zoom Rockman, Martin Rowson, Posy Simmonds, Lucy Sullivan, Bryan Talbot, Mary Talbot, Toybox and Emma Vieceli - with many more to be announced.

• The closing date for Race into Space entries has been extended from 21st July to Tuesday 8th September 2020

“We didn’t make this decision lightly, conscious of those who have submitted entries by the previously announced deadline,” said competition judge John Freeman of the extension decision, announced 20th July. “But we’re also keenly aware that in the very difficult times, many people’s minds have been elsewhere, adjusting to the new “normal”, and may not have had chance to complete their entries - or even consider entering, given circumstances.

“We’re particularly keen to see new talent try their hands at this Challenge, but there are no restrictions on who can enter, although the theme is perhaps more geared toward teenagers and older.”

“Race Into Space Comics Challenge”: Rules, Judging Process and Submission Notes

Competition Rules

  • The theme for the competition is ‘Race in Space’. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is looking for derring-do heroes and heroines – human, alien or otherwise! – in an adventure set in outer space that introduces the character and their world in a short and exciting story with a twist ending.
  • The story can be serious, funny or sad – as long as it’s aimed at an all-ages readership (that might not object to a bit of a scare, but no gore!)
  • Submit a complete, previously unpublished short story – scripted, drawn and lettered – no more 4-6 pages in length – by Tuesday 21st July 2020
  • Submissions may be in colour or black and white
  • Submissions may be made by individuals or teams
  • Submissions must be all-ages (or PG), and must not include adult content, explicit violence, and gore
  • We are only able accept one submission per artist/creative team, so make sure it’s your best!
  • Characters featured must be your own, i.e. not characters from TV, film or any other entertainment medium unless you own those characters yourself outright and can support that claim through previous publication, digital or physical

Judging

  • All entries will be initially processed by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival team who will draw up a short list of at most 20 entries for final consideration by the Judges – John Freeman of downthetubes and Crucible Comic Press, B7 Media producer Andrew Mark Sewell and Concept Artist Dan Walker
  • The winners announced in the run up to the Festival weekend. The digital Race into Space anthology will be published digitally on Comixology as an anthology by LICAF
  • No payment for digital publication by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival is involved, but if the anthology is sold, creators will receive digital royalties
  • One overall winner will win a cash prize of £500, sponsored by the Lancaster-based Videö Gaming Platform
  • Winning entries published in the new anthology from Crucible Comic Press/ B7 Media will receive payment for publication
  • If the quality of work submitted after the initial judgment process is not considered of a sufficient quality, LICAF and partners reserve the right to reconsider publication of an anthology
  • Judgment of the entries is based on the rule of law in the United Kingdom and any dispute arising would be contested in a British court

Submission Specifications

  • Legible, low resolution submissions of your final art of your completed story must be sent to the email address: competition@comicartfestival.com
  • Physical submissions are not acceptable
  • We will require winners to submit artwork for publication in a US comic format publication. Standard American comics typically are printed 6.63″ x 10.24″ (16.84 x 26.01 cm). That converts to an aspect ratio of 663 : 1024. Bleed is permitted. Comic page templates can be found here
  • Please don’t forget to save your original layered files, in case re-lettering the story is necessary
  • All rights remain with the creators
  • All entries must include the entrant(s) names and a contact address, email address and telephone number
  • In the submission of your entry, please include “Race into Space Comics Challenge Entry” in your subject line
  • In your covering letter, please include the following: “I have read the submission guidelines for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival “Race Into Space” Challenge. I confirm the work submitted is wholly originated and features only my own characters. I agree to the requirements of the competition as outlined in the submission guidelines. I understand that should my work be accepted for publication in the anthology, no payment will be made upfront, but I will receive a share of the royalties from any profits made from the published work.”

The closing date for Race into Space entries has been extended from 21st July to Tuesday 8th September 2020