UK Comics Laureate

Stephen L. Holland, owner of the independent comics shop Page 45, and a fervent comics advocate, freelance artist and tutor, is the current UK Comics Laureate 2021 - 2023, picking up the baton from Hannah Berry.

Stephen L. Holland - the UK's Comics Laureate 2021-2023

Hannah Berry - the UK's Comics Laureate 2019-2021

Charlie Adlard - the UK's Comics Laureate 2017–2019

The Comics Laureate is an ambassadorial and educational role for the comics medium and aims to raise awareness of the impact comics can have in terms of increasing literacy and creativity.

Working closely with the Lakes International Comics Art Festival, the Comics Laureate champions the role of comics in improving literacy through a programme of educational visits, workshop events, guest appearances and conferences. A key focus will be working to increase the acceptance of comics as a creative art form in schools, libraries and throughout the education system.

• For information on the Comics Laureate’s upcoming appearances please contact Carole Tait

UK's Comics Laureate 2021 - 2023: Stephen L. Holland

We reported the appointment of Stephen L. Holland – owner of the independent comics shop Page 45, and a fervent comics advocate, freelance artist, tutor and more, as Comics Laureate for 2021 – 2023, during LICAF LIVE – the free virtual replacement for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October 2020.

When young, Stephen, who takes over the Laureate role from graphic novelist Hannah Berry, was a very reluctant reader - to which his mum successfully applied the then-inspired solution of comics. The proof of the pudding: he now has a degree in English Literature and History of Art, which is certainly pretty handy when preaching and teaching comics.

"My fervent hope is that this will galvanise more people to begin investigating, reading and relishing graphic novels, and inspire yet more individuals – from the broadest possible backgrounds and with an even wider range of perspectives – to start creating them. We can never have enough new voices in comics! Never!"

- Stephen L. Holland, UK Comics Laureate 2021-2023

>> Read: Stephen L. Holland announced as new Comics Laureate at LICAF Live

>> Read: Stephen L. Holland outlines his plans for his time as Comics Laureate

Comics Laureate Spotlight

>> Discover a Recommended Reading List in our new section dedicated to our Comics Laureate!


Hannah Berry was announced as the new Comics Laureate 2019-2021 at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, in Kendal, on 13th October 2018. 

Hannah is an award-winning author and creator of the critically-acclaimed graphic novels Adamtine and Livestock. Her first graphic novel Britten & Brülightly, begun while studying illustration at the University of Brighton, was published by Jonathan Cape in 2008. It has subsequently been published in the USA, Italy, Holland, France and Serbia, with the French edition chosen for the official selection of the 2010 Angoulême International Comics Festival. Further credits include work for New Statesman and a monthly cartoon strip for Prospect magazine.

"Comics are the perfect gateway drug to literacy - warm and inviting yet often surprising and challenging: the artful union of universal pictorial language and the written word. I gained my love of language as a child through reading comics, and I look forward to inviting new audiences to discover comics for themselves.”

- Hannah Berry, UK Comics Laureate 2019-2021

Read "Life as a Comics Laureate" by Hannah Berry

PAST COMIC LAUREATES: Charlie Adlard (2017 – 2019)

Charlie Adlard is the artist behind the highly successful The Walking Dead comic series, now a popular TV series and video game. He’s also worked on many other comic projects including 2000AD, Mars Attacks, the X-Files, Judge Dredd and X-Men.

Charlie Adlard picked up the baton from Dave Gibbons, the first Comics Laureate appointed in February 2015.

"The power of comics to encourage learning and develop literacy shouldn’t be underestimated. Comics can connect with people who may never pick up a normal book and really help encourage a love of reading. I see this as a great opportunity to bring the wonder of comics to a wider audience."

- Charlie Adlard, UK Comics Laureate 2017-2019

Guest appearances for Charlie Adlard included an event targeted at school librarians, literacy co-ordinators and those involved in literacy in schools in Birmingham; an event at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, and a guest appearance at the Amiens Comic Festival.

Read "Life as a Comics Laureate" by Charlie Adlard

PAST COMIC LAUREATES: Dave Gibbons (2015 – 2017)

Comic artist Dave Gibbons is best known for his artwork on Watchmen as well as numerous creative projects for Marvel, DC Comics and 2000AD. He was the first Comics Laureate, appointed in 2014, the project initially launched with the support of the by the charity Comics Literary Awareness (CLAw).

Read "Life as a Comics Laureate" by Dave Gibbons

You can read an interview with Dave Gibbons about taking up the role of Comics Laureate in The Guardian from 20th October 2014 here

• For information on the Comics Laureate’s upcoming appearances please contact Carole Tait


The Comics Laureate is kindly supported by Lancaster University, Peters (the UK’s leading supplier of books and furniture for nurseries, schools, academies and public libraries) and Crescent Purchasing Consortium.

With additional support from Bryan Talbot.

You can download below an article by Benoît Peeters, the UK’s Professor of Graphic Fiction and Comic Art at Lancaster University (in association with LICAF).