The North’s largest celebration of comic and cartoon art gets underway tomorrow in Kendal at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
The event, in its second year, will see award-winning graphic novelists rub shoulders with the artists behind some of the world’s most popular cartoon superheroes.
Graphic novels are increasingly recognised in the UK as a valid art form, and Costa Award winners Brian and Mary Talbot are among the founder patrons of the festival.
The festival will include events where people will be able hear from some of the biggest names in comic art, panel discussions, films, exhibitions and workshops.
Authors and artists will also be signing copies of their work and there will be a marketplace to buy comics and art.
Alongside this dozens of experts and representatives of the comic industry take part in a sprawling programme of talks, workshops, exhibitions and entertainments of all shapes and sizes.
The festival was the idea of Julie Tait and her teenage comic-book fan son Finn.
Festival director Julie said: “In countries like France there’s a real appreciation of comics as an art form and our aim is to create something of the atmosphere at comic art festivals like the one in Angouleme.
“There will be plenty for the enthusiasts but we also hope it will help introduce a new audience to comic art.”
More than 70 artists and writers from around the world will attend the two day festival, among them the men behind Britain’s very own Viz.
Graham Dury and Simon Thorp, above, with bottles of Fighter Fluid, a VIZ beer brewed exclusively for the festival, will present their own unique homage to comic art and anarchy in the UK ‘VIZ Unmasked’.
This will reveal the dark art of how the iconic comic is produced through a fully interactive, animatronic, state-of-the-art museum experience.
“It’s been a long-held ambition of the VIZ team to create and present this unique installation,” said Julie.
The festival will take place at a number of venues across Kendal, including the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal College and the Town Hall.
Other highlights include:
The Great War in Comics: Commemorating the centenary of the start of the First World War.
Lost in Space: A specially themed family zone and other venues will focus on sci-fi and fantastic worlds in comic, with a focus on the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.
Konichiwa Japan: The beginning (hence Konichiwa which means hello) of a long-term festival celebrating and exploring Japanese culture in comics and related art forms, across various exhibitions, workshops and events.
Both day and weekend tickets are available, plus various packages including transport.
Full details at www.comicartfestival.com
To book tickets call The Brewery Arts Centre on 01539 725133 or go to www.breweryarts.co.uk/events-and-festivals