The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is pleased to release further details of its partnership with the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which will see top cartoonist Hunt Emerson and others head to Canada in May – and a host of Canadian creators coming to Kendal in October.

 Seven British cartoonists – Hunt EmersonDan BerryJoe DecieOliver EastJonathan EdwardsFelt Mistress and David Gaffney – will form part of the first “Lakes Pavilion” in Toronto in the Toronto Reference Library for the entire festival weekend.

In October, Darwyn Cooke – making his first UK comics event appearance – Michael DeForgeStuart and Kathryn ImmonenSeth and Kate Beaton will head to Kendal for the third 2015 Lakes International Comics Art Festival.

TCAF’s headline British guest Hunt Emerson – who will of course also be in Kendal this year – is a titan of the underground comics scene, having drawn cartoons and comic strips since the early 1970s. He has published around 30 books and albums, mainly with Knockabout Comics (London), including Lady Chatterley’s LoverThe Rime of the Ancient MarinerCasanova’s Last Stand, and Dante’s Inferno. His characters include Firkin the Cat, Calculus Cat, PussPuss, Max Zillion and Alto Ego, Pilgrim, Alan Rabbit, and many more.

“While TCAF has gone all over the world to promote and proselyetise to folks about the amazing work being done by Canadian cartoonists (at events like the Kaigai Manga Festa in Japan, or the Angoulême Festival in France), this is the first time we are engaging in an honest-to-goodness cultural exchange,” says TCAF Co-Founder and Festival Director: Christopher Butcher. “LICAF are setting up in a special UK pavilion.

“Swing on by to meet a bunch of great artists, read some cool British comics, watch live drawings, and more! We’re so excited!”

“Well, I’m not sure I can top that!” responded LICAF Director Julie Tait. ” Suffice it to say, we hope this is the beginning of an ongoing partnership. We’ll be focussing on our commissions so the new work we have invested in by British creators whilst also, we hope, inspiring the Toronto audience with an injection of British culture too.”

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is the only one of its kind in the UK. Modelled on European-style festivals, such as Angoulême in France, it takes over a whole town for a weekend with comic art. Its aim is to celebrate the whole spectrum of comic art, inspiring existing comic art fans and creators and, it hopes, generating new audiences and creators too. It invests in creators through a commissioning programme and has an emphasis on developing international collaborations.

The festival takes place in one of the UK’s most beautiful areas – the English Lake District in the North West of the country and in the market town of Kendal.

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 Darwyn Cooke is a graphic designer and animator who turned his attention toward cartooning in the late 1990s. He is perhaps known for his work on the comic books such as Catwoman, DC: The New Frontier and The Spirit.  Cooke has won multiple Eisner, Harvey and Shuster awards, as well as the US National Cartoonist Society’s Best Series award. In 2008, he was Emmy-nominated for the animated adaptation of his magnum opus, The New Frontier.

Kate Beaton is a Canadian comic artist who made a name for herself finding humour in historical subjects with her series Hark! A Vagrant, but she makes comics about anything from pop culture to literature to autobiography.

She came into the comics scene in 2007 and refuses to leave.

 Seth is the cartoonist behind the comic book series Palookaville, which started in the stone age as a pamphlet and is now a semi-annual hardcover. His comics have appeared in the New York Times MagazineBest American Comics, and McSweeneys Quarterly. His illustrations have appeared in numerous publications including the cover of the New Yorker, the Walrus, and Canadian Notes & Queries.

Award-winning artistic chameleon and Marvel Architect Stuart Immonen began his comics career in 1988, having worked for most of the industry’s major publishers including Marvel, DC and Image in the quarter-century since. During his decade-long tenure at DC, in addition to writing and pencilling Adventures of Superman, Stuart illustrated the critically acclaimed miniseries Superman: Secret Identity. For Marvel, in addition to 2011’s Fear Itself event, he has drawn such high-profile series as Ultimate Spider-Man, The Mighty Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers and the cult favourite Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.

Kathryn Immonen has been getting paid to make things up for more than twenty years. She has written stories for both DC and Marvel, but is best known for Journey into Mystery with Valerio Schiti and the sleeper hit miniseries Patsy Walker: Hellcat with David Lafuente with whom she will be reuniting for the 2013 Avengers Christmas Annual. She wrote the final arc of the fan-favourite series Runaways and the X-Men miniseries Pixie Strikes Back! both drawn by Sara Pichelli, Heralds, with Tonci Zonjic and the sell-out Wolverine and Jubilee limited series with Phil Noto.

Michael DeForge was born in Toronto, Ontario. He has drawn the graphic novels Ant Colony and First Year Healthy and the short story collections Very Casual and A Body Beneath.


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