International artists arrive in Kendal for record-breaking challenges, book launches, exhibitions, debates and a celebration of comic art

A world of comic art will return to Kendal for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, 11–13 October 2019. The family-friendly festival takes over the scenic town of Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District, for a weekend of wonderful events, activities and workshops for all ages.

The festival includes live drawing from some of the biggest international comic artists, talks, presentations and comic masterclasses, a comics marketplace – with big names and independent publishers and comics signings with artists, writers and creators.

For younger comic art fans there is the family-zone packed with activities for budding young artists. Throughout the town of Kendal there will be comic art exhibitions and international comic book launches and a comic art trail. In addition the Brewery Arts Centre features comic-themed events throughout the weekend and evening entertainment. Whether you’re a comic art addict or new to the world of comics there’s something for everyone at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 11-13 October 2019.

Julie Tait, festival director said: “I’m so delighted to be bringing the best of comic art to Kendal in October. We are welcoming more creators, more countries, more exhibitors and more commissions than ever before!

We have a packed programme of events for festival pass holders and a free Comics Clock Tower and family zone which will showcase an amazing selection of artist and publishers.”

The world of comic art is a diverse and spectacular place, bursting with creations that transport us to other dimensions and other worlds. The festival promises kick-ass superheroes, future worlds, fantastical creatures, zombies, crime fighters, politics, satire, documentary, comedy, manga and much more.

Here’s just a taster of this year’s festival highlights…

The Viz 150 Character World Record Challenge – to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Viz, artists from the UK and US will attempt to draw all 150 Viz characters in 50 minutes! Expect a high energy and entertaining opening event (Friday 11 October).

A presentation of the 2019 Sergio Aragonés International Award for Excellence in Comic Art (Friday 11 October).

Comic Inspired Windows Trail
– our windows trail returns to take over the town of Kendal. A unique opportunity for schools, businesses and artists to collaborate in our outdoor street art exhibition.

 The Smurfs at 60 – an exhibition celebrating one of the world’s most enduring comic creations. The exhibition charts the rise of the Smurfs to worldwide popularity.

Launch of ‘Barking’ – Barking by artist Lucy Sullivan is a tale of grief, madness and the ghosts that haunt us all. Barking is co-commissioned by the festival and Unbound (Saturday 12 October).

The Comics Clock Tower – our comics marketplace bursting with exhibitors, creatives and comic art publishers. And it’s free all weekend. 

Launch of ‘Rain’ – Bryan and Mary Talbot’s latest graphic novel follows the everyday experiences or ordinary people experiencing the impact of climate change, flooding and pollution.

My Own Private Hell – international artists with a connection to the underworld draw hell inspired artwork live in front of the festival audience (Saturday 12 October).

Let’s Go Camping with Tom of Finland exhibition – a celebration of the work and influence of gay icon Tom of Finland (28 Sept – 19 October) at Cross Lane Projects (Age 18+).

Family zone ­– A free family zone to enjoy mask and badge making, face painting, comic strip drawing and more (Westmorland Shopping Centre, Kendal, 12 -13 October).

Zombie concert – witness zombies brought to ‘life’ in a new performance featuring live drawing with The Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard and internationally-renowned composer and musician Julien Limonne (Sunday 13 October).

Next Frame – Eight international artists respond to the Abbot Hall Art Gallery collection. Artists have a few hours each to create what they think would be the next frame to the artwork they have selected. The artwork will be on display alongside the original (Saturday 12 October, viewing Sunday 13 October).

So, whether you’re a comic art addict, new to the world of comics or just love exceptional art and storytelling – get a date in your diary for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival 11-13 October 2019.



The festival weekend pass gives you access to all the main events on Saturday 12th October and Sunday 13th October. Events include live draws, masterclasses, talks, presentations and a chance to get up close to the best comic creators in the world. Seats are unreserved for all events and subject to the size of the venues. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment. The weekend pass does not include the Friday Gala opening event. Concessions (Under 16 years of age and full time students)

Comic Arts Festival


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