Costa prize-winning Mary and Bryan Talbot spearhead new comic art festival

Bryan and Mary Talbot
Bryan and Mary Talbot
Have your say

HUSBAND and wife team Mary and Bryan Talbot are spearheading a new festival aimed at highlighting the best in comic art.

The couple, who scooped the Costa biography prize with their collaboration Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, are among the founder patrons of the The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, which will take Kendal over the weekend of October 18-20.

Based on a similar format to the hugely popular comic art festivals on the continent, the festival boasts a line-up which includes more than 50 writers and artists from the United States, Europe, South America and the UK, covering people working in biography, historical adaptations, political satire, cartoon strips, superhero comics, Manga and non-fiction graphic novels.

“This new festival will show why comic art is starting to get the kind of recognition in this country that it’s had for a long time in some European countries,” said Bryan.

“Many people in Britain still think of comics as being just for kids but in France 43million graphic novels are sold every year.

“This is the golden age of graphic novels, with more, and better, comic art being produced today than ever before. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will show the amazing range of styles of artwork, genre and subject matter that is now being produced in the UK and overseas.”

The festival - the first of its kind in the UK - will include more than 50 events, including panel discussions, interviews, live drawing, films and workshops. As well as ticketed events, there will be a number of free exhibitions, including work by founder patrons Bryan and fellow patron Sean Phillips, who has produced work for the likes of Marvel, DC and 2000AD.

Other guests include Kurt Busiek, who has worked on titles such as Avengers, Spider-Man, Superman and Conan; Charlie Adlard, who works with American writer Robert Kirkman on The Walking Dead, which has since been turned into a popular TV series and writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, co-creators of Judge Dredd.

Festival director Julie Tait said: “The Lakes International Comic Art Festival will celebrate this exciting and vibrant art form, which is gaining a growing number of fans of all ages.

“There will be plenty for the real enthusiasts at the festival but we also hope it will help to introduce a new audience to comic art.”

Full details about the festival are available at