LAKES 2019: UK/Irish talent announced as Special Guests – Campbell, McCrea, Shalvey, Spurrier and more…


The guest list of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival has always been traditionally exceptional, varied and from across the globe, and this years event very much continues that tradition. However, today’s latest announcement of Special Guests looks a little closer to home with a roster of truly exceptional U.K. and Irish talent added to the line-up.

2000AD legends Laurence Campbell (JUDGE DREDD, PUNISHER), Staz Johnson (ROGUE TROOPER, ROBIN) and John McCrea (JUDGE DREDD, HITMAN), cartoonist Kate Charlesworth (SALLY HEATHCOTE: SUFFREGETTE, with Lakes patrons Mary and Bryan Talbot), esteemed artist Declan Shalvey (MOON KNIGHT, INJECTION) and prolific writer Si Spurrier (…christ, where the holy hell do you start??) will be making their way to the Lake District this Summer (11th-13th October 2019) for the town-wide celebration of comic creativity.

No doubt a number of these guest will be getting spotlight panels and presentations, as well they should, knowing their places in the comic pantheon – they really are amongst the top tier of creative working in the medium today. One panel we fully expect to see listed – and you’ll find us in the front row for – is a conversation with John McCrea and Garth Ennis, whom have collaborated on many occasions (including Garth’s comic debut ‘Troubled Souls’ from the anthology book CRISIS, the issues of which I have in the attic somewhere and I will just have to dig out and get signed!).

The other great thing about the people that the Lakes curators pick is they are more than willing to share help and advice to budding creatives who will come to see them at the show: Campbell, Johnson and McCrea in particular have made appearances at workshops in the past and have been very giving with their time.

We at the The Convention Collective missed out on attending Lakes last year and, frankly, it killed us so we’re looking forward to making our way North to the pretty and picturesque town of Kendal, with its cobbled streets, craft beers and boisterous, convivial nightlife to mingle with comics brightest and best. Looking forward to it…

From the Lakes press release:

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2019 is delighted to further guests for its weekend-long event in Kendal in October, including a number of creators well known for their work on the top British SF weekly comic 2000AD and major US publishes such as Boom! Studios, Image, Marvel and DC.

Announced are British comic creators Laurence Campbell, Kate Charlesworth, Staz Johnson, John McCrea, Simon Spurrier and Declan Shalvey, who join a guest list that already features Comics Laureate Hannah Berry, Becky Cloonan, Garth Ennis, Duncan Fegredo, Junko Mizuno and Rob Williams.

Award-winning Czech comics creator and film maker Vojtěch Mašek has also been announced as a second Artist in Residence in Kendal later this year. His presence is just part of the Festival’s growing Comics Cultural Exchange and outreach programme to develop the comics form, this project a partnership with The Embassy of Czech Republic and the Frame Festival which will also see artist Jacob Phillips heading to Czechoslovakia in November.

Vojtěch is the award-winning author and illustrator of a dozen graphic novels, including Elephants in Marienbad, Look for Doc. Woman in Everything, Pandemonium, St. Barbora, Sisters Dietl, The Dragon Never Sleeps, and more. Most of these were awarded the Muriel Prize of the Czech comic festival KomiksFEST! for best story or best graphic novel.

A contributor to the Words Without Borders project, he has also written many screenplays, including the feature film TOMIK (1999) and the short FRICASSE (2003), which was selected as Quinzaine des réalisateurs in the International Film Festival in Cannes.

[Vojtěch]’s residency comes hot on the heels of the announcement of a Comics Cultural Exchange that has enabled comic artist Mikiko to travel to Canada this April. It’s a project funded by the British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, that will also bring Montreal-based Julie Rocheleau to Britain later this year.

“We’ve got a diverse range of both British and international guests – both writers and artists – at this year’s Festival,” notes Festival Director Julie Tait. “In fact, I think the number of international guests is possibly our widest yet, with creators from Australia, Belgium, Italy, Mexico and elsewhere yet to be announced!”

For more information on the show – and for regular updates on ticket sales and presentations – head to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival homepage at, as well as following along on their social media, on Facebook and Twitter.


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