Monday, 11 March 2013

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Since January I’ve been on the organizing committee for the first ever Lakes International Comic Art Festival, to be held in my home-county of Cumbria between 18th-20th October. One glance at the festival website will give you a clue as to the caliber we’re aiming for with this show, all spear-headed by the magnificent Julie Tait and founder-patrons Bryan & Mary Talbot as well as local hero Sean Phillips. Here’s Bryan’s wonderful festival poster to whet your appetite.

Off the back of my work on the Megacon event last year (see below), I was approached to join the team, and what a team it is! Everyone’s been ridiculously supportive and I’m very excited to be part of what is shaping up to be a truly special event.

My designated role is that of Independent Talent Co-ordinator, and involves working closely with media, marketing, and logistics (as well as the hundreds of astounding artists, writers, publishers who have been in touch) to curate a British festival in the mould of European comic’s celebrations. I will also be facilitating the Comics Clocktower; an independent and small-press marketplace taking over Kendal town-hall for the whole weekend. Here’s a snippet from my website press release: -

The mission of this portion of the festival is to champion breaking talent of all styles and genres. We believe these creators are pioneers of a new wave of innovation in the field of comics and graphic storytelling. We are striving to celebrate them, and in the process introduce their work to a whole new audience. For Cumbria, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is an event of unprecedented scale, held in an area of outstanding natural beauty – an area largely unfamiliar with the exceptional art being produced on its doorstep. We aim to change that, for good. Accessibility and originality is encouraged, and there is an emphasis (although not exclusivity) on creators working or living in the North of England.

Details on how to become part of the Comics Clocktower, and the festival in general, can be found on the contact page of the website. 

There is bound to be more on this in the coming months, but for now, I’d like to express my gratitude to Julie, Bryan, Mary and Sean, as well as the rest of the great Comic Art Fest team for being so welcoming and generous. A lot of work to be done, but I’m thrilled to be involved with this. 

Hope to see many of you there


Announcement: Raygun Roads

I’ve gone atomic so get all these tourists out the fuckin’ way,
 My electronics are busted and fried on re-entry tonight,
Entombed in your twenties, you feel like you’re dead,
The nail in your coffin is staying in bed,
And when you think that it’s over, sing suck on my supernova.
Suck on My Supernova, Raygun Roads & The Kittelbach Pirates

My next comic book is called ‘Raygun Roads & The Infinity Loop Death-Trap of Ullysses Pomp’, and it wants to kick you in the teeth.  

Raygun Roads kept Frederick Wertham up at night.
Raygun Roads is the answer to all of your problems.
Raygun Roads is a pop-art cluster-bomb that will rot your girlfriend and steal your brain. 

Here’s a handy synopsis…

Raygun Roads is a psychedelic science fiction comic concerning an imaginary pop-culture icon who – along with her cosmic punk band The Kittelbach Pirates – kidnaps Vince Paradise; the teenager that concocted her.

Exploding through the wall of the job-centre in their Suicide Machine, The Kittelbach Pirates rescue Vince from murder at the hands of his personal spiritual virus, D-Void. Raygun and Vince take a road trip through his psyche with the intention of assassinating Ullysses Pomp – head of D-Void and mastermind of The Infinity Loop Death-Trap, a mechanism with the power to destroy all teenagers. 

A full-colour 7’’ flip-book, Raygun Roads & The Infinity Loop Death-Trap Of Ullysses Pomp is our love letter to vinyl records, outsider ‘beat’ culture, and the transformative power of pop music. It’s a satire on the state of youth unemployment and the government’s failure to take responsibility.  It’s just a piece of candy-floss nonsense.

Do you feel neglected? Then it’s time to get infected! 

Ripping up the pages on this little bastard: one of my favourite artists of all time. INDIO! Set awe-receptors to stun!

We’re joined by Andy Bloor on design. Andy’s design work has always floored me, so it’s a real boon he’s kickin’ out the jams with us. And then there’s Mike Stock – a relatively new discovery for me. His work for ‘Dead Roots’ and ‘Vs Comics’ is killer, so hit the guy up ASAP.

We’re in talks with a few publishers about putting out Raygun but if none seems like a right fit (or no one wants to buy it) we’ll go self-published, embracing the DIY ethic of punk rock!

The comic is the source, the vendetta, and the cure. Having said that, disciples of our day-glo little cult shall be rewarded with viral marketing! Merch! Trans-media treasure!

Cover for Birds Vs. Planes EP 'Narrow Angles'
 I’m working closely with Ben Johnston, the guitarist of the band Birds Vs. Planes, to create a soundtrack for the project that will be available to download free on the internet. This came about during the writing process, when the desire to listen to an album by The Kittelbach Pirates became so strong we decided to invent them. Consuming both the comic and the album will not be essential to the enjoyment of them separately (they function independently) however the music compliments the visuals and timeline dictated by the book. In theory...

Here, have some more art!

Raygun Roads & The Infinity Loop Death-Trap of Ullysses Pomp is scheduled for launch at Glasgow Comic Con in July.

I sincerely hope you want to get kidnapped.

Drops the mic