The Cons & Festivals Are Coming Back! – Dave McKean’s Art For Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2021

by Richard Bruton

With the prospect (say it quietly, keep your fingers crossed) of lockdown easing here in the UK (thanks to the valiant efforts of the NHS vaccination service rather than the government), there’s a newfound positivity in the air and the real possibility of seeing comic events going ahead.

Case in point – The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has just revealed the festival artwork for 2021, a beautiful piece by Dave McKean.

McKean’s image will be used throughout the media and at the event itself to promote the festival, a weekend-long event, planned to take place in Kendal (15th – 17th October 2021).

The reveal comes ahead of the event’s first guest announcements, happening soon, which will include both British and international guests.

Here’s McKean’s beautiful image…

Whilst McKean has this to say about the image…

“The book as an unfolding path is an image I’ve played with a few times, but the poster for this Festival seemed to be the perfect place for it. It feels like the unfolding of individual panels, the progress of the narrative, and the huge creative advance recently of the comics medium as a whole.

The character is a version of my creation Raptor, a traveller, a hunter, and someone trapped between two worlds; our reality and the imaginative world of literature and art.”

The Lakes organising team will make the final decision on the return to a physical 2021 event in May 2021, although with the UK government announcing their plan for a way out of lockdown that includes the hoped-for end to ‘all legal limits on social contact removed‘ from 21 June (BBC News), everyone can keep their fingers crossed that events such as the Lakes can go ahead safely towards the end of 2021.

However, the Lakes is also preparing a hybrid event of both the “real” and “virtual” – the latter in response to the huge success of last year’s online LICAF LIVE, archived on the Festival’s official site and YouTube, including Dave McKean’s special “Through the Keyhole” segment of LICAF 2020 LIVE.

In the works for 2021 are panel events, exhibitions, an anime film program, children’s activities through LITTLE LICAF, and, of course, the return of the ever-popular Comics Clock Tower, again to be mirrored online.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival – (hopefully!) back 15th to 17th October 2021 – is online at:

%d bloggers like this: