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The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Artist Bryan Talbot and Writer Mary Talbot

Writer Ian Rankin, poet Simon Armitage and the UK’s Comics Laureate Charlie Adlard are amongst creators collaborating on an international comic anthology – Traces of the Great War

Traces of the Great War is an ambitious anthology of new illustrated short stories featuring over forty internationally acclaimed comic book artists, graphic novelists and writers. The stories explore the continued relevance and resonance of the First World War and its aftermath in our lives today. The anthology launches this weekend at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 12 – 14 October.

Part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, the creative collaboration re-evaluates the impacts and legacy of WWI across a diversity of cultural, geographical and narrative viewpoints. The aim is to introduce new audiences to the narrative of the Great War through the immediacy and wide appeal of the comic artform.

Featuring eighteen short stories from both the UK and around the world, Traces of the Great War includes a number of collaborations between graphic artists and writers (Dave McKean with poet Simon Armitage, Sean Phillips with novelist Ian Rankin, Charlie Adlard with Robbie Morrison) and between artists and illustrators who have never worked together before (Juan Díaz Canales and Kris, Régis Hautière and Thomas von Kummant).

Traces of the Great War, published by Image Comics, hardback price £15.00, will be launched at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal from 12 – 14 October 2018.

Traces of the Great War is commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, La Mission du Centenaire de la Première Guerre mondiale, On a Marche Sur Le Bulle and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. It is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Jenny Waldman, Director, 14-18 NOW, said: “This powerful new anthology brings together many of today’s most inspiring artists and writers from around the world. 14-18 NOW is thrilled to co-commission this exciting project, as part of our final season inviting contemporary artists to create new work in response to the First World War.”

Aileen McEvoy, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival said:
“We are delighted to be part of this inspiring collaborative project. The quality of the artists and writers is just amazing and the diversity of the work makes this a unique anthology that will resonate with existing comic audiences and newcomers to the world of comics.”

Charlie Adlard, the UK’s Comics Laureate said:

“Comics have an amazing power to connect with people and tell stories in different ways. I hope this anthology will reach out to new audiences and demonstrate the continuing relevance of the Great War on our lives today. It has been a privilege to be involved.”

The artists and writers working on this project include:

Charlie Adlard
Best known as the artist for the globally celebrated The Walking Dead comic series, Charlie Adlard is also the UK’s Comics Laureate 2017 – 2019.

Simon Armitage

Yorkshire born Simon Armitage is an award-winning poet, playwright and novelist, appointed as Professor of Poetry at the University in Leeds in 2017.

Edmond Baudoin

A French artist, illustrator, and writer of sequential art and graphic novels, Edmond Baudoin is known for his atmospheric artistic approach using bold black and white brushstrokes.

Juan Díaz Canales

A Spanish comics artist and an animated film director, Juan Díaz Canales is the co-creator of the massively successful 1950s style detective series Blacksad.

Régis Hautière

Régis Hautière is a French comic book writer with an impressively eclectic bibliography, many of which have been award-winning.

Joe Kelly

Joseph “Joe” Kelly is an American comic book writer, penciler and editor who is co-creator of Ben 10 and has written titles such as Deadpool, Uncanny X-Men and I Kill Giants.


Kris is a French comics creator and writer. Working alongside Mael he created the comic series Notre Mere La Guerre.

Thomas Von Kummant

A German freelance illustrator, Thomas von Kummant’s published works include The Chronicle of the Immortals.

Denis Lapière

Denis Lapière is a Belgian comic book writer, who has been a co-author on various projects including the ‘Comme tout le monde’ and Michel Vaillant’ series.

Victoria Lomasko

Victoria Lomasko, born in Serpukhov, Russia, is a renowned graphic artist and activist who has lectured and written widely on graphic reportage.


Martin Leclerc, known as Maël, is a Paris-based comic artist, who leads a double life as the lead singer of folkrock group HitchcockGoHome!

Dave Mckean

Dave McKean is an award-winning English illustrator, comic book artist, filmmaker and musician, who has collaborated with Neil Gaiman, Heston Blumenthal and Stephen King amongst others.


Mikiko is a London based German-japanese artist working in comics, Manga, game art, TV, teaching and illustration.

Ken Niimura

A cartoonist and illustrator based in Tokyo, Ken Niimura’s graphic novel “I Kill Giants”, co-created with Joe Kelly, has been adapted as a movie directed by Anders Walter.

Sean Phillips

An Eisner award-winning comic artist, Sean Phillips is also founder patron of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin is an award-winning Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels.

Riff Reb’s

Riff Reb’s, whose real name is Dominique Duprez, is a French cartoonist, scriptwriter and founder of Asylum studios.

Robbie Morrison

Known for his work on 2000 AD, Robbie Morrison is a British comics writer and co-creator of the popular character and series Nikolai Dante, serialised for 15 years until 2012.

Orijit Sen

Orijit Sen is an Indian graphic artist and designer, his graphic novel River of Stories, published in 1994, is considered to be the first graphic novel of India.

Bryan Talbot

Bryan Talbot is now published in over twenty countries and is the winner of many comic awards – including an Eisner award, the Prix SNCF and several Eagles.

Mary Talbot

Mary M. Talbot is an internationally acclaimed scholar of gender, language and power who now writes graphic novels.

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