Kendal to become Gotham City next month as Batman flag flies over Town Hall...

The Westmorland Gazette: Brian Talbot's comic map of Kendal Brian Talbot's comic map of Kendal

THE iconic Batman symbol will be seen over Kendal Town Hall to mark the first Lakes International Comic Art Festival from 18-20 October.

It is the first time South Lakeland District Council has given permission for an unusual flag to fly over the Town Hall.

The organisers of the festival are aiming to make the whole of the town part of the event, like comic art festivals on the continent.

Coun Peter Thornton,of SLDC, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this new festival and we wanted to do our part to turn Kendal into a comic art town for the weekend.

"I’m looking forward to welcoming so many top comic artists and writers to the town for the country’s first comic art festival. You never know, maybe we’ll also get a glimpse of Batman himself.”

The festival has a line-up of more than 70 writers and artists including some of the biggest names in comic art from the United States, Europe, South America and the UK.

They include American writer Ed Brubaker, Charlie Adlard the artist on The Walking Dead, Simon Thorp and Graham Dury who created Viz, American comics journalist Joe Sacco, cartoonist Posy Simmonds, as well as John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra who created Judge Dredd.

As well as the ticketed events, there will be a number of free exhibitions, including work by founder patrons Bryan Talbot and Sean Phillips and several free talks on comics at the library.

There will be free activities in a special Family Zone including workshops, a chance for kids to create a new superhero, a Phoenix Comics extravaganza and a Beano pop up shop.

Ruskins Bar will also be turning itself into the Fnarr Bar to celebrate all things Viz, including original Viz artwork and some classic memorabilia.

There will also be a comic art trail through the town centre for everyone to enjoy, with the windows of 30 shops and other businesses filled with comic art created with help from young people – from nursery age to college students - across South Lakeland.

Festival Director, Julie Tait, says: “We’re really pleased to be hosting some of the very best comic art creators in the world, including famous pioneers, world renowned artists and writers and some of the best new and emerging talent.

"The range of guests coming to the festival shows the diversity of comics, including biography, political cartoons, comics journalism, satire, superhero comics, comedy, adaptations of historical novels and innovative new story-telling.”

Bryan Talbot has created a special comic art map of the town which is part of the programme that can be downloaded from the festival website at www.comicartfestival.com

One of the opening night events, a screening of the film V for Vendetta at the Brewery Arts Centre, is being dedicated to Michael Hanlon, a young yachtsman who died earlier this year in the South of France.

Michael was a big fan of comic artist Alan Moore who collaborated with writer David Lloyd to create the famous comic on which the film is based.

Other ticketed events include talks by writers, live drawing events comic artists, workshops and films.

The Comics Clock Tower in Kendal Town Hall will champion breaking talent from all styles and genres.

Many of the big name writers and artists visiting the festival will also be appearing in the Comics Clock Tower over the weekend.

Entry will cost just £3.50, with free entry for accompanied children under 12.

A Weekend Pass will cost £25 and provide unlimited access to the Comics Clock Tower plus four daytime events (starting before 7pm).

A Day Pass on the Saturday or Sunday will cost £14, providing unlimited access to the Comics Clock Tower plus two daytime events.

Tickets for additional events can be bought separately. Tickets can be purchased online at www.breweryarts.co.uk or by phoning 01539 725133.

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