Lakes Festival Brings Comic Art to the High Street with “Windows Trail”

Kendal’s high street will again be taken over by comics in October in the run up the third Lakes International Comic Art Festival (16th – 18th October).

Kendal’s high street will again be taken over by comics in October in the run up the third Lakes International Comic Art Festival (16th – 18th October).

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is the only event of its kind in UK, celebrating all kinds of comic forms, from Britain’s The Beano and The Phoenix to Japan’s globally-acclaimed manga and Canada’s unique comic creators, whose work echoes that country’s frontier-challenging spirit.

Along with a main programme featuring more than 50 different events, including films, the Festival will also host a free, children friendly Family Zone, free Comics Clock Tower signings and events, free exhibitions, a crazy “Festival Fringe” pop-up, courtesy of VIZ comic and publisher Knockabout… and much more!

The Windows on Comic Art Trail, which runs from 2nd – 23rd October, is a unique art trail that is very much part of the Festival’s aim to involve the local community in its comics celebration, displayed in business windows across the town. It provides a fabulous opportunity for the town to get behind the festival and for a wide range of artists to get involved. It also provides visitors with a brilliant way to explore the town. Last year 6000 viewers saw the windows trail and 400 voted in the Peoples Vote.

All the artists involved, whether from local community groups or schools right through to professional artists, take their own approach to their individual windows. They are encouraged to reflect both their own work and the business that’s hosting them.

This year, there’s a wide range of artists and businesses involved including:

  • Williams’ Wools, the Kendal Wool Shop, who are working with Kendal’s first yarn bombing crew, Woollies of Mass Decoration
  • Local artist Jamie Barnes will reflect Kendal’s architecture in the window of Arnold Greenwood Estate Agent. Jamie is a skilled artist who takes inspiration from houses, townscapes and has created a range of work about the Fellside area of Kendal.
  • Kendal 1st Cub and Scout Group will create a window in festival sponsors Specsavers. They will work with festival favourites and creators of the Lakes Gang, Felt Mistress and Jonathan Edwards to create their window including our Lakes Gang character, Gubbs
  • Gareth A Hopkins, winner of ‘Best Artist’ last year is teaming up with Iridium in the New Shambles.

There’s a (gentle) competitive element too where the Windows Trail organisers ask members of the public to vote for a favourite window in The People’s Vote. Additional categories that will be judged and awarded prizes are the Best Artist Window and Best School or Group Window.

Maps and voting slips will be available at participating shops and at the Brewery Arts Centre and the Comics Clock Tower.

This year, the trail will be complemented by exhibitions in two businesses in the town centre:

  • Brew Brothers will have an exhibition by Andy Poyiadgi whose comic Teapot Theory was shortlisted for the Observer/Jonathan Cape/ Comica Graphic Short Story Prize and was coloured with genuine English Breakfast tea.
  • White Stuff will have an exhibition by Mike Medaglia, a comic artist, illustrator and Zen Buddhist whose book One Year Wiser will be launched at the festival by SelfMadeHero. All the artwork in this exhibition will be for sale and the proceeds go to the charity that White Stuff regularly supports, the Bendrigg Trust.

The Windows Trail is made possible with support from the Kendal Business Improvement District, North Country Leisure, Russel Armer Homes, Costa Coffee and Iridium, Kendal.

• For more about the 2015 Lakes International Comic Art Festival visit:

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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