November 3, 2017

Coming home to LICAF

From the 13th to 15th October 2017, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival celebrated its fifth year by taking over Kendal, Cumbria in England. The small market town celebrated comic art from across the world, with over 70 special guest artists, writers and creatives from North America, Europe, Australia, Japan and Finland.

Manga and comic artist Mikiko was one of the lucky ones to be able to experience the festival for herself and she quickly felt at home in this little town by the Lake District.

Watch Mikiko´s adventure or read about it below.

(Don’t forget to check out the end of this article for a little surprise ;) )


The event was spread out over several venues, which seemed like a long walking distance on a map. I worried that it might be a bit tedious to get to them. Luckily, once you arrive, you realise that the town is actually very compact and it’s easy to get everywhere within minutes. After one day, I knew exactly where everything was, who to meet in which corner of town, and what to see in which building.

Although the main events were in specific venues, the entire town was involved in the festival - shop windows were decorated all over town with handmade artwork and there were plenty of activities for families and children. 

Comic books in various shops

LICAF was a little bit like "coming home to see old friends" to me, even though I had never met anyone and everything was new.

The locals were really friendly - I particularly loved spending time relaxing at Joey’s Café, where Joey and Ania kept me well entertained. The familiar atmosphere really is the charm of this event, and I came home with many news friends indeed!

Joey’s cafe (c)

On Friday, I worked with five other artists on Cintiqs to produce a six-comic anthology on the theme ‘starting’, which was printed to be sold the next day.
We shared a little room above a café to work on it together, and we had just 4 hours to produce each of our 4-page comics.

The proceeds were later donated to OCD Action, LICAF’s partner charity. I was really looking forward to it, and it didn’t disappoint!

Mikiko giving a live demo and Q&A

In terms of the program, there was so much to see, I didn't even get around to visiting half of the talks or shows. Granted, most of it starts Friday night, so there's some prepping still happening before the grand opening in the evening.

The focus was on the Moomins this year, so there were lots of artworks, models and videos about and inspired by the world of Tove Jansson.

I visited the Archipelagogo Exhibition in the Wildman Gallery to see some adorable creations by the talented Jonathan Edwards and Louise Evans, commissioned for this event. It took everything in me not to take one of them home with me!

Archipleagogo (c) exhibition

By far my favourite part was how friendly and open everyone was. The ease with which people talked, helped and connected with each other left a big impression on me.

Finally, it was amazing to see the big stars such as Sergio Aragones and Stan Sakai just casually walking around Kendal, enjoying themselves and open for casual chats. I loved my time at LICAF, and I hope to go back next year, to see my 'old' friends again.

Special Giveaway!

As I mentioned earlier, on Friday six artists collaborated to make the comic ‘Starting’ which was sold at LICAF a day later, with the money from its sale going to charity.

If you were disappointed that you couldn’t get your hands on it, I’m happy to say that 6 lucky winners will be able to receive one completely free!

Keep an eye on the Wacom Facebook page to find out how!


Part of the comic-book cover of Starting


Follow Mikiko on social media:

Instagram - Twitter - Facebook - Website

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