The Lakes International Comic Art Festival recently announced that this years festival will mark the centennial of Will Eisner’s birth with three exciting projects to celebrate the work and impact he had on the comic industry.
Eisner started supplying strips to comic publishers in 1936, encouraged by his school friend and future Batman creator Bob Kane. He set up a studio with former editor Jerry Iger, employing a staff of comic artists to draw strips for a range of early comic book publishers. The Spirit, Eisner’s most famous and lasting creation premiered in a weekly syndicated Sunday newspaper supplement in June, 1940. Eisner was able to deliver stories to his more mature audience using innovative storytelling techniques, drawing inspiration from cinema and film noir in particular.
After, a stint in the Army during World War II, Eisner continued The Spirit and set up a company producing educational comics, particularly used for training purposes. He produced a number of autobiographical long form comics, helping to popularise the term ‘graphic novel’. He created one of the first major works on comics theory with the publication of ‘Comics & Sequential Art’ in 1985. He continued to produce comics right up to his death in 2005.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is commemorating 100 years since Will Eisner’s birth in the following ways:
A broad sheet sized centennial comic, with contributions from contemporary comic greats such as Sean Philips, Ed Brubaker, Jason Latour and many more.
An exhibition at the Brewery Arts Centre of Eisner’s comic artwork from throughout his long career with rare pages and several complete Spirit stories.
A competition for students to illustrate ‘The Spirit of the Lake District’
As we discussed in episode one Nikki and I decided to go and get tattoos. Now this could be seen as a midlife crises and to be honest it probably is but we did it and are now proud tattooed nerds. We went into the Voodoo Lounge here in sunny Kendal with Nikki having hers done first. Her choice was Totoro from the Ghibli films which she has had a life long love of. As the tattoo began upon her leg she looked at me wincing and pulling faces. You see I’m a bit of a wimp and fear needles so the thought of multiple needles cutting into me for multiple hours could of sent me running. It didn’t however. After an hour Nikki’s was done and it looked awesome.
I opted to have a Dredd tattoo. Originally I wanted Mean Machine however the image I wanted would of taken too long for my mind to accept the pain…. yes I’m soft. I decided to choose the new picture of Dredd designed by David Aja for the 40th anniversary edition of 2000AD. I didn’t consider the amount of black in the picture and when the template was placed on my arm it looked like a horrific experiment gone wrong. After 2 hours however it came out perfect and even got a yay and a retweet off David Aja himself.
Both of us are so happy with the work weve had done and are considering more. I say considering Nikki has decided 100% to follow on with more Ghibli artwork on her leg. The pain wasn’t so bad, essentially just bearable.
Roll up roll up episode one of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival Podcast is here. In the show we interview Monster Kids creator Pete Taylor and Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard. We feature music from Charlie’s band The Cosmic Rays and local music duet The Wyld.
Be in with a chance of winning two amazing prints. A signed Dave McKean print from Black Dog: Dreams of Paul Nash and The Lake District – For Comics and Quiet Imaginings by Charlie Adlard. Listen to the show for details on how to win.