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High Toon! Top Cartoonists Steve and Luke McGarry Head to the Lakes
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High Toon! Top Cartoonists Steve and Luke McGarry Head to the Lakes

Lakes International Comic Art Festival Poster by and © Ken Niimura
Steve and Luke McGarry

Kendal, 8th April 2016: The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is delighted to announce the upcoming appearance of two top British, California-based comic creators at this year's Festival (14th-16th October), who will be bringing their unique cartooning talents to bear on a host of activities throughout the weekend.

Steve McGarry - a multiple award-winning creator best known for his football illustrations and cartoons, his comic strips for a number of national British newspapers and his work on the Minions movie characters - says he is looking forward to his Lakes Festival appearance, along with his son, the Reuben Award-nominated cartoonist and animator Luke McGarry.

“Luke and I are delighted to be part of this year’s Festival," says Steve. "Although we’ve been based in Los Angeles for many years, my career was launched and established in the UK and I’ve continued to work for British publications during that time. We are a family of transplanted Mancunians so it’s an absolute pleasure to be invited to 'come home' and join in the festivities."

Steve McGarry's career began as a designer of record sleeves for such artists as Joy Division and John Cooper Clarke, before beginning a long and much-admired career as a newspaper cartoonist and also working on top British weekly comics such as Look-In and Tiger, as well as several football magazines, including Shoot!

He created the long-running newspaper strip "Badlands", which ran in The Sun for 12 years. He also created the daily cartoon strips “The Diary of Rock & Pop” for the Daily Star and “Pop Culture” for Today, both of which were syndicated worldwide by United Media.

His current strips, “Biographic” and “Kid Town”, are syndicated to over 200 newspapers, including the New York Daily News and the Boston Herald, his sports features appear in newspapers and magazines worldwide, and he has served as a story artist on the movies Minions, Despicable Me 2 and The Secret Life of Pets, and the video game Minions Paradise, a joint production by Illumination Entertainment and EA Games. He is a two-term past President of the National Cartoonists Society and current President of the NCS Foundation, the Society’s charitable arm.

Luke McGarry, the creator behind the recent Star Wars-inspired "Sad Chewie" cartoons that quickly became an internet viral phenomenon, is one of the the most sought-after young cartoonists in Los Angeles. He has created animated commercials for clients as diverse as the IFC Movie Channel and VISA and his print clients range from Bloomberg Businessweek to the NY Observer.

Luke is also heavily involved in the music business - he is a member of the indie dance duo Pop Noir, alongside his twin brother Joe - and has created animated music videos for major label recording artists including Jack Black and Tenacious D and is considered the go-to designer for some of the biggest festivals and music promoters in the US.

Steve and Luke will conduct a joint presentation that will cover the span of their careers and talk about everything from Joy Division to Jack Black, and how they set about breaking into the worlds of illustration, syndication and animation and more. Steve will also present a children’s programme on "How to Draw Minions and More” in the Family Zone and Saturday night will see a live show at Ruskins featuring a special appearance from Luke’s band, Pop Noir.

"We're thrilled Luke and Steve are coming to Kendal in October," enthuses Festival Director Julie Tait revealing the pair will also play an integral part in a special Opening Night event at the Brewery Arts Centre that will play to their much-praised shared talents as high-speed cartoonists.

“The National Cartoonists Society has been a longtime supporter of the Festival, and Luke and Steve's appearance reinforces the event's wide-ranging remit to cover every aspect of the comics medium - and have plenty of fun along the way!"

Steve and Luke will be joining previously announced guests Joe Kelly (I Kill Giants, Deadpool), Bryan Lee O'Malley (Scott Pilgrim, Seconds), 2000AD's Mick McMahon , Ken Niimura (who has designed this year's Festival art) and Benoit Peeters - Britain's first Professor of Graphic Fiction and Comic Art, at Lancaster University - for this year's prestigious event.

Many more international and British comic creators will be announced over the coming weeks, joining a host of writers, artists, publishers and retailers for a long weekend in the Lakes crammed with panels, exhibitions, children's events and other activities. The town will be entirely given over to comics, with business owners lining up to support the Festival's famous "Windows Trail", giving over store front space to display comics art created by artists and local groups and school children.

The October weekend is just one of a number of comics projects from the Festival on its way this year, with the world premiere performance of Black Dog – the Dreams of Paul Nash by Dave McKean already announced, taking place at Kendal Town Hall on 28th May.

• Lakes International Comic Art Festival: www.comicartfestival.com | Find the Lakes International Comic Art Festival on Facebook | Follow the Festival on Twitter @comicartfest

• For more information on the Lakes InternationalComic Art Festival, contact: Julie Tait: julie@kendalartsinternational.com

• Steve McGarry's Official Site: http://stevemcgarry.com | Find Steve on Facebook | Follow Steve on Twitter @stevemcgarry | Instagram

• Luke McGarry Official site: http://lukemcgarry.com | Find Luke on Facebook | Follow Luke on Twitter @lukeymcgarry | Instagram | Tumblr

Supporting Images and Information

Steve McGarry
Steve McGarry
Catwoman by and © Steve McGarry
Catwoman by and © Steve McGarry
"Premiere League High" from Shoot!
"Premiere League High" from Shoot!
Biographic: Krysten Ritter by Steve McGarry
Biographic: Krysten Ritter by Steve McGarry
Steve McGarry's World Cup 2014 Poster for the Sunday Times
Steve McGarry's World Cup 2014 Poster for the Sunday Times

Steve McGarry: From Hollyhedge Road to Hollywood


Steve McGarry’s four-decade career has taken him from the pages of Romeo, a weekly girls’ comic published by Dundee-based DC Thomson, to worldwide newspaper syndication and working in Hollywood with the Minions! 

Along the way, he has designed record sleeves for Joy Division and Jilted John, established himself as, perhaps, the most widely-published cartoonist Britain has ever produced, become the first-ever artist to win Illustrator of the Year awards from both the National Cartoonists Society in the United States and the Australian Cartoonists Association, spent 27 years on the rosters of major US syndicates, served two terms as NCS President and been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

In 1976, Steve was at the centre of the punk explosion that revolutionized the Manchester music scene. He designed record sleeves for the likes of Joy Division, Slaughter & The Dogs, John Cooper Clarke, and Jilted John and more. He was the in-house designer for both The Oaks and Rafters, two seminal venues that gave Manchester debuts to Siouxsie & The Banshees, Elvis Costello, XTC and many more. 

He even fronted his own band, and among those who went on from to greater things from the ranks of Steve McGarry’s First Offence were Toby Toman of Primal Scream and Donald Johnson of A Certain Ratio. 

For two years, Steve was also a partner in a commercial production company creating AV productions and TV and radio commercials.

He made his national newspaper debut in 1981, with a centre-spread illustration for the Daily Star of the two FA Cup Final teams, going on to contribute hundreds of illustrations to the paper over the next few years. including a weekly sports series, courtroom sketches, three front covers and a Steve Davis snooker series. He was also a regular on the pages of the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Express

During this time, Steve was also a frequent contributor to such comics as Tiger and Look-In, for whom he created "The Story So Far: Duran Duran", "Paul Young" and others. He also illustrated a number of licensed books, including the Doctor Who, K9, Fame and Minder annuals.

In 1986, the Daily Star launched Steve’s first daily cartoon strip, a year-long feature called “The Diary of Rock & Pop”, which was later syndicated worldwide by United Media. 

In 1988, Steve launched his daily comic strip “Badlands” in the short-lived national newspaper The Post. When that paper closed, “Badlands” was snapped up by The Sun, the world’s biggest English-language national newspaper, running in The Sun for 12 years and spawned two book collections from Pedigree Books. 

From 1993 to 1996, Steve’s  daily trivia feature “Pop Culture” ran in the Today newspaper. During that time, he also launched a daily soccer series in The Sun and his short-run, 12-part biography series, featuring the likes of Oasis, George Michael, Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Hulk Hogan appeared in The Sun, Today and the News of the World. When The Sunday People launched his "20th Century Heroes" comic in the late 1990s, they billed Steve as “the world’s top cartoonist.”

Steve’s long association with British soccer magazines started in 1982 when Match Weekly launched his full-page “Goal of My Life” series. He went on to create the story feature “Cannon” for the magazine and was a regular contributor for four years. In 1989, he joined the pages of Shoot! when he and Tony Husband created “Ray of The Rangers.” 

It was the start of a seven-year run on the pages of Shoot!, during which time Steve launched his “Divvington Donkeys” comic strip and also contributed to sister magazine Soccer Stars. In 2007, Steve returned to Shoot! when he created the weekly comic “Premier League High” and he went on to become a regular weekly contributor to both Match and MOTD magazine.

Since 1982, Steve has created wallcharts and features for every World Cup and European Championship that have appeared in hundreds of magazines and newspapers worldwide. In 1998, for instance, The Sun, in conjunction with Budweiser, distributed four million giant double-sided World Cup wallcharts entirely designed and illustrated by Steve, throughout the UK.

His clients for his soccer features range from the Sydney Herald to the South African Times, from the South China Morning Post to the Trinidad Express. He has also created similar syndicated features for the Olympics, the Asian Cup and the cricket and rugby world cups. British clients for these sports features have included The Sun, the Daily Star and The Mirror.

Steve has been based in the US since 1989, after landing his first syndication contract when he was headhunted by United Media, the New York-based syndicate that was home to “Peanuts”, “Garfield”, “Dilbert” and more, to take over the reins on the weekly comic strip “Biography.” Since that time, he has been represented by most of the major US syndicates and is currently syndicated to over 200 newspapers of newspapers, including the New York Daily News and the Boston Herald, on two features - “Biographic” and “Kid Town” - by Universal UClick. 

Steve lives in California, with his wife Deborah.  Their twin sons, Joe and Luke, have found success through music and art. Their band, Pop Noir, has played with The Wombats, Doves, Robyn, Sebastian Tellier and more. On the art side, operating as the Fantastic Heat Brothers, they work with Jack Black, Tenacious D and clients such as Visa, Vans and the California State Lottery. They have also created a number of animated music videos and Luke’s distinctive cartoon style has made him one of the fastest-rising stars  in the world of humorous illustration. 

In 2012, Steve’s career took another turn when he was invited by Illumination Entertainment to create soccer gags to be used as part of the marketing campaign for the movie Despicable Me 2. It was the start of a relationship that has seen Steve go on to work as a story artist on Minions and The Secret Life of Pets, and the video game Minions Paradise, a joint production by Illumination Entertainment and EA Games.

In late 2014, his sleeve design for Joy Division’s 1978 12” EP “An Ideal For Living,” went on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

A former two-term President of the National Cartoonists Society, Steve McGarry is currently the President of the NCS Foundation, the society’s charitable arm. He is a recipient of the prestigious Silver T-Square Award, given for “outstanding service to the profession of cartooning.” 

• Steve McGarry's Official Site: http://stevemcgarry.com | Find Steve on Facebook | Follow Steve on Twitter @stevemcgarry | Instagram

Luke McGarry on stage with Pop Noir
Luke McGarry on stage with Pop Noir
Sad Chewie by Luke McGarry
Beutler Poster by Luke McGarry
Festival Supreme Poster by Luke McGarry

Luke McGarry


Originally from Manchester, illustrator, cartoonist, animator and designer Luke McGarry – recently nominated as Advertising Illustrator of the Year in the NCS Reuben Awards – has quickly become the most sought-after young cartoonist in Los Angeles.

He has created animated commercials for clients as diverse as the IFC movie channel and VISA, and animated music videos for major label recording artists including Jack Black and Tenacious D. His print clients range from Bloomberg Businessweek to the NY Observer, and he’s the go-to designer for some of the biggest festivals and music promoters in the States.

His online work for clients such as Myspace and Super Deluxe routinely goes viral, whether it’s Kanye West Valentine cards or the recent “Sad Chewie” series that has sent Star Wars fans into a retweeting frenzy.

Along with his twin brother Joe, he heads up design outfit Fantastic Heat Brothers, and he sings, plays bass and twiddles knobs in their indie duo Pop Noir, who have shared the stage with the likes of Doves, The Wombats, Robyn and Sebastien Tellier. 

• Luke McGarry Official site: http://lukemcgarry.com | Find Luke on Facebook | Follow Luke on Twitter @lukeymcgarry | Instagram | Tumblr

About the Lakes International Comic Art Festival

Lakes International Comics Art Festival Logo

The fourth Lakes International Comic Art Festival will run from 14-16 October 2016 in Kendal, Cumbria, celebrating great comic art from across the world. It is the only one of its kind in the UK taking over the whole town of Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District, for a weekend. 

Guests revealed so far are Joe Kelly, Bryan Lee O'MalleyLuke and Steve McGarryMick McMahon, Ken Niimura and Benoit Peeters, - with more announcements to come soon.

The festival features comic artists from around the world, as well as performance, film, exhibitions, comic trails, workshops, master classes, live drawing and independent retailers and publishers. The events programme is bursting with opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the leading comic artists and writers from across the world – see them draw, talk about their work and bring comics to life.

A free Family Zone provides drop-in activities for all ages, alongside a series of fantastic workshops for kids and teenagers. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival brings the town together for a weekend to celebrate the amazing world of comic art.


Exhibitors in the Comics Clock Tower "marketplace" for 2016 include - to name but a few! - the Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain, Italian illustrator and cartoonist Silvia Carrus, Buzzfeed illustrator James Chapman, Disconnected Press, Forbidden Planet, the writer and artist on Rick and Morty Sarah Graley, Page 45, graphic designer and illustrator Simon Russell, Soaring Penguin and independent publisher and writer Tom Ward.
Black Dog - The Dreams of Paul Nash

Black Dog - The Dreams of Paul Nash

Co-commissioned by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary and On a Marche sur la Bulle, Black Dog – The Dreams of Paul Nash is a multimedia performance and new graphic novel by illustrator, comic artist, filmmaker and musician Dave McKean, one of the iconic figures of the UK comic art world.

Black Dog explores the work of Paul Nash, one of the most important British artists of the twentieth century, whose First World War experiences inspired him to create paintings of disturbing, lasting power. 

The graphic novel will be released in two editions – a limited edition in May and a full publication in October at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival (14-16 October 2016).

• Tickets for the world premiere in Kendal on 28th May 2016 are available through the Brewery Arts Centre box office (tel: 01539 725 133) or website. Additional performances will be held in France over the summer before the performance returns to Cumbria for the graphic novel launch in October.

• For more about 14-18 NOW visit: www.1418now.org.uk

Black Dog – The Dreams of Paul Nash  is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The commission is also supported by Kendal College, Kendal Business Improvement District and South Lakeland District Council.

Festival Sponsors and Benefactors

 CArts Council LogoThe Patrons of the Festival are comic creators Boulet, Sean Phillips, Bryan Talbot, Mary Talbot and Emma Vieceli, and Stephen L. Holland, owner of the award-winning independent comic shop Page 45 in Nottingham.
 
The Festival is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. It is supported by South Lakeland District Council, Kendal BID and Kendal Town Council

Our main sponsors are ComixologyWestmorland Shopping Centre, Choose South Cumbria and the University of Cumbria. Our founder partners are the Brewery Arts Centre and Kendal College.

We are also supported by the Finnish Institute in London, Wallonie Bruxelles International, Institut français du Royaume-Uni, Santander, Knockabout Press, Fanfare UK, GB Sasakawa Foundation, National Cartoonists Society, Premier Inn and Wacom.

Lakes Festival: Some Past Releases

• Ken Niimura's Festival 2016 Art Revealed!

• Bryan Lee O'Malley Confirmed For Exclusive 2016 Lakes International Comic Art Festival Appearance

• Art from Dave McKean's new graphic novel "Black Dog" revealed

• Mick McMahon Announced as first British guest for Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016

• Joe Kelly Announced as first US guest for Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016

• Lakes Festival art auction hosted by Jonathan Ross raises £15,000 for future projects
• Lancaster University Appoints Tintin Scholar Benoit Peeters As UK’s First Professor Of Graphic Fiction And Comic Art

• Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016 Dates Announced

• Lakes Festival Brings Comic Art to the High Street with "Windows Trail"

• 24 Hours to Make Comics: The Marathon is Back!

• "Wish You Were Here" – comic artists re-imagine the Lake District – ahead of Comic Art Festival

• Lakes International Comic Art Festival announces Specsavers partnership

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival run 14th - 16th October 2016. Sign up for the Festival's newsletter here

Web: www.comicartfestival.com

For further information contact: Julie Tait - julie@comicartfestival.com

Images of most announced guests, Festival poster and mascot images can be found here:

Web Resolution: www.flickr.com/photos/116459003@N07

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