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Monday, 10 March 2014
I was really pleased to be asked to create a set of characters for the excellent Lakes International Comic Arts Festival (now into it's second year). Here's the official press release -
Guardian and MAD magazine cartoonist Jonathan Edwards has created “Poblin’s Gang” – a family of mascots for this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival, which returns to Kendal from 17th – 19th October.
Poblin and family reflect the inclusive aims of the Festival, offering events that will appeal to the whole family –from children’s workshops and film screenings to creator talks and signings.
“We’re delighted with Jonathan’s designs,” enthuses Festival Director Julie Tait. “The characters will appear in many different ways and places, some expected, others unexpected!”
“When someone described LICAF as having a character all of its own, we thought that this is exactly what it should have,” she adds. “In the great tradition of European festivals and other great comic art producing cultures such as Japan, we thought the creation of a festival character/mascot (or gang, as it has turned out!) would bring a distinct identity and encourage our audiences to feel more ownership of the festival.
“Who better to approach than one of the UK’s leading character designers, Jonathan Edwards, who has a fine track record in comics and a whole multitude of creative strings to his bow?”
“The characters started life as a request from Julie Tait to create a single mascot,” says Jonathan Edwards, whose illustration work has also graced the covers of albums by The Black Eyed Peas and The Jungle Brothers, and is also a guest at the Festival.“But the more we talked about it, the more I realised that one character couldn’t really sum up the entire Festival. So from one it increased to four… then six – then eight!
“We’ve ended up with wide-eyed newbies who, despite loving comics for a long time have perhaps never attended a festival (Poblin and Froop), long-time Festival attendees (Woolton), comics connoisseurs and academics (VeVe and Gubbs) and visitors with specific interests – Manga (Blizz), Small press/zines (Zinny), foreign language aquatic adventure comics (Trimp).
“Design-wise I’ve used a colour scheme suggested by the Lakes logo,” Jonathan reveals. “Red, black and white – and stuck to the classic Matt Groening advice of giving each character a distinctive silhouette.
“You’ll be able to spot any of these across a crowded room!”