For this year’s competition the Lakes International Comic Art Festival is celebrating the incredible creative comic art legacy of Will Eisner and his iconic vigilante – The Spirit

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For this year’s competition the Lakes International Comic Art Festival is celebrating the incredible creative comic art legacy of Will Eisner and his iconic vigilante – The Spirit.
2017 is one hundred years since the birth of American cartoonist Will Eisner (March 6, 1917 – January 3, 2005). An innovative tour de force in the comic art form, Eisner is noted for his experimental and cutting edge approach in content and form.
The prestigious Eisner Award, recognising achievements each year in the comic art medium since 1988, was named in his honour. One of the earliest cartoonists, Will Eisner is considered to be a champion of comic art, popularising both comics and the term ‘graphic novel’.
The Spirit was a 16 page comic section that ran for 12 years from 1940 – 1952, with a circulation of more than 5 million, introducing action, mystery and adventure through the crime-stopping escapades of its hero The Spirit – a dashing, masked vigilante who dispenses justice in ‘Central City’ and beyond.

To mark this special centenary year for Will Eisner (and LICAF’s fifth year!) we would like to welcome some crime-stopping creativity and adventure to the Lake District in comic art style!

For our Revealing ‘The Spirit’ of the Lake District competition, as if by comic art magic, we would like you to imagine a vigilante hero or heroine for the Lake District! This may be a comic strip, a single illustration or a series of illustrations. Reflecting Eisner’s comic style in The Spirit, your interpretation could illustrate crime drama, adventure, mystery, horror, comedy or even romance in the Lakes or be a creative reinterpretation of an original artwork from The Spirit with a Lake District comic art twist.


We will be showcasing many of the entries with a credit to the artist online and on social media (including Facebook and Twitter) in the build-up to the festival. We will also be encouraging media interest too. During the festival a selection of the entries will be on display as part of our Will Eisner tribute exhibition.



– You’ll be part of an amazing festival!

– You’ll get your work shown to a wider audience.

You could be part of the Revealing ‘The Spirit’ of the Lake District exhibition.

– For the love of art, comics and super humans!

– And you could win a prize.



We deliberately want to keep this open and not be too prescriptive. You might come up with a new character illustration, a page of a comic strip, a short illustrated story inspired by Will Eisner original comic strips of The Spirit or a design for a postcard. It really is up to you as long as it reflects the theme – Revealing ‘The Spirit’ of the Lake District – and there is a link to comic art.



The project is for students of the arts. When you are submitting your work, please let us know the name of the school, college or University where you are a student.



The – Revealing ‘The Spirit’ of the Lake District – competition will be judged by Ian Rankin, Sean Phillips and LICAF Director Julie Tait.

Ian Rankin is an award-winning Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels.
Sean Phillips is an Eisner Award winning comic artist and founder patron of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.


Check out our top prizes!

- Top 3 entries will receive VIP passes to LICAF 2017

- Top 3 entries will receive a limited edition, signed print from The Spirit of Eisner homage to Will Eisner

- First prize also includes a £50 voucher to spend online at Page 45


Please submit your entries by 1 September 2017. We cannot accept late entries.



If you are sending a digital file, please provide JPEG files at 300 dpi or higher at A4 or larger.

For the exhibition we will need hi-resolution files, so please send us the best quality image you can.
We would prefer digital files, but if you are intending to send original artwork please email us first and we can arrange the details with you.
Please also send us the following details:
Your full name:

How we can contact you:

The name of the school, college or University:

Please tell us if the work has a title and how you would like your work credited:

Please send your entries to

Please note the maximum file size for this email address is 10mb. If you are sending a larger file please use a large file transfer service such as We Transfer or Mail Big File.



The copyright will obviously remain with the originator of the artwork but by sending us your work for this project you will be granting us permission to use your artwork for the promotion of this project Revealing ‘The Spirit’ of the Lake District and for the promotion of The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, a not-for-profit enterprise.

No payment will be made for any entries submitted.
Revealing ‘The Spirit’ of the Lake District is an educational, artistic project organised on a not-for-profit basis as a tribute to the talents of Will Eisner.


If you have any questions just ask us by email



Revealing ‘The Spirit’ of the Lake District is kindly supported by the University of Cumbria.
Many thanks for your support!


The fifth Lakes International Comic Art Festival will run from 13-15 October 2017 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.

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. Our 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. Don’t miss it.

To celebrate the centenary of Will Eisner’s birth, this year’s festival also sees a special comic art tribute to Will Eisner involving top names!

Commissioned to mark the Eisner Centennial, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival is delighted to announce the impending publication of The Spirit of Eisner a celebratory broadsheet comic, created in a style that homages Will Eisner’s original work on the title.

The 12-page broadsheet, co-ordinated by artist and Festival patron Sean Phillips will feature a cover by Becky Cloonan and comic strips created by Sergio Aragonés (MAD, Groo), Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (The Fade Out), John M. Burns (2000AD), Graham Dury and Simon Thorp (VIZ), Jason Latour (Spider-Gwen), Brendan McCarthy, Peter Milligan (2000AD), Michael Cho (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy) and broadcaster Jonathan Ross and Seth (Palookaville).

Find out more:


‘The Spirit’ is a masked vigilante fighting crime in ‘Central City’ with the blessing of Dolan – the city’s police commissioner.
Beneath this incognito is detective Denny Colt Jr. who, after going into suspended animation following exposure to one of Dr. Cobra’s experiments, awakens buried in Wildwood Cemetery. Embracing his new-found anonymity, Colt embarks on new life as ‘The Spirit’ – fighting crime wearing his trademark domino mask, blue suit, red tie, fedora hat and gloves.
You can find out more about Will Eisner and The Spirit here:

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