But first: Bryan Lee O’Malley (SECONDS etc) kicks of his Page 45 LICAF Sunday signing by sketching on a guitar. Of course he does! See later for the results!
“What Do You Mean By Shattered, Stephen?”
I mean obliterated.
In 2014 at LICAF Page 45 broke its all-time weekend sales record by taking £5,000.
In 2015 at LICAF Page 45 broke that weekend sales record by taking £5,500.
Now at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016 Page 45 has smashed its own weekend sales record to smithereens by taking over £10,000!
That’s double two years ago and with just 1% of the range of our stock: it’s all we can fit into the van.
Also: that’s just one room in Kendal’s Comics Clock Tower where there are vast halls for others who pack in to exhibit.
Over £2,000 of Page 45’s takings this year go directly to LICAF to fund its following Festivals.
“Why Is This Happening?”
Well, our graphic novels are very beautiful books, and perhaps there are too few shops stocking them at all or promoting them properly.
Of equal importance: At The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016 ENTRY IS FREE so the Kendal Clock Tower draws in the crowds!
It’s especially attractive to those new to comics, who wander in out of curiosity then love what they see. That’s always been Page 45’s primary mission: to bring the widest variety of quality comics and graphic novels into contact with as a many new people as possible in an honest, informed and eloquent manner.
This is the Festival’s fourth year. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2017 will run from 13th to 15th October. Potential visitors and prospective exhibitors, please pop those dates in your diary.
We’ve only just begun.
Page 45 Upstairs In Kendal Clock Tower’s Georgian Room
Every year Page 45 is entrusted this entire room to ourselves, curating it as we see fit, and cluttering it up with creators whom we adore. Click on any photo to enlarge and pop creators or titles in our website search engine!
Look, here’s Emma Vieceli!
Tillie Walden and Katriona Chapman with AveryHill Publishing, centre-stage, where they belong!
This year we launched Dave McKean’s Dark Horse edition of BLACK DOG: THE DREAMS OF PAUL NASH.
Dave even took the trouble to bring enormous, framed original paintings for all and sundry to gawp at. (They did.)
Sean Phillips drew Prince right in front of us!
Isabel Greenberg sketched on Saturday.
Hannah Berry rolled up on Sunday after being made full use of right through the festival!
Jonathan Edwards and Felt Mistress were with us all weekend, with Eugune manically minding their stall overnight.
John Martz made his first-ever UK appearance! With us! Hooray!
Where’s Dan Berry and Paul Thomas? I forgot to take photos, so sorry!
Ben Haggarty and Adam Brockbank!
Craig Thompson popped in unannounced three times to sign and sketch in his books!
That head is an original sketch, yes.
Darryl Cunningham sketched in all his graphic novels – and he wasn’t officially with us, either!
Riff Reb’s even sat down to draw in LICAF’s edition of CARROT TO THE STARS, letting Jonathan and myself get a glimpse at his original artwork.
Jake Phillips showed off his pages of COELIFER ATLAS, this year’s 24-Hour Comicbook Relay Race Marathon (£5-00 each) written by Alex Paknadel, Dan Watters and drawn by Dan Berry (editor), Craig Thompson, Charlie Adlard, Emma Vieceli, Petteri Tikannen, Bruce Mutard, Nick Brokenshire, Bryan Talbot, Ken Niimura, Joe Decie, Mike Medaglia and that there Jake Phillips.
Finally, during his signing Bryan Lee O’Malley created two entire pages of original comics right in front of us!
Oh, and here’s Bryan with that guitar again.
Luring In Punters, Crippling Credit Cards And Whipping Wallets
At The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016 ENTRY IS FREE, so many walk in from the street or travel from afar to discover comics for the very first time! How cool is that? So Page 45 brings a fresh supply of gorgeous graphic novels to LICAF every year… but they don’t half take some getting there!
40 gigantic boxes brought down from the office. To get from the till to our Vertigo section with its Neil Gaiman throne, I had to take a detour of 3.75 miles! Or climb.
Two rows in and with twice as many boxes to cram into the van, this is where we find out if Jonathan is better at Tetris than me.
Here are those boxes, lugged up to our Georgian Room, and that Georgian Room before we begin.
Now I have to magic the two together. Comics is a visual medium, so it’s vital they’re displayed at their best. It takes me four $£%* hours!
Please click on PHOENIX COMICS for our dedicated webpage then on each cover for reviews!
Jonathan AKA J45
That is, however, the easy bit. None of this would be remotely possible without our Lord, Master and logistical, technological genius, Jonathan.
It’s Jonathan who sources all our extra stock, organises its delivery and transport, populates our second till with products, designs our signs and banners, beats the credit card terminal’s wonky reception into reluctant submission and makes sure we have packed everything we need from carrier bags and Sharpies to such extreme amounts of change that it took the two of us to lug it down the hill into Kendal from our snow-capped, mountain-side hotel.
And that’s just LICAF.
LICAF Comics & Merchandise
CARROT TO THE STARS is reviewed and available worldwide from Page 45!
COELIFER ATLAS, this year’s 24-Hour Comicbook Relay Race Marathon (£5-00, now reviewed!) is also available worldwide from Page 45 with every single penny going to OCD Action.
You can order the following merchandise – which is exclusive to LICAF and was on sale in our room, with 20% of the proceeds going to OCD Action, the rest to help fund LICAF itself by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Prints at £25 each:
Charlie Adlard Beatrix Potter
Luke McGarry Beatrix Potter
Duncan Fegredo Beatrix Potter
Dave McKean Black Dog signed
Gilbert Shelton festival giclee
Jordi Bernet festival giclee
Ken Niimura festival giclee
Festival lapel badges £2.50 each
Sets of 4 Beatrix Potter Re-Imagined postcards featuring Hannah Berry, Charlie Adlard, Luke McGarry and Duncan Fegredo £2 each
And, wait for it…
Sean Phillips Kill or Be Killed signed screenprint (50×70) festival variant £50 each
For more of those images, please see page 43 of The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2016 Programme.
Panel To Empower New and Prospective Creators
We thought this important.
Every week I’m asked at the counter, “What’s the best way to get my comic published?”, “How do I maximise my exposure?” or “How do I get my self-published comic onto your shelves?” On Sunday we answered their barrier-breaking questions.
Our Team Supreme from multiple disciplines:
Ricky Miller (Director, Avery Hill Publishing)
Katriona Chapman (self-publisher of KATZINE, freelance for larger publishers and in addition part of Avery Hill)
Andy Oliver (Editor-in-Chief of pioneering review website Broken Frontier, and brand-new self-publisher)
Stephen L. Holland (Festival patron, Page 45 retailer and prize buffoon)
I’ve seldom received such phenomenally positive and grateful feedback – nascent creators who said they felt far more confident now that they finally understood how the comics industry works.
There was plenty of laughter, each of us contributing equally, and we talked over each other not once. That’s rarer than you might think. Let’s do it again!
Multiple Thank Yous and A Big Fat Teaser:
Thank you to all our creator guests for agreeing to sign with us so enthusiastically, for regaling their loyal fans and brand-new readers with mirth-making stories and gossip, and making our room so much more attractive with their wit, wares and camaraderie.
Thank you to everyone who dropped in, swanned round and snapped up graphic novels so we didn’t have to carry them back home.
EXTREME thank you to the LICAF #redshirtbrigade volunteers, one and all, for making our lives so much easier by solving last-minute hitches, marshalling our queues and caring to cater for us throughout the day.
Thank you to our Dee and Jodie for their immaculate organisational skills in preparation for the Festival and running Page 45 HQ all extended weekend long while we doubled our presence in Kendal.
Thank you to John Freeman of Down The Tubes for his LICAF promotional activities and excpetional generosity.
Thank you to LICAF Patron and comics creator Sean Phillips for all his personal support throughout the year and his truly tireless promotion of the Lakes Festival and all its endeavours, without which it wouldn’t attract so much attention.
Thank you to Sharon Tait for welcoming us into the Clock Tower on our very first day back in 2014.
Thank you to Carole Tait for her logistical genius without which the Lakes International Comic Art Festival would be utter chaos.
Thank you above all to LICAF director Julie Tait for entrusting us with the Georgian Room in the first place back in 2014, welcoming Page 45 firmly into the fold as fully-fledged, pro-active Patrons in 2015, and for providing the sort of leadership which sweeps you up alongside her in its enthusiastic wake. Without Julie Tait there would be no Lakes International Comic Art Festival to attend: no Festival, no guests, and no banners all over town proudly proclaiming our shared love of comics.
Reminder: The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2017 will run from Friday 13th October to Sunday 15th October with the Kendal Clock Tower open for exhibitors on the Saturday and Sunday.
Page 45 Credentials
Page 45 is a proud Patron of The Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
Page 45 won the first ever award for Best Independent Retailer in Nottingham 2012.
Page 45 won the Best Independent Business in Nottingham 2013.
Page 45 was shortlisted for the Bookseller’s Independent Bookshop Of The Year 2014.
Page 45 won the only ever Diamond Comics Award for Best Retailer in the UK in 2004 before links began.
Stephen was on the judging panel of the British Comics Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
Why are we listing our credentials? Hahahaha! There is a reason.
We’ve one more massive Page 45 / LICAF surprise for you shortly!
Oh, and here’s your reward for scrolling this far: Bryan Lee O’Malley interviewed live on camera at LICAF – From Scott (Pilgrim) to Snot (Girl).