Dave McKean is the inaugural winner of the Sergio Aragonés International Award for Excellence in Comic Art. The announcement was made at the opening ceremony of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival which runs from 13–15 October in Kendal, Cumbria.
Sergio Aragonés, one of the most famous and influential living cartoonists, made a rare UK appearance to announce the winner and present the award to Dave McKean.
The new award has been established by The National Cartoonists Society, in partnership with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. This honour will be presented annually to an exceptional comic artist, animator, or cartoonist.
Dave McKean is a comic artist, illustrator, writer, film maker and composer. He has illustrated numerous graphic novels, magazines and album covers as well as illustrating short stories and children’s books. He has collaborated with creatives and writers from all walks of life including biologist Richard Dawkins, chef Heston Blumenthal and musician John Cale. Six of McKean’s images appeared in the Royal Mail’s Mythical Creatures Collection. Dave McKean’s work has won numerous awards including the World Fantasy Award, the V&A Museum Illustrated Book Award and the Harvey Award for best Graphic Novel. He has worked alongside writer Neil Gaiman on graphic novels including the critically acclaimed The Sandman series, as well as illustrating the celebrated Batman graphic novel Arkham Asylum one of the biggest selling graphic novels of all time. In 2016, he produced the award-winning graphic novel and touring performance Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash, as part of the World War I centenary commissions.
Dave McKean said: “There’s a lot of ‘good’ out there, but ‘excellence’ is what we aim for every day and usually fail to achieve. To receive this award in the medium that is my first and deepest love, at the best comics festival in the UK, is hugely encouraging.”
Julie Tait, Director of the Lakes Festival said: “Dave McKean is an inspirational talent and I’m delighted that he is the inaugural winner of the International Award for Excellence in Comic Art. His work continues to surprise, delight and intrigue. Dave continues to push the boundaries of the comic art medium producing work that is compelling and powerful.”
Sergio Aragonés said: “It is an honour to be announcing the first winner of the International Award for Excellence in Comic Art. Dave McKean is a worthy winner, a rare talent and an inspiration to comic artists across the world.”
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns for its fifth year to Kendal, Cumbria, from 13 to 15 October 2017. Celebrating comic art from across the world, the weekend festival takes over the town of Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District.
The festival brings the biggest names in comic art to Cumbria with over 70 special guests from across the comic world. This year, artists, creators and writers from Japan, the US, Canada, Australia, Finland, as well as European comic creators will take part in the festival.
For more information about the festival go to: www.comicartfestival.com