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Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we’ll be hitting the road and heading for Kendal in the Lake District. The reason: the Lakes International Comic Art Fair!

This will be our third trip to Kendal and it’s a genuine highlight of the convention calendar.

Two reasons:

Firstly, comics really do take over the town. Shop windows are themed, hotel receptionists don superhero garb, the Brewery Arts Centre covers its walls with amazing original comic art and – most importantly – Ruskin’s Bar gets its comic theme on. We had a Viz Bar a couple of years ago, and the Bat Cave last year. This year, it appears the place’ll be dead.

Here’s a typical Kendal estate agent (with some subliminal pasty advertising for good measure):

estate agentSecondly, comics are taken seriously. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Lakes Con is a lot of FUN. But it also uses its panel programme to talk about comics in a smart and edifying way and not just as an opportunity for people to puff their latest spin-off or movie tie-in. You’ll see what I mean here.

It’s a long way to go but we always get a great welcome. We’re hoping to give something back this year, with the launch of our new book Secret Gardens. In case you haven’t read all about it, a reminder: four stories in one book, Secret Gardens is a choose your own adventure, set in the grounds of the Lakes’ own Lowther Castle.

Here’s the cover to look out for as you wander around the Comics Clock Tower in Kendal this weekend:

Secret GardensWe’ll see you in Kendal!!