It might have slipped under the radar in the run-up to the festive season but ELCAF, the East London Comics and Arts Festival, has announced it is officially “on pause” given the current challenges for in-person events. In posts on their Twitter and Instagram accounts the ELCAF team said “As much as we love this community and would like nothing more than to return to a physical festival celebrating all the amazing work you lovely people do with the future of festivals, travel and social spaces all slightly up in the air, it’s a good time to take a little break for now. ELCAF is now officially on pause as we work out what the future holds.”
They continued, “Please continue to share your projects with us and we’ll support by sharing on our channels in the meantime, so stay in touch! We will be checking emails/instagram intermittently. Wishing you all a safe and peaceful festive period and 2022 – Much love, the ELCAF team xx”.
Regular Broken Frontier readers will be aware of the affection we hold at BF for one of the finest comics events on the UK calendar, one which alongside the now lost Safari Festival, most reflected the kind of boundary-pushing work that we gravitate towards here. Indeed, we have been a media partner for the festival for several years now, hosting an annual ELCAF Fortnight of pre-festival exhibitor/guest interviews, features and reviews, and chairing the popular Broken Frontier Panel at ELCAF which has included guests like Tillie Walden, Sam Bosma, Sabba Khan, Hannah Berry, Jayde Perkin, Avery Hill, Peony Gent, Philippa Rice, Aleesha Nandhra, EdieOP, Simon Moreton, Jules Scheele and many more over the years.
ELCAF has been a wonderful showcase for the infinite possibilities of the form (both live and online) and while it’s sad to see it having to go on hiatus we shall live in hope that when we’re in a happier and more stable place that it can return reinvigorated and reimagined to continue to champion the international comics scene it’s served so well over the last decade.
As someone who worked closely with the small ELCAF team over the last few years I know just how committed and passionate they were about supporting this community. We don’t lend the Broken Frontier name to anything or anyone that doesn’t share the ethos of the site after all. It was a pleasure to team up with the ELCAF crew who, in particular, gave us such free rein with the BF panel year in and year out in targeting it at up-and-coming creators and emerging voices.
Here’s a few images to remind us of the magic of ELCAF pre-2020!
ELCAF 2013 in Bethnal Green
A packed hall for ELCAF 2014
The Kadak Collective at ELCAF 2016
The bustling Round Chapel at ELCAF 2017
EdieOP, Tom Oldham, Sabba Khan and Andy Oliver at the 2018 Broken Frontier Panel
Jayde Perkin wins the ELCAF x WeTransfer Prize in 2018
Some of Broken Frontier’s ‘Six Small Press Creators to Watch’ – Abs Bailey, Laurel Pettitt, BF’s Andy Oliver, Olivia Sualdea and Joe Stone – at ELCAF 2019