Creating opportunities for creators and for the form in the UK is a hot talking point at the moment. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has its own contribution to make with its newly announced Comics Rights Market for 2024. Full details on this exciting development in the press release below.
Lakes International Comic Art Festival announces its first International Comics Rights Market for British publishers and creators
The first Rights Market will take place in September 2024 and creators can apply to participate now
Supported by the Arts Council and The Adlard Family Foundation, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival is delighted to announce its firstInternational Comics Rights Market, bringing European and British comic publishers together to negotiate publishing rights to their comics with international counterparts across Europe.
This new Rights Market will also, unusually, feature opportunities for creators to meet directly with buyers from Europe, getting feedback on their work and, potentially, selling rights too. This announcement includes a call out to creators to apply to our new concept free marketplace. Invites to British publishers will follow shortly. The Festival is working with VIP Brands Ltd. on this aspect of the project.
Key global comics industry players will be coming to LICAF 2024 and 2025 to find, promote, publish and distribute British comics talent through this International Rights Market. The new project is only the second of its kind in the world, the other taking place during the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême.
The Festival will also be taking a diverse group of British creators to flagship international festivals and industry events to tell the story of British comics and find new partners and advocates.
“At our Rights Market, British agents, publishers and creators will negotiate publishing rights to their comics with international counterparts across Europe, intersecting with LICAF ’s existing curated Comics Marketplace at our annual Festival,” Festival Director Julie Tait explains. “We’ll also be organising a British Comic Art Pavilion at two key comic festivals each year in North America and
France will showcase the UK sector to huge audiences at global events.
The British Comics Now pavilion will feature a delegation of creators to the Toronto Comic Art Festival and Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême, attending TCAF in 2024, Angoulême and TCAF 2025, and d’Angoulême 2026.
Six British comic creators will be fully funded to join each of the delegations – a different six at each event – and every pavilion project will feature materials which will aim to tell the bigger story of British independent comics and what they offer.
“We are curating the delegation for TCAF now,” says Julie Tait, “taking expert advice and then we will do a call out for the following three events, to which any creator can respond and reply. We’ll be actively seeking feedback from audiences at each event, as well as make contact with foreign publishers and media to promote British comic creators, their work, and publishers, too.
“Both the Comic Rights Market and British Comics Now are about increasing the profile and readership of British comics on the international stage.”
The first “TCAF Six” will be announced soon – as will additional partners from the public and private sectors.
“This is a hugely exciting development for British comic creators and publishers, and the British comic industry,” enthuses artist and former Comics Laureate Charlie Adlard, who set up The Adlard Family Foundation to promote the creative arts and the environment. “I’m excited to see what new comic partnerships emerge from this fantastic project.
A New Kind of Comics Marketplace at LICAF 2024 – and it’s free!
At the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, the main aim of its Comics Marketplace has always been to create an environment which encourages networking and opportunities to discover more about the global comics scene alongside selling to our audiences and guests. Ultimately, the Festival has always wanted to find ways to get British comics seen more widely, and to provide a platform for the developments of creators’ careers.
In the pursuit of the goal to promote British Comics on the international stage the Festival has secured the funding from the Arts Council and The Adlard Foundation to present the UK’s first International Rights Market for Comics, at LICAF 2024.
What does it mean and how will it work?
The only other International Rights Market dedicated to comics is at the Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême. It brings together international buyers of comics, the acquisition editors from foreign publishers, with publishers wishing to sell rights to comics, who discuss and negotiate possibilities and terms and then, hopefully, the buyer translates, publishes and distributes these comics in their own language/country or countries. The LICAF International Rights Market for Comics will be a bit different, in that it will also be open to individual creators to meet with buyers.
In its first year the Rights Market will feature approximately twelve buyers, drawn from across Europe who the Festival has identified, with expert help, as ripe for buying British comics.
The Comics Marketplace will still be public facing, but those exhibiting will also have the opportunity to take a number of appointments with buyers. The Festival team will have help on hand for those exhibiting who need to temporarily leave their tables for those appointments. There will also be additional free professional development events at this year’s Festival.
How You Can Apply
The Rights Market will take place Friday 27th and Saturday 28th September and the Comics Marketplace will take place Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September in Bowness-on-Windermere. You can apply to exhibit, to exhibit and be part of the Rights Market, or to just attend the Rights Market. If you’re exhibiting and attending the Rights Market, you can arrive on Friday for your appointments or Friday eve/Saturday morning as usual and attend appointments on Saturday. The buyers will also be free to wander around the marketplace on Sunday 29th September to look at work before they head home.
The Festival will be providing an online session in advance for all those accessing the Rights Market to discuss how you should prepare and what to expect.
To apply for a free table in the Comics Marketplace, complete the application form downloadable here, and return to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1st March 2024.
The new International Rights Market and the opportunity to exhibit at no cost has been made possible by Arts Council England and The Adlard Foundation.