He’s not quite Bob Dylan yet, but Walking Dead Artist Charlie Adlard was just named the UK’s Comics Laureate at a ceremony at the Lake Comics Festival which is now going on. Adlard succeeds Dave Gibbons in this august role. As both a gentleman and an artist who knows his way around severed heads, oozing entrails and human  on human savagery. Adlard is an excellent choice for the role.

Seriosuly, he’s one of the good guys and an excellent ambassador for the medium.

The Comics Laureate is an ambassadorial and educational role for the comic genre and aims to raise awareness of the impact comics can have in terms of increasing literacy and creativity. The Comics Laureate appointment is made biennially to a distinguished comics creator, writer or artist in recognition of their outstanding achievement in the genre.

The appointment is the result of a rigorous nomination and voting process. The Comics Laureate works with schools, educators and the comic community to unlock the potential of comics as a tool for learning and creativity. A key focus will be working to increase the acceptance of comics as a creative artform in schools, libraries and througout the education system. 

Charlie Adlard, UK Comics Laureate said: “I’m delighted and deeply honoured to be appointed as the Comics Laureate. The power of comics to encourage learning and develop literacy shouldn’t be underestimated. Comics can connect with people who may never pick up a normal book and really help encourage a love of reading. I see this as a great opportunity to bring the wonder of comics to a wider audience.”

Charlie Adlard is the artist behind the highly successful The Walking Dead comic series, now a popular TV series and video game. He’s also worked on many other comic projects including2000AD, Mars Attacks, The X-Files, Judge Dredd and X-Men.

Charlie Adlard picks up the baton from Dave Gibbons, the first Comics Laureate appointed in February 2015. Comic artist Dave Gibbons is best known for his artwork on Watchmen as well as numerous creative projects for Marvel, DC Comics and 2000AD. Dave Gibbons attended the Lakes International Comic Art Festival opening event in Kendal, Cumbria to hand over the title and welcome the appointment of Charlie.

Dave Gibbons, the UK’s first Comics Laureate said: “It’s been a great honour to fill the post of Comics Laureate for the past two years. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to talk about my love of the medium, and its role in education and literacy. Most importantly, there has been an increasingly positive response from teachers and school librarians to the use of comics in schools. However, there is still work to be done and I look forward to supporting the new Laureate from behind the scenes.”

Working closely with the Lakes International Comics Art Festival, the Comics Laureate will champion the role of comics in improving literacy through a programme of educational visits, workshop events, guest appearances and conferences. 

Julie Tait, Director, The Lakes International Comic Art Festival said: “This is a really vital role for the comics artform. The Comics Laureate isn’t just a title; we already have a programme of events taking shape that will ensure we reach out to new audiences and raise the profile and the understanding of the importance of comics for education, inspiration and literacy. We are delighted that the Lakes International Comics Art Festival can play a role in co-ordinating the Comics Laureate programme.”

Charlie Adlard’s appointment takes effect from February 2017. Guest appearances include an event targeted at school librarians, literacy co-ordinators and those involved in literacy in schools in Birmingham; an event at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May, and a guest appearance at the Amiens Comic Festival in June. Additional dates and appearances will be added throughout the year.

The Comics Laurate is kindly supported by Peters, the UK’s leading supplier of books and furniture for nurseries, schools, academies, and public libraries. Peters is passionate about inspiring children to read, whatever their age.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival returns for its fourth year to Kendal, Cumbria, from 14 to 16 October 2016. Celebrating the amazing world of comic artists, creators and writers, the weekend festival takes over the scenic town of Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District. The festival brings the biggest names in comic art to Cumbria. There will be over 70 special guests from across the comic world. 

Featuring live comic drawing, films, exhibitions, comic trails, workshops, performance, master-classes, a free family zone and independent publishers, the events programme is bursting with opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the leading comic artists and writers from across the world.