Hartlepool to welcome a world of illustration this weekend

Pat Chapman, Ben Clowes and Amy Dover from CCAD with Ralph Steadman's original illustration from Children's - No Room to Swing a Cat - My Room's Too Small
Pat Chapman, Ben Clowes and Amy Dover from CCAD with Ralph Steadman's original illustration from Children's - No Room to Swing a Cat - My Room's Too Small

Hartlepool is set to become a frenzy of art, drawing and festival fun.

Cartoonists, comic artists and illustrators from all over the country will descend upon the town for the first-ever Festival of Illustration this weekend.

Festival illustration

Festival illustration

More details about the event – hosted by Cleveland College of Art & Design, in collaboration with Hartlepool Borough Council and Seven Stories – have been revealed.

Visitors can expect to see more than 150 works of art and illustrations from as far back as the 1950s and 60s, including local artist Keith Robson, who worked for DC Comics, Marvel artist John McCrea, Ralph Steadman and Games of Thrones illustrator, Will Simpson.

Visitors can view works of art which have not been accessible to the public before, and also meet some of their favourite artists at workshops tomorrow and Saturday.

Hartlepool-born artist Keith Robson, whose career included working on the Beano and Dandy, will be exhibiting some of his original works and sketchbooks from the 1950s and 60s and will be speaking about the good and the bad of working in comics on Friday at the Festival Symposium.

Award-winning comic book artist John McCrea, whose works include Spiderman, Batman and Star Wars for both Marvel and DC Comics, will be a guest speaker at the symposium.

On Saturday, he will give a talk and do live drawing for visitors to the festival.

Visitors can also try their hand at drawing in a ‘mass wall draw’ throughout Saturday, hosted by the Brothers of the Stripe, a collective of artists passionate about all things illustrative.

Also expected to draw the crowds is the Festival market and street market, in Church Square, where visitors can buy work from artists from around the country.

Pat Chapman, head of employability and enterprise at the college, said: “The Festival is celebration of illustration, and how it touches all our lives.”

Who’s coming?

Exhibiting artists include Ralph Steadman, John McCrea, Sara Ogilvie, Will Simpson (Game of Thrones), Hunt Emerson, Dan Mumford, Tom Hovey, William Grill, and Rachel Clowes.

They also include David 
Semple, Emanuelle Walker, Andy Poyiadgi, Joe Lillington, Helen Stephens, Briony May Smith, Chris Riddell, Dave McKean, Veronica Lawlor, David Lucas, Owen Davey, Gabriel Moreno, and Drew Millward.

The line-up is completed by 
The Brothers of Stripe, Tom J Newell, Jeremie Moreau, Jill Barton, Jack Teagle, Andrew Rae, Chris Mould, and Francis Moffatt.

Guest speakers are Chris Riddell, Owen Davey, John McCrea (Marvel), Sara Ogilvie, Hunt Emerson, Dan Mumford, Tom Hovey, Drew Millward, The Brothers of Stripe, Tom J Newell, Joe Davies with Derek Brazell.

When’s it happening?


• A talk at 9:15am by John O’Reilly - Digital Editor of Varoom.

• A film documentary at 10.30am called Made You Look.

• 12.15pm Malcolm Clements - The Silver Age of Illustration.

• 1.45pm - Illustrators Hunt Emerson, Keith Robson, Tony Bennet talking on the good and bad of working in comics.

• 3.00pm - Illustrator John McCrea talks about his career.

• 4.15pm Illustrators Dan Mumford, Drew Millward, Tom Hovey, Tom J Newell give a talk titled traditional versus digital.


• A talk from Brothers of the Stripe at 9.15am.

• Mass wall draw from 10am.

• 10.15am Illustrator Chris Riddell gives a talk.

• 11.30am - A talk from illustrator John McCrea.

• 11.30am - A workshop with cartoonist Ingi Jensson.

• 12.30pm - Sara Ogilvie,
• Illustrator, talks about her career and processes.

• 1.30pm Hunt Emerson and Keith Robinson talk about their careers.

• l2.45pm—4.45pm Dan Mumford, Drew Millward, Tom Hove and Tom J Newell talk about their careers with a question and answer session included.