Renowned illustrator Joff Winterhart has produced a humorous comic strip that sees its main character give up the city for a better work and life balance in South Cumbria.
Commissioned by Choose South Cumbria, the story follows the heroine and her pet dog Nigel who become fed up of stress-filled commutes and lack of quality time for a more fulfilling life after falling in love with the area when visiting the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
It has been created to celebrate Choose South Cumbria’s involvement in this year’s event – the only one of its kind in the UK – which takes place in venues across Kendal from October 16-18 and will boast appearances from some of the top names in the comic world, including Bill Morrison co-creator of global phenomenon The Simpsons. Printed copies of the strip, along with Choose South Cumbria leaflets, will be available from Red Shirt Brigade guides at The Clocktower (Kendal town hall) and Brewery Arts Centre during the festival and can also be picked up at the Phono+Graphic exhibition, which runs at Kendal Museum until October 20. A downloadable version is also available at www.choosesouthcumbria.co.uk.
Choose South Cumbria promotes the region’s career and lifestyle offer to those looking to relocate from the UK and further afield and will have a profile throughout the festival, which attracts thousands of people from across the UK to South Cumbria to enjoy a packed programme of activities.
Joff Winterhart is an illustrator and film-maker with numerous credits to his name, in particular for his graphic novel ‘Days of the Bagnold Summer’ which was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Award for Best Novel.
He said: “I had great fun creating the comic strip. My experience of Cumbria and the Lake District was the traditional towns and the alien concept, to me at least, of shops dedicated to walking! The Lakes International Comic Art Festival really did open my eyes to just how much cool cultural stuff is going on and the people were super friendly: it is my favourite festival of its kind in the world. It was the difference between traditional perception and personal experience that was the inspiration for the story – plus I love dogs!”
Luke Dicicco, Project Manager for Choose South Cumbria, added: “Joff’s work brings to life in a creative and different way the message we want to get out to the rest of UK and beyond: there are great careers on offer here and the quality of life is second-to-none. Just like the heroine in the comic strip it is far easier to envisage living here when you see for yourself and fantastic events such as this help to showcase just how much is going in here for people of all ages and interests.”
This year’s festival boasts events, talks, cinema, live draws, exhibitions, a family zone, marketplace and the chance to see these leading comic creators at work. The full programme can be downloaded at www.comicartfestival.com.
Centred on the website www.choosesouthcumbria.co.uk, Choose South Cumbria is a new campaign that showcases investments coming to the region, the career opportunities available now and in the future, as well as what it is like as a place to live, learn and relax. It was launched by CN Media Group earlier this year in partnership with BAE Systems, Furness College, GSK, Kimberly-Clark, the NHS in South Cumbria and Siemens. Since then more partners have come on board to help spread the virtues of South Cumbria including the University of Cumbria, Athena PTS, Oxley Group, Progression Solicitors, North Associates, Ulverston Victoria High School and Inspira in addition to several estate agents and tourism accommodation businesses.