ELCAF is the East London Comics & Arts Festival, London’s biggest annual festival dedicated to showcasing the best in comics, illustration, sequential art, and storytelling.

Founded by independent publisher Nobrow in 2012, ELCAF’s aim is to introduce and celebrate both small press publications and the dynamic community of individual artists and collectives that are pushing the boundaries of comics and illustration to a growing public. There has been an exciting growth within comics and narrative illustration – mediums which have moved from the peripheries into the mainstream focus.

In 2020 ELCAF celebrated its ninth edition digitally with a mini-programme of in-conversations, workshops, takeovers, exhibitor spotlights, carefully curated and delivered by a host of national and international artists, writers and illustrators.

In 2021 ELCAF will be celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary with a curated digital programme as well as a printed #ELCAF Haul of limited edition Zines, Posters, Postcards, Stickers and more!

Some ELCAF facts:

  • ELCAF has welcomed over 20,000 visitors since 2012
  • ELCAF partners with arts institutions to run a season of events in the run up to  the festival
  • ELCAF has an educational focus, working with local schools and organisations to promote comics and narrative illustration in the community
  • At least 170 artists participate annually
  • ELCAF integrates a range of art practices into the festival for a fully immersive experience, including screenings, live performances and music by DJs from NTS radio and more
  • Since its conception in 2012, ELCAF has worked with over 500 exhibitors from the UK and abroad

The Festival Team
Ruth Lie, Festival Curator

Ruth Lie is a freelance curator and producer, who has particular experience in creative events commissioning and programming. She programmed the V&A Friday Lates from 2012 – 2014, working with and commissioning many illustrators and graphic designers, which developed her already existing love of illustration and graphic novels. She has worked with cultural organisations such as Wellcome Collection, the Museum of London, City of London, Culture Mile and NOW Gallery, and runs a children’s illustrated book review Instagram in her spare time.

Vanessa Pike, Festival Creative Producer

Vanessa Pike is a freelance producer and project manager who studied a BA in Illustration and MA in Curating. She specialises in producing and project managing events, exhibitions, publications and festivals in collaboration with artists, institutions and designers. She has produced exhibitions for the London College of Fashion and the British Council and project managed exhibitions, events and publications for various brands and institutions including It’s Nice That, Adobe, the London Design Festival and various galleries and artists.

Marianna Tassy, Festival Coordinator

Marianna Tassy is a freelance project and event supervisor with experience in the organisation of festivals, international events, exhibitions and video productions. She has recently been working with IllustraTour (International festival of Illustration) in Madrid, with BAD (Bergamo Animation Festival), with Art- Athina (International Fair of Contemporary Arts), Matadero cultural centre and Casa de Lector in Madrid and with SSFF (Skate & Surf Film Festival) in Milan. She currently lives in Milan, working with several creative agencies.

Festival Founders: Nobrow Press

Nobrow was launched in 2008 by Sam Arthur and Alex Spiro with the aim of providing an independent platform for graphic art, illustration and comic art in the UK and abroad, and to become a leading proponent of quality in book design and standard bearer for original creative content. Since then, Nobrow strive to consistently publish books of the highest calibre and quality, both for their form and their content, working with only the best artists and illustrators in the world.


Previous Team Members
Ligaya Salazar, Artistic Director/ Festival Curator 2012 – 2019

Ligaya Salazar is a curator and commissioner specialising in contemporary design, fashion and graphics. She has devised and curated over 100 projects including the V&A contemporary exhibition Memory Palace in 2013. She writes regularly on contemporary design and is Director of Fashion Space Gallery and Arcade East, London College of Fashion.

Joana Filipe, Creative Producer 2012 – 2019

Joana Filipe is an Interiors and Exhibition designer. She is the founder and director of InterestingProjects. With clients such as Tate, London College of Fashion, Thames and Hudson and Greenpeace she has worked on various exhibitions from consultancy level to exhibition design.

Angela Sangma Francis, Communications 2015 – 2019

Angela Sangma Francis is a writer and editor of illustrated children’s books. She has authored two books under Flying Eye Books, ‘Everest’, and ‘The Secret Lives of Unicorns’. Her list of clients include, Little Gestalten, Tate Publishing, Egmont, Thames & Hudson, and Hato. She currently lives in Berlin. 


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