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 2019 ELCAF will be celebrating its eighth edition with its largest programme of talks, workshops, screenings, and masterclasses, carefully curated and delivered by a host of national and international artists, writers and illustrators.

Some ELCAF facts:

  • ELCAF has welcomed 20,000 visitors
  • There have been 3,500 attendees to the talks programme
  • 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 450 exhibitors from the UK and abroad



The Festival Team
Ligaya Salazar, Curator/Artistic Director

Ligaya Salazar is a curator, commissioner and writer specialising in contemporary design, fashion and graphics. She has devised and curated over 60 projects including the V&A contemporary exhibition Memory Palace in 2013. She writes regularly on contemporary design and is Contributing Editor to Varoom magazine.

Joana Filipe, Creative Producer

Joana Filipe is a freelance Interior/Exhibition designer and Creative producer. With clients such as London College of Fashion, Thames and Hudson and Greenpeace she worked on several exhibitions from consultancy level to exhibition Design.

Ruth Lie, Programme Curator

Ruth Lie is a freelance events curator and producer, who specialises in programming temporary events. She managed and curated the V&A Friday Late series from 2012 – 2014, which included the commissioning of many illustrators and graphic designers, and has programmed events for the Museum of London, City of London and NOW Gallery.

Vanessa Pike, Programme Producer

Vanessa Pike is a freelance curator and project manager who specialises in programming and project managing events, exhibitions, publications and festivals in collaboration with artists, institutions and designers. She has programmed events for the London Design Festival and British Council and project managed exhibition designs and publications for the Design Museum, the V&A, the Venice Biennale and various international art and design fairs.

Angela Sangma Francis, Communications

Angela Sangma Francis is a freelance editor specialising in illustrated children’s picture books. She works with children’s publishers across the UK, including Flying Eye, Tate Publishing, Thames & Hudson and Hato. She currently lives in Berlin. 

Marianna Tassy, Administrator

Marianna Tassy is an events coordinator with experience in the organisation of festivals, international events, production, tour management and art administration. She worked with IlustraTour (International Festival of Illustration) in Madrid as a Marketing Assistant and at the Forge.Co as an Events Coordinator. In the last few years she has been working at Art-Athina  (International Fair of Contemporary Art)  as well as several galleries.

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 have strived 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.


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