Breakthrough: Our Time

Hannah Hodgson
Michael Lightfoot
Abbigayle Bircham
Danny Christie

This ground-breaking anthology showcases some of the newest and most exciting talents emerging in British Comics today.

Dealing with prejudices around disabilities; fantastical takes on climate change activism; exploring mental health issues in a multicultural society; and romance in a post-Brexit world, this collection of diverse and disparate comic creators reveals the myriad of voices and experiences across contemporary Britain.

Each story not only provides a unique perspective, but is illustrated with distinctive and accomplished artwork, giving a fascinating insight to four very different points of view. Heartbreaking, enraging, illuminating, amusing, and impassioned, Breakthrough: Our Time thoroughly entertains while challenging perceived beliefs.

“…My thoughts and emotions [have been] profoundly affected by the[se] unique and heartfelt narratives.”

—Dave Gibbons, from his foreword.

WHAT is Breakthrough?

Breakthrough is an 18-month mentoring initiative set up by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, in conjunction with Arts Council England, Wellcome Trust Fellowship, Soaring Penguin Press, Quarto Books and other partners, with the aim of giving under-represented individuals a chance to express themselves through the medium of comics and to hopefully open up a career pathway within the publishing industry.


Historically comics have been a medium that has high accessibility for dyslexics, reluctant readers and as a cheap mass market form of entertainment. However, in recent decades the working class, and other voices, have become increasingly underrepresented within the mainstream media, and are often excluded from current creative print and online comics resulting in their stories not being told and shared. Breakthrough seeks to give those people agency and in doing so, build their self-esteem and hopefully lead on to a career creating sequential art, whilst inspiring them to become a positive reflection for subsequent creators.