KENDAL will be taken over by a world of fantasy this weekend as The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival moves in.

Comic fans, artists, writers and creators from across the world will gather in Kendal from October 15 to October 17 2021.

The festival programme includes live drawing, creative workshops, a comic market place, debates, cartoonists, satire, exhibitions, exclusive signings and some of the most amazing comic artists from across the globe. The festival offers a diverse, international line-up of guests from the UK, Europe, the US, Africa, China, the Philippines and more. The majority of guests will be joining us in Kendal with some guests, due to travel restrictions, joining via live streaming.

Julie Tait, Festival Director, said: "We're looking to attract everyday people who don’t think that they’re into comics."

"It’s a bit like someone saying ‘I hate films’. You might not like horror films, but I can guarantee that there’s something for everyone.

"It brings together to enjoy brilliant writing and brilliant art. It's really approachable and accepting.

"The bigger events are designed to be accessible to all."

This year the festival is looking at how comics can change the world by tackling some of the biggest issues of our time. The festival will showcase comics responding to climate change, the role of comics in improving educational attainment, how comics can be used to promote health messages and the power of political cartooning.

Highlights of the festival this year include the Friday night opening gala, live from Kendal and New York. Collaborating with NCS Fest, there will be a balloon debate featuring eight guests, each taking on the role of their own chosen comic character. At the end of the night, only one will survive, and that depends on how well they make their case to the audience.

The comics marketplace returns to Kendal with the line-up reflecting the wide range of both mainstream and independent talent working in the comics medium across the UK. The free Comics Clock Tower takes over Kendal Town Hall for the festival weekend.

You can see a full programme of the weekend online.

Tickets are on sale now for the event from the festival website:

Ms Tait finished: "A good start is to come to the festival, go to the town hall, have a look around at all the stuff that is available. Choose something and get hooked."