COMICS are a fascinating art form.

Compelling to pick up and read they suck you into a fantastical universe populated by super heroes, crime fighters and out of this world creatures.

The wonderful world of comic art descends on Kendal this weekend (Friday-Sunday, October 12-14) in the Lakes International Comic Art Festival with more than 70 of the best comic artists, writers and creators in the line-up.

Epic, pretty much sums up the volley of goings on featured in this year's event, which takes over the Brewery Arts Centre and several other venues across town.

The legendary Comics Clock Tower, open on the Saturday and Sunday, is full of independent creators, publishers and retailers, representing a wide range of comics from around the globe. And new for 2018, festival director Julie Tait and her team are excited to introduce a new zone, the CCT Xtra, with even more creators, including the Scottish Comics Bothy.

Julie said that they have a fantastic line-up for the festival this year and even more exhibitors showcasing their creative talent across the town. "There are artists and creators joining us from many countries, including India, Finland, the US, Canada, France, Denmark and, of course, creators from the UK. Whether you are new to comics or a serious fan, you’ll find something new to discover at the festival. We look forward to welcoming you all."

Guests include London-based, German-Japanese artist Mikiko, who began her career in Germany, where she went into publishing straight from school. Since 2011 she has been working with Tokyopop Germany, releasing five books in total. Her most well known manga, Crash 'n' Burn, won the prestigious Max und Moritz Preis award in 2016.

Over the years she's been featured on various television shows, such as J-mag (as a presenter) and Tigerentenclub, a German children’s show, which runs on national television.

Today, Mikiko's known mainly for her work online, especially her slice-of-life webcomic, Miki’s Mini Comics, which has gained her a huge web following and attracted 3.6 million viewers to her online gallery over the years. In 2017, she kickstarted the project as a printed book, with huge success.

Also heading for Kendal this weekend will be Hunt Emerson, who has drawn cartoons and comic strips since the early 1970s.

Hunt has published around 30 comic books and albums. His latest books are Calculus Cat, a hilarious collection of stories about The Cat That Hates Television, Hot Jazz, a collection of jazz-flavoured comics featuring Max Zillion and his saxophone Alto Ego, and Bloke’s Progress, a graphic novel based on the unlikely subject of Victorian art critic and philosopher John Ruskin.

One of the most successful of the comic genre's artists is Sean Philips, a founder patron of LICAF.

Drawing comics professionally since his was 15, Eisner Award-winning Sean has worked for all the major publishers. Since drawing Sleeper, Hellblazer, Batman, X-Men, Marvel Zombies, and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, Sean has concentrated on creator-owned books, including Criminal, Incognito, Seven Psychopaths and Fatale. He's currently drawing The Fade Out, written by his longtime collaborator Ed Brubaker.

Other star turns in the LICAF programme are Joe Kelly, American comic book writer, penciler and editor. Cartoonists Graham Dury, Simon Thorp, the creators of Viz. Orijit Sen, an Indian graphic artist and designer and Robbie Morrison, best known for his work on 2000 AD.

And there's more - Emma Vieceli, whose work includes Doctor Who and Vampire Academy; Charlie Adlard, the Walking Dead artist and Comics Laureate; Satoshi Kitamura, Japanese children's picture book author and illustrator; Ian James Rankin, Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels; Steven Appleby, the creator of comic strips for many newspapers, including The Guardian, The Observer and The Times; Kripa Joshi, the creator of Miss Moti, a character who has been featured in BBC Women’s Hour, BBC Asian Network, the Guardian and other international publications, and illustrator, cartoonist, animator and designer Luke McGarry, who become the most sought-after young cartoonist in Los Angeles. He has created animated commercials for clients as diverse as the IFC movie channel and VISA, and animated music videos for major label recording artists such as Jack Black and Tenacious D.

Activities include live drawing from some of the biggest international comic artists. Talks, presentations and masterclasses, comic art exhibitions in gallery spaces, international comic book launches and a five star bill of comic-themed films showing in the Brewery's state-of-the-art cinema screens.

Oh, and there's a cracking comic art trail bound to create a buzz throughout the town.

The festival also features the launch of Traces of the Great War, an ambitious co-commissioned comic anthology.

All weekend and day pass holders receive an exclusive set of comic art postcards.

Further details and tickets at