THOUSANDS of visitors and world-renowned guests will flock to Bowness this weekend for a celebration of comic art.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival started on Friday and will run until Sunday showcasing a multitude of events and exhibitions with some of the most famous global names from the world of comics and cartoons - including artists involved with The Simpsons, the Walking Dead, Jack Black's Tenacious D, and more.

This tenth edition of the iconic festival is the first to be held at the new lakeside location - taking place at venues such as the Windermere Jetty Museum and Old Laundry Theatre.

Festival Director Julie Tait explained why the change of setting is so exciting.

"We've been running the festival in Kendal for nine years, but felt like it was time for a change for a whole range of different reasons. - we know that the backdrop of Windermere and the Lake District itself is a big draw to artists and visitors," she said.

"We've got even bigger name artists coming this year as a result of switching locations, and we want to try to reach out to a bigger audience.

"Bowness has quite a substantial south Asian audience coming over regularly on a weekend basis, so it gives us new opportunities.

"We've got 26 countries represented so it's a real global spectrum of comics - they don't just do comics either, these people do gaming and animation, so there's a lot of crossover going on.

"We have even bigger names this year too - the artists from America have worked in most of the superhero franchises - Wonderwoman, Spiderman, Batman - everything really.

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"We have Charlie Adlard, main writer from the Walking Dead, and the Simpsons creator who works alongside Matt Groening, two guys who worked alongside Jack Black in Tenacious D."

Julie predicted it would be a bumper weekend, and said curious visitors can just turn up to enjoy the many free areas of the festival.

"It covers all genres, so you could be into horror, or comedy, or noir, crime, anything," she said,

"It's an off-peak time of the year for Bowness so hopefully it's bringing extra people into the area during a quiet period, rather than ramming extra people into a period that's already busy."