Comic book to celebrate life of Charles Waterton and his achievements

Ref: PR 5069
Date: 24/09/2015

An exhibition showing the development of a comic book illustrated by three top artists which celebrates the life of Wakefield's famous naturalist Charles Waterton is to be launched on 30 September.

Well-known illustrators Staz Johnson, John Welding and Richard Bell who all live in the district, have teamed up with Wakefield Council's museum curator John Whitaker to create a unique tribute to the Victorian adventurer.

Charles Waterton was famed for his interest in nature, and travelled widely collecting specimens before setting up the world's first nature reserve at Waterton Hall, near Wakefield.

The comic book will feature the three illustrators' unique styles in three distinctive sections focusing on Waterton's childhood, his adventuring years and his return to the Wakefield area, where he created his legacy.

Cllr Les Shaw, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Wakefield Council said: "This is an exciting and innovative idea, which will bring Charles Waterton's story to life in a new and exciting way which will appeal to adults and children alike.

"It is fantastic to have these top illustrators involved. And it's great they are willing to lend their unique styles and skills to jointly create this exciting comic book."

Wakefield Museum has an extensive collection of Waterton artefacts - including a giant Cayman which is exhibited in Wakefield Library and his diaries which detail his travel experiences and his life.

It is the 150th anniversary of Charles Waterton's death, the exhibition which will feature original artwork from the comic will be launched on September 30 at Wakefield Museum, at Wakefield One. The exhibition runs until 7 November.

A limited edition print run of the comic will be available in the last week of the exhibition. People will be able to make a donation and pick up a copy.

The artists are all well-known in their own fields with an impressive list of achievements.
Staz Johnson has worked for DC Comics and for Marvel. He has worked on many comics including Wolverine, New X-Men and Underworld.

John Welding is a full time artist and illustrator with experience in drawing for comics, books, graphic design, theatre and computer games.

Richard Bell is known for his work as an illustrator of walks, local history, natural history and sketchbooks from Yorkshire and the Peak District.