Limited edition comic book available at Wakefield Museum


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Copies of a limited-edition comic book celebrating the life of famous naturalist Charles Waterton are now available for people to collect from Wakefield Museum.

Well-known illustrators Staz Johnson, John Welding and Richard Bell who all live in the district, 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 Walton Hall, near Wakefield.

The comic features the three illustrators' unique styles in three distinctive sections focusing on Waterton's childhood, his adventuring years and his return to the Wakefield area.

Only 1,000 copies of the comic have been printed. People wanting a copy need to drop into the museum. The comic is free but visitors are encouraged to make a donation to Wakefield Museum.

Cllr Les Shaw, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Wakefield Council said: "It is fantastic that these top illustrators have been involved with our own museum curator in creating the comic book.

"It is a great way to bring Charles Waterton's story to life in a new and exciting way which will appeal to adults and children alike."

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

The three artists are all well-known in their own fields.

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.

The comic is part of Wakefield Museum's Nightingale Festival which commemorates the 150th Anniversary of Waterton's death.

Since May it has delivered an exciting programme of events and activities including artist commissions, workshops and talks. The festival concludes in December with Precious, a spectacular exhibition of rings on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, collected by Waterton's son Edmund. This project has been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.