Meet the acclaimed artist behind a fantastical comic book run that takes over Leeds this summer
Created by one of England’s most famous comic book artists Lisa Wood, the Trail For Hope will encourage people to explore the city center and find some hidden gems along the way.
Working as Tula Lotay, Lisa has credits in Batman and Wonder Woman for DC Comics, Scarlet Witch for Marvel, and has worked on posters for blockbuster movies and TV shows.
Now Lisa has created the eight-panel comic book track in partnership with her Thought Bubble and Leeds BID comic festival, telling a story of hope after the pandemic.
The trail will launch on July 20 and will last for six weeks.
“It’s been such a tough year for people,” Lisa told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“Everyone has suffered, but businesses in downtown areas and communities have suffered the most.
“It’s important to rebuild this community and we wanted to create something fun and bring people back to the city center.”
Lisa has painted her story on eight panels that will be displayed on sites downtown, starting with The Majestic.
It will also be part of the Leeds Jurassic Trail 2 project of Leeds BID, which has 13 animatronic dinosaurs across the city.
The comic book story features a “Viking warrior” and a dinosaur, Lisa teased, but families are encouraged to follow the hour-long trail to uncover the message.
Independent businesses including the Fred Aldous art store and OK Comics and Traveling Man comic book stores will be a big part of the route.
Lisa added, “I wanted to create something that looks like prose, it’s about people who feel lost but have hope again.
“I put this in a fantastic setting and associated it with the amazing dinosaur trail that takes place around Leeds.
“We temporarily lost people closest to us, there was an intense time when we couldn’t see anyone. I wanted to explore this in a story, but show that we can get through this. “
Lisa, who suffers from dyslexia, fell in love with the comics when she was young when she bought five comics for 20p at her hometown market of Batley.
She founded Thought Bubble 15 years ago to celebrate comics and illustration and the role they can play in helping children and adults with literacy challenges.
“They blew me away as a kid and I was obsessed with them from that point on,” Lisa said.
“It’s another form of storytelling; these are amazing stories that are quite mature and complex, but it was always seen as something that was meant for children.
“Over the past 20 years we’ve seen the birth of the adult graphic novel and British writers and artists explode onto the American scene for DC Comics and Vertigo.
“The comics are about everything – religion, politics, love, action and adventure.
“Any story you want can be found in comic book form and for kids and adults with literacy issues, like dyslexia, comics are a great place to start. got involved with them at such a young age. “
Lisa is now gearing up for the 2021 Thought Bubble Festival, which takes place in Yorkshire from November 8-14 and concludes with a two-day convention in Harrogate.
The festival is one of the largest comedy events in Europe of its kind and will feature guest speakers, activities and a ‘break’ room for those who may struggle with crowds.
“It’s going to be bigger and better than ever,” Lisa added.
“We have the most guests and the most space we’ve ever had. It’s the thought bubble that people are familiar with, but has grown completely in terms of quality and program. “
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