Leeds comic book queen is picture perfect

Comic book illustrator Lisa Wood, director of Thought Bubble.
Comic book illustrator Lisa Wood, director of Thought Bubble.
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Comic book illustrator Lisa Wood is drawing up plans for one of the biggest comic book events in Leeds.

The 39-year-old from Ilkley is the woman behind the annual Thought Bubble festival, which is expected to attract 20,000 people this year.

Lisa, who struggled with dyslexia at school, set up the not-for-profit festival in 2007 with the hope it would make comics appeal to a wider audience and raise awareness of how powerful and helpful they can be for children who might be struggling with reading and learning difficulties.

Lisa, who grew up in Batley, said: “I designed Thought Bubble to appeal to long-term comic fans, those who have never picked up a graphic novel before and children, so there really is something for everyone at the festival.

“Comics have seen a surge in interest in recent years, with the help of blockbuster movies and an increasing profile as an important cultural art form, so this year we’re looking forward to welcoming more guests than ever and celebrating all things sequential arts-related with them.”

Lisa’s love of comics started when she was a young girl, during weekly visits to a second-hand magazine stall on Batley Market, where her father would give her 20p to pick up five comics.

Her first comic was Daredevil, and X-Men, Judge Anderson and Return of the Jedi Weekly all became firm favourites.

Lisa went on to study Art and Design at Dewsbury College and Bradford University.

She now illustrates two comics under the alias Tula Lotay – Supreme Blue Rose, with writer Warren Ellis for Image Comics, and Bodies for DC’s Vertigo comics.

This year, money raised from the Thought Bubble festival will go to Barnardo’s – a charity that helped Lisa when she was adopted as a young child.

Thought Bubble

Thought Bubble is the UK’s largest annual sequential arts festival and takes place from November 9 to 16.

The festival involves eight days of events at sites across the city, including a two-day comic convention on November 15 and 16.

Events will include free art and writing-based workshops for young people, talks by industry professionals and screenings of sequential art films.

Guests that have been confirmed for this year’s event include Scott Snyder, Adam Hughes, Tim Sale, Isobel Greenberg, Jillian Tamaki and Olly Moss.

For tickets, which start at £15, go to thoughtbubblefestival.com.