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Walking Dead artist delighted to see Shrewsbury comic trail brought to life

One of the world's most celebrated comic book artists says he is delighted to see ambitions for a county comic trail brought to life.

Charlie Adlard with a piece of his work that feature as one of nine billboards
Charlie Adlard with a piece of his work that feature as one of nine billboards

Comics Salopia unveiled its Shrewsbury Comic Art Trail on the weekend – a project more than two years in the making and featuring work by some of the world's top comic book artists and writers.

One of those is Charlie Adlard, famous for his work on the immensely popular Walking Dead series, which gave rise to the hugely successful TV series of the same name.

Mr Adlard, who lives in Shrewsbury, has created the artwork for the first of nine boards on the trail.

Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard with the billboard he created as part of the Shrewsbury Comic Art Trail

The artwork will stay up for the next 12 months, and is set up at various locations around Shrewsbury, including the Library, The Dingle and Theatre Severn.

Mr Adlard said it was wonderful to see the trail in place.

He said: "I think it is a great idea. It is a great way of telling the story of Shrewsbury in comic form and shows the versatility of the medium."

His image at Shrewsbury Castle kicks off the trail, featuring Michael Palin, Charles Darwin and 'Charlie the Ape'.

The giant boards are designed for people to interact with and take their own selfies, placing them in the scene of the story.

The trail route

The trail is accompanied by a script from Judge Dredd writer John Wagner.

Comics Salopia director Shane Chebsey said they had been delighted with the feedback the trail has received so far.

It comes with Shrewsbury enjoying a burgeoning reputation for its relationship with the world of comics, as home to a number of major industry figures.

Mr Chebsey said: "A lot of people do not realise the level of talent we have in Shrewsbury and Shropshire as a whole, not just in comics but art in general. Some of the biggest names in comics live right here in Shrewsbury.

"We often call it the unofficial UK capital of comics because so many creators live in Shrewsbury."

He added: "The reaction to the trail has been great. We have had some really good feedback. I have had an email from someone in London who is interested in doing a London comic trail, I have had emails from people as far afield as Kent who came down for the opening at the weekend which is incredible.

"It is bringing people into the town and that's what it is all about."

He added: "The good thing is the images are designed so that if you take a selfie, it is almost like you are in the scene. It really pulls you in and makes you part of the story."

People are being encouraged to post their selfies on social media with the hashtag #ComicsTrail2021.

Comics Salopia is also running a competition for the best stories created online, with people able to win a trip on the Sabrina's Little Rea picnic boat, or signed versions of the art which makes up the trail.

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