It’s safe to say that most artists don’t break into the comic book industry by creating a festival that celebrates the medium. And yet that was an important step for artist Tula Lotay, who founded the Thought Bubble Festival in the United Kingdom before pursuing a career in comics.
In the latest installment of SYFY WIRE’s Behind the Panel series, Lotay sat down for an extended interview and told us that it was always her intention to become a comic book artist, even if she took an unusual route to get there.
“After university, I started working in comic shops,” recalled Lotay. “And I decided to set up a festival around that time and I got to know a lot of people in the industry. Around that time, I [had] an Instagram account, a twitter account, and I picked my art name for all of those accounts. I just started posting work on that, and because I knew people in the industry already, they started seeing that I could draw... and then I got work with DC through that. It hasn’t stopped since, really. It just kind of snowballed.”
One of Lotay’s earliest projects was Supreme: Blue Rose, an Image Comic that she illustrated for writer Warren Ellis. Lotay shared her memories of that experience and her joy at working with Ellis.
“That was a dream come true,’ said Lotay. “Because [Ellis] is such an incredible writer and he was so wonderful to work with that I was lucky very quickly to head into that. That was perfect for me.”
Lotay also touched upon her experience with Scott Snyder on All-Star Batman, her upcoming comic projects, and helping to change the comic book industry by fostering an environment for new and diverse voices. For more about Lotay, watch the entire extended interview, then let us know your thoughts in the comments below!