The terrifying Hull Kraken has been captured in a new 24-page comic book. Giant sea creature tentacles have appeared on a series of city centre landmarks in the last few days in the first major public event of the Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City project. They have already attracted huge crowds and a free Kraken-inspired trail for families to follow around the area is launching on Friday, running for the next three weeks. To sign up for the Hull Live newsletter, click here. As well featuring locations of the mythical monsters including the Maritime Museum and the Spurn Lightship, people taking part in the trail can take home the limited edition comic book created by Hull artist Gareth Sleightholme. He said: “When Malcom Dunn, the audience and engagement manager of the Hull Maritime project, contacted me to create the comic book I bought into the overall project idea immediately. “Indie comics are a big part of how I earn a living, and mine invariably contain mythic sea creatures, or creatures and monsters inspired by them, quite often with tentacles.
The cover of Hull artist Gareth Sleightholme’s new Kraken-inspired comic book
“I also knew almost immediately that I wanted to go a little further than just providing a straight narrative piece. “Instead I wanted to make something that not only referenced the project and how it might unfold but also the larger collection of fictional stories of the sea we experience here in Hull, and how these fictional tales tie into local historical interest and factual stories.”
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His inspirations for the comic book adventure ranged from the novel Moby Dick and its links to the beached whale at Burton Constable Hall, the opening chapter of Robinson Crusoe which is set in Hull, the mythological figures found on figureheads at the Maritime Museum, ship and pub names, local sculptures and even the stonework of the museum itself. “They are all rooted in fiction yet often remain in very real physical objects that surround us,” he said.
An extract from the new comic book created by Gareth Sleightholme
“Added to that, I wanted to make visual references to some of the artefacts and exhibits found in Hull’s museums, as well as the occasional drop of a local name or two – both famous and perhaps not so famous. “It’s great getting involved in local projects like this. “Recently I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to provide maritime illustrations for the Maritime Project’s Maritime Tale video project, as well as creating poster art for the Dean Wilson retrospective project for the Freedom Festival.”
A limited edition run of 5,000 copies of the comic book are being printed, making it an instant collector’s item. The Kraken trail will take families around each site where the Kraken tentacles have appeared. As well as the tentacles themselves, a nest of giant Kraken eggs is due to appear on Monument Bridge on Thursday afternoon.
The Kraken at the Spurn Lightship on Hull Marina
Along the route there will also be some surprises with maritime characters and living statues making an appearance along with pop-up theatre performances and live music. In addition, a programme of maritime-themed events will also take place in the Museums Quarter in High Street in the Old Town on August 7, 12 and 14. Running between 11am and 3pm each day, they will feature craft activities for children, show-and-tell sessions featuring maritime objects from the city’s museum collection and information about the progress being made on the wider project, which includes a major facelift for the Maritime Museum and the creation of a new home for the Arctic Corsair at the former North End shipyard on the River Hull. City council leader Daren Hale said: “Following a challenging year, we all need to smile again and what better way to do it than to celebrate our maritime heritage with a fantastical imagining of what might be in the deeps of the oceans that generations of Hull mariners sailed on.”