Thought Bubble 2014: 9th-16th November!

Thought Bubble August Update! by thoughtbubblefestival

Thought Bubble August Update!

We’ve been working steadily away at getting various bits and bobs prepped for this year’s festival, which is set to be our biggest yet. Below is a summary of all the updates we’ve had recently (and a couple of new ones), so strap yourselves in while we break on through to the other siiiiiide…


We recently opened up this year’s Thought Bubble Comic Art Competition and 2000 AD Portfolio Competitions for entries, and we (and Tharg the Mighty) want to see your art and stories!

For full details of this year’s TBCAC (and the chance to have your story featured in 2015’s TB Anthology, please visit

For full details of this year’s 2000 AD Competition (and the chance to win a paying gig in the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic), please visit


We’ve recently updated our guests pages with even more wonderful creative folks who’ll be joining us in Leeds this November! We’re now up to 84 guests, and more are still to be announced, so keep your eyes peeled for even more announcements later in the year!

To see the guest list (so far) for this year’s convention, please visit


We’ve now sent out an email confirming all our exhibitors hall allocations for this year’s convention, so if you’re tabling with us and haven’t received an email notification, please (after first checking your spam/junk folder) send an email to martha[at]thoughtbubblefestival[dot]com

We’re currently in the process of prepping everyone’s exhibitor icons to go up on the website, so please send yours over as soon as possible, and if you’re sharing a table/s, please remember to send us one for each exhibitor who’ll be in attendance.


General public party passes for this year’s Saturday night mid-con shindig are now all sold out, and exhibitor passes are very close to all being sold, so a big thank you to everyone who’s bought one so far!

Passes for the convention can still be bought, and there’s no cap on sales, so we hope to see a lot of you in November to join in the fun! Tickets can be bought by visiting


This year’s Thought Bubble Anthology is published 22/10/14 from Image Comics and will be available in all good comic shops worldwide! Featuring 32 pages of new original content, and with all profits from its sale going to The Barnardo’s Charity, we hope you’ll add it to your pull-list and enjoy reading it as much as we did putting it all together!

More information on the anthology can be found at and a preview of the cover can be seen below.

antho cover


Our pals over at Leeds International Film Festival have started putting passes for their events on sale, including:

2014’s Anime Day, which features the English premiere of rarely screened cult anime classic Wings of Honneamise (1987), presented in a new high-definition print

A Q&A with master storyteller Alan Moore following a screening of his Show Pieces short films with film-maker Mitch Jenkins

That’s everything for now, but we’ll be back again soon with some more guest updates, and a whole host of exhibitor icons for you to peruse!

Visiting Thought Bubble, a brief guide by thoughtbubblefestival


We’re now at the stage in the Thought Bubble year where everyone who applied for table space at this year’s convention should have received a response. If you applied and haven’t received one, then please check your spam folder to make sure it hasn’t ended up there, and if it’s still not present, then please email, and we’ll look into things for you at our end.

As we said in our earlier announcement post about this year’s curation of the festival, everyone who applied and was unsuccessful has been added to a reserves list, so please make sure that you let us know if your contact address changes, as we’d hate anyone to miss out on the chance to come to the show.

As we’ve got a lot of new people coming to the show for the first time, we thought we’d pop together a little info bundle on the exhibiting side of the show, and what to expect, based on our experience from previous years. We’d recommend listening to this while reading, but it’s not essential.


  1. Getting to Leeds itself is relatively easy, both from within the UK and internationally, as regular rail services bring you into the heart of the city. Leeds rail station is about a 15 minute walk from the convention site, or about a 5 minute taxi ride, and there’s a taxi rank that’s constantly manned just outside the main station entrance. If you’re flying into Manchester airport then there’s a direct train every half hour that will bring you into Leeds station in around 1.5 hours. If you’re flying into one of London’s airports then you can catch a direct train from London Kings Cross to Leeds that will bring you into Leeds station in around 2.5 hours;
  2. If you’re driving into Leeds then there’s detailed instructions of how to get to the convention site here, including information on parking at the Royal Armouries’ museum, which is attached to the convention square. Please be aware that Leeds has a slightly tricky one-way system, so it’s best to allow for some extra time when setting off;
  3. If you’re getting the bus into the city, then the convention site is serviced by a number of routes, full details of which can be found here.


The official hotel partner for this year’s convention is the DoubleTree by Hilton which is located in Leeds city centre, and is about a 15 minute walk from the convention site. The hotel is a 2 minute walk from the rail station, and close to central bus routes in the city. Rooms are sure to fill up quickly, so if you’re intending to stay there during the festival, please make sure to book soon!

Leeds itself is a fairly compact city to get around, and you can walk from the top part of town (the university areas on Woodhouse Lane) down to the convention centre on Clarence Dock in around 50 minutes. If you need any supplies while you’re in town, then the shopping district can be found clustered around The Headrow and Albion street, with a large shopping mall at Trinity Leeds on Boar Lane. There are also a number of convenience stores located around the convention square, but they can tend to sell out of a lot of essential items quickly on the convention weekend.

The convention – 10 important points

  1. This year’s convention takes place on the weekend of November 15th & 16th, and set up for exhibitors runs from 7.30am on Saturday 15th, with doors opening to the public at 10am and closing at 5pm. Full details can be found on our website’s terms & conditions page;
  2. The main exhibitor information pack will be emailed out to everyone who’s tabling at the show in the autumn (usually in October), so if your contact address changes at any point, please email so we can makes sure your details are up to date;
  3. Full venue information will be updated later in the year, along with final programme confirmation and event running order for the festival, but general venue information can be found here in the meantime;
  4. We’d recommend bringing a table cloth to cover your exhibition space, a full single table measures approximately 6ft x 2.5ft (183cm x 76cm), and we ask that you keep the floors around your table clear of any products or storage items, and that access to all fire exits and extinguishers are kept clear;
  5. Thought Bubble is a family friendly convention, so please ensure that all products that are visible on your table from the general walkway areas are suitable;
  6. We’d also recommend bringing a decent amount of change with you to use as a float, as the nearby cash-points can run out during the weekend, and our supply is generally taken up with handling on-the-door ticket sales;
  7. From experience, the best help you can get with people seeing the items you have for sale is verticality, have your products arranged so they stand up on the table, and are readily viewed from the aisles, which can be as easy as stacking books and leaning one against them;
  8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, as our red-shirted volunteers will be happy to assist you in anything you need during the weekend;
  9. A simple one, but an important one, keep hydrated and remember to make time to eat as well, low blood sugar and dehydration can make even the simplest of tasks a lot more daunting, so be sure to look after yourself during the convention;
  10. The most important aspect of any convention is to have fun – Thought Bubble is an extremely friendly show, and we aim to cater to a wide spectrum of attendees, many of whom may be attending a show like this for the first time, and the general attitude we take can be found on the graphic below:




We hope all the above helps! If you have any general questions about the show in the months leading up to November, please drop us an email to

Kodama Woods – 2014’s Thought Bubble project funded by Leeds Inspired by thoughtbubblefestival

Bub's Lounge Long PicHello everyone!

We’re incredibly excited to announce one of this year’s Thought Bubble projects, kindly funded by the wonderful Leeds Inspired.

Influenced by Hayao Miyazaki’s and Studio Ghibli’s brilliant animations such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, the Kodama Woods project will see us build a large-scale light installation, using wood and paper to form of a magical woodland. Attendees will be able to create their own sprite lanterns, which will then form a canopy under which we will hold story-telling sessions during the two-day Thought Bubble convention.  Artist Tom Eglington, who made last year’s amazing lamps in Bub’s Lounge, will be helping us with the project. He’s currently hard at work making beautiful things like this for us:



Workshops will be taking place from late September 2014 – Art therapist Alison Herbert  will be helping us run the events, and we hope to see as many of you at them as possible!

Leeds Inspired is part of the city’s cultural programme that celebrates arts, sport and heritage events throughout the year. They support culture in the city through the Leeds Inspired website, as well as grants schemes and commissions.

The Leeds Inspired what’s on website brings together the city’s annual highlights alongside independent events and  DIY happenings to create an ever changing inspirational cultural calendar. We’re immensely grateful to them for giving us the opportunity to put on these events, and hope some of you will be able to join in the fun with us!

Please get in touch if you would like to be involved in any way. We would love to hear from you. Email




TBF14 Registration Announcement by thoughtbubblefestival

Hello everyone!

As the dates for this year’s Thought Bubble draw closer, we just wanted to let you all know what’s going on with this year’s festival, our plans for the convention venue, and how exhibitor registration will be working this year.

Convention  Expansion

As we’re sure you’re all aware, we were staggered by just how quickly the tables sold out last year – with all initial available exhibiting space filling in just two hours, compared to taking two months the previous year! It’s an amazing reflection of how much the comics community has grown recently in the UK, but we had no way of preparing ourselves for the speed at which the tables sold out. Obviously, this meant we had a long waiting list of exhibitors we were unable fit into the two halls down at Royal Armouries that we’d used in the past.

We never like to disappoint anyone who wants to come to the festival, and we were so grateful to Allied London for stepping up at the last minute and facilitating the use of a third hall – Allied London Hall. In order to get that site up to code before the convention, we had to do a fair amount of work to make it safe and usable, including installation of a new floor, electricity, heating, and cleaning/painting of the walls. This all cost quite a large chunk of last year’s budget and took a lot of work, and we really appreciated the patience and understanding of everyone who exhibited in there. We know the space wasn’t ideal, but we were so pleased that we were able to accommodate everyone who missed out when the tables first went on sale. However, this was only ever a temporary solution, and because of this Allied London Hall is not available to us again for this year’s convention.

So where do we go from here? For the last four months we’ve been hard at work trying to find a suitable space to hold the ever-growing festival. There’s no single venue big enough in Leeds at the current time, so there are only two options available to us – to leave Leeds and, in turn, all our amazing local partners and sponsors, or, alternatively, to build our own venue! The idea of leaving Leeds is a last resort to us, as we love this city, and everything that it’s brought to the festival. Without our partners, like Leeds City Council, Leeds and Bradford Libraries, and Leeds International Film Festival, Thought Bubble would change entirely and we just can’t have that. We love Leeds too much, so we’re going to do everything we can to stay here.

So, for 2014’s Thought Bubble, the convention will stay at Clarence Dock, and will utilise New Dock Hall and Royal Armouries Hall as with previous years, but in addition to those halls, we are going to be building a state-of-the-art hard-shell marquee in the main square as a third hall. We think that this new space will make the convention better than ever, but, as you can imagine, it is very expensive to build and install.

Table Pricing

As well as expanding the convention to serve the increased demand, it’s also of paramount importance to us that all of our exhibitors are as comfortable as possible, so the marquee needs to be very sturdy, safe and warm. Because of this, we are having to slightly increase the cost of tables this year, to help to pay for this new space.The basic costs for tables in all halls this year will be £90 for a full table for indie creators/professional artists or £55 for a half table, and £135 per table for retailers and publishers.

Thought Bubble was founded as, and always will be, a not-for-profit organisation, and as such we’ve always strived to keep our table prices as low as possible, but there’s no way we could create this extra space if the prices were the same as last year. We understand some smaller publishers and independent artists might find the extra cost prohibitive, so to keep the festival as accessible as possible we are offering more half-tables this year, and, as with previous years, we are more than happy for exhibitors to share table space.

Festival Curation

We have always prided ourselves on being as inclusive as possible, and it’s very important to us that we stay that way. With the addition of the new space we hope we can include everyone one who wants to come to the show. However. there is a possibility that we will receive more exhibitor applications than we have space in the halls. As much as we’d like to be able to include everyone who may wish to exhibit at the show, we feel that Thought Bubble has reached the stage where we are going to have to curate our show for the foreseeable future. This will involve a simple online registration form which will be going live on the website on Monday 31st March, and remain open for two weeks until 5pm on Monday 14th April. After this time, we won’t be able to accept any more applications, and we’ll contact those who applied shortly after to confirm whether we’ll be able to accommodate them this year, and take payment for the table.

Every year, we also have a number of people who book tables and are then unable to attend, and so we’ll form a reserves list of unsuccessful applicants who will be offered tables should they become available. Once the registration form goes live, we’ll be asking for your help to spread the word, so that no one misses out on applying to attend. If we are unable to fit everyone who applies to exhibit at the show in the space available, then the decision on who we can accept to the convention will be made by the organisational team as a whole, to ensure the process remains as fair as possible.

Because of this move to curation, and the nature of the festival as a forum to promote comics and those who make them, it means that where possible we need to give priority to comic books, comic book publishers and retailers, and comic book artists and writers, either independent or publisher-affiliated. If you have exhibited with us in the past and do not fit into this category, please do still fill in the online form once it goes live, as we would love you to come if we do have room in one of the halls.

Mid-Convention Party

Last year, as well as the convention, the Saturday night mid-convention party also grew beyond our expectations! This year, to make sure everyone who wants to come to the party can get in, we need to hire a bigger space and licence that venue, and for that reason there will be a small charge for tickets. We also need to be able to keep track of attendance numbers for safety purposes, and so we need to know beforehand how many people are definitely coming. The only way for us to do this is to have people buy tickets in advance, and so this year we will be unable to confer free guaranteed entry with exhibitor passes, or the first 500 pre-ordered convention tickets. We realise that this may not be ideal for some of you, but it won’t be possible to hold our party any more without raising the necessary funds to rent the venue, and pay for a licence and security.

We hope you understand the changes that we’re making this year, and that you can still come to the party as it’s one of our favourite parts of the show. Please bear in mind that numbers are always very limited for this event, and tickets are likely to sell out quickly. There may be tickets on the door, but we can’t guarantee this and we don’t want to have to turn people away at the door! Final ticket details for the party, including prices, will be released soon, as we’re still confirming venues and costs, but we’ll let you know as soon as we can, and we’ll pop another update up in advance of their going on sale.

Thank you!

Thanks so much for reading all this! We really hope you can understand the need for the changes we’ve made, and will stick with us as Thought Bubble gets bigger and better. We’ll be putting up full terms and conditions with regards to exhibiting once the form goes live on the website next week, and these will give information on table specifications, exhibitor passes, and the halls themselves (including capacities).

We’ll be sending an email out to all previous exhibitors notifying them of the information above, and posting this on our Twitter and Facebook feeds, but we’d really appreciate it if you’d help us spread the word to anyone who’s looking to attend the show this year.

Thank you again for all helping make Thought Bubble such a special event for everyone involved.

Bub’s Lounge and Bub’s Social Art Workshops by thoughtbubblefestival

Hi everyone!

We’ve just had the second in our series of four Bub’s Social art workshops at the Travelling Man Lounge, Leeds. They’re going really well, so I thought I’d tell you a little more about them.

The workshops are a continuation of the work that we started in the new Bub’s Lounge space at Thought Bubble Festival last year. Bub’s Lounge came about following a series of meetings with David Newell from Specialist Autism Services. We discussed how to make the festival a more welcoming place for people on the Autism Spectrum who may find the bustling convention halls a little overwhelming, and the idea for Bub’s Lounge was formed.

With the help of Arts Council funding, we created a small, quiet and calm space down at New Dock. We had some fantastic artwork in there – incredible paper cut-out lamps by artist Tom Eglington and an exhibition of comic art by Portland artists. We also had projections and art therapy sessions, led by Art Therapist Alison Herbert. Due to the temporary nature of the space kindly given to us by Allied London, we were able to invite people to draw on the walls.

Wall art in Bub’s Lounge – Thought Bubble 2013

Lamps by Tom Eglington

Bub’s Lounge was used by many people throughout the convention weekend. A big group of people from Specialist Autism Services came over on the Saturday afternoon, when the convention is at its absolute busiest. A couple of members did have difficulty dealing with the crowded halls, and found Bub’s Lounge to be a useful respite.

Our Arts Council funding meant that the Art Therapy sessions can continue this year. Art Therapist Alison Herbert was really excited about working with us some more, as she found the Bub’s Lounge sessions to be extremely fun and rewarding. The new Bub’s Social workshops are running on the last Thursday of each month at the Travelling Man Lounge in Leeds.

We didn’t know what to expect from the first workshop but we were delighted when lots of eager faces arrived. Everyone introduced themselves and drew a portrait/avatar to start things off. Some of the attendees were burgeoning artists who wanted to gain more confidence in their work and bounce ideas off other people, while others had very little experience but just wanted to have a chat and a draw. We’ve created an email group where everyone can talk to each other between sessions too.


The second workshop was last week. Many of the attendees from the first session came back, and there were some new faces too. This workshop focussed more on creating art collaboratively; drawings were passed round, added to and modified by different people. The group discussed what they’d like to do with the next two sessions, and it was decided that they would work together on a large-scale sequential art piece; a creative group effort on writing a story with each person drawing a frame.

We would love it if you want to come and join in the next session. It will be held on Thursday 27th March in the Travelling Man Lounge (107 Kirkgate, Leeds, LS1 6DP) from 5pm til 7pm. Here’s is the Facebook event If you want any more details, or if you’d like to discuss the workshops or Bub’s Lounge, please email me at or call me on 07585 504 763.


Thought Bubble Festival 2014: 9th – 16th November by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

We hope you’re all fine and dandy, and have had a nice start to this year, but just in case you needed something to make it even better, we’ve got a whole bunch of festival updates to brighten your day! Put on those mirrorshades, because things are about to get real.

First off, we’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who took part in, and helped spread the word about, our recent charity art auction – thanks to all your efforts, we managed to raise close to £900 for The Barnardo’s Charity, which is a grand total for an amazing cause. We’d like to say a special thank you to all the artists who donated their work, and to Peter Doherty for all his help in getting the artwork together. You guys are all the best.

Now, we’ve just given the Thought Bubble website its annual makeover, and updated it with all the first wave information for this year’s festival, which is super exciting! We think this year’s festival is on track to be our best yet, and we’re hard at work making sure that everything comes together just right to make it so – we’ll have updates in the coming weeks on pre-ordering tickets for events and the registration process for exhibitors wishing to attend this year’s convention, so keep an eye out for those, but right now, we’ve got a summary of the information released on Thought Bubble 2014 so far below. Read on, Macduff!

Festival Dates 2014

This year’s Thought Bubble Festival, taking place in association with the 28th Leeds International Film Festival, will run from 9th – 16th November 2014 at venues across Leeds and beyond, with a centre-piece convention running on 15th & 16th November.

2014′s festival will include free art and writing based workshops for young people and adults, talks and masterclasses lead by industry professionals, and a programme of sequential art related film screenings.

Our special two day convention promises an incredible line up of leading artists and writers, and over 400 tables showcasing the best sequential art has to offer. The weekend will also feature portfolio viewings and competitions, as well as a huge cosplay parade.

Thought Bubble aims to be as open as possible to families, and individuals who may not be familiar to the medium, so come along and join in the fun in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere!

Featured Guests at Thought Bubble 2014

Thought Bubble prides itself on bringing a varied selection of guests through its doors each year, and 2014 is no exception! This year we are hoping to bring even more creators to Leeds, and as part of the first wave of festival guest announcements (with many more still to come in the run-up to November’s events), we are pleased to announce that we will be welcoming to our festival:

Natasha Allegri (creator of Bee & Puppycat, and writer/illustrator of the Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake comics);

Andy Belanger (creator of Black Church, and artist on IDW’s hit series Kill Shakespeare);

Emily Carroll (award-winning webcomic creator, whose work has featured in Vertigo’s The Witching Hour and Dark Horse’s Creepy);

Becky Cloonan (artist on Dark Horse’s The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, and recently self-published Demeter);

Danielle Corsetto (creator of webcomic Girls With Slingshots, and the Adventure Time graphic novels Playing With Fire and Pixel Princesses);

Adam Hughes (award-winning cover artist for titles such as DC’s Wonder Woman, Fairest, Catwoman, and Power Girl);

Jeff Lemire (creator of acclaimed series Essex County, The Underwater Welder, Sweet Tooth, and Trillium);

Matteo Scalera (artist on Image’s Dead Body Road and Black Science, and Marvel’s Secret Avengers and The Incredible Hulk);

Scott Snyder (creator of Vertigo’s American Vampire and The Wake, and writer on DC’s Batman and Superman Unchained);

Allison Sohn (artist on trading and sketch cards for Star Wars, LotR, Indiana Jones, and Women of Marvel, cover artist for Dynamite Comic’s Red Sonja);

Jillian Tamaki (creator of webcomic Supermutant Magic Academy, graphic novels Gilded Lilies, Indoor Voice, and co-creator of Skim and This One Summer);

We’ll have many more guests to announce in the coming months, so keep an eye on the website as the festival draws ever closer!

2014 Festival Image

This year’s festival image has been created by the amazing Annie Wu, whose work on Hawkeye is a firm favourite here in the Thought Bubble offices, and we really love the 1920’s vibe she’s brought to the illustration – showing that even ghoulish spectres reading over your shoulder can’t diminish the joy to be found in a good comic!

twitter icon

(please click image to enlarge)


That’s all the updates we have for now – we’ll be bringing you information thick and fast over the coming weeks, so be sure to keep an eye on the blog for fresh posts, or you can follow us on Twitter (@thoughtbubbleuk) or like our page on Facebook (search “thought bubble festival”).


Thought Bubble Charity Art Auction 2014 by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

We hope you’re having a nice start to 2014, which, if the events portrayed in Pacific Rim hold true, should see our first ever kaiju emerge from the sea and begin stomping around. That’ll be fun. In the meantime, we’re running our annual charity art auction again, selling off some amazing pieces of original comic art, produced at last year’s Thought Bubble convention, with all proceeds going to The Barnardo’s Charity!

Last year, at Thought Bubble 2013′s convention, we ran our regular sketching spotlight event, where 8 wonderful artists came up on stage and had a chat with Peter Doherty about their craft while drawing live for our awesome audience. Because comic artists are a uniformly shining example of human bean, they all agreed to let us auction off the sketches they produced, and donate all the proceeds to The Barnardo’s Charity. We’d like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all those wonderful ladies and gents for this kindness, and (with your help) we hope to be able to raise a lot of money for a great cause.

You can see a preview of all the pieces below (click to embiggen), with full details of the sketches underneath, as well as a link to the individual items’ listing pages. The auction will take place on eBay and will run for 10 days from 10am Monday 27th January until 10am on Thursday 6th February, with bidding open to people worldwide. We’d really appreciate it if as many as you could spread the word as possible, so we can raise a whole bunch of money, and find some new homes for some wonderful artwork!

Individual pieces up for auction include:

(all artwork A4 in size, full information available on individual item listing pages, live from 10am – Monday 27th January 2014 via worldwide shipping available)

by Annie Wu, pencil and ink on paper, November 2013

(please click here to visit this item’s listing page to bid)


by Declan Shalvey, pencil and ink on paper, November 2013

(please click here to visit this item’s listing page to bid)


by Fábio Moon, pencil and watercolours on paper, November 2013

(please click here to visit this item’s listing page to bid)


by Fiona Staples, pencil and ink on paper, November 2013

(please click here to visit this item’s listing page to bid)


by Gabriel Bá, pencil and ink on paper, November 2013

(please click here to visit this item’s listing page to bid)


by Joe Quinones, pencil and ink on paper, November 2013

(please click here to visit this item’s listing page to bid)


by Meredith Gran, pencil and ink on paper, November 2013

(please click here to visit this item’s listing page to bid)


by Ming Doyle, pencil and watercolours on paper, November 2013

(please click here to visit this item’s listing page to bid)


There’s some amazing art up for grabs, so be sure to check back here on Monday when we’ll update all the above with direct links to each auction, and you can put in your bid!

Special thanks to Peter Doherty for all his help, and Jip and all our technical volunteers for making this possible.

We’ll be back soon with the first round of 2014 festival updates, but for live up-to-the-minute news, follow us on twitter (@thoughtbubbleuk), or like us on Facebook.


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