Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Art by Guests, Film and Sequential Art, Minterviews, News, Thought Bubble 2013 | Tags: Comics, Emma Rios, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, UK Conventions
I hope you’re all eggcited for Easter, or an equivalent egg-based non-denominational holiday of your choosing! EGGS! Here at Tho Bubs Central, we’re continuing with our plans, plots, and schemes for this year’s festival, and because of that we have some fresh as the dickens updates for you!
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only, and because of this we’ve updated…
The Thought Bubble 2013 guests pages! Including… Geof Darrow, Kelly Sue Deconnick, Matt Fraction, and David Aja!
The Thought Bubble 2013 New Dock Hall exhibitor pages!
The Thought Bubble 2013 Royal Armouries Hall exhibitor pages!
It’s gearing up to be our bestest festival ever, so keep your eyes out for more and more goodness coming at you, thicker and faster as the festival dates near, exponentially increasing in amazingness until it all collapses into a singularity of super cool awesome times.
If you’re exhibiting with us and are yet to send over an icon then please do, you can see all the details of what’s needed on this page, and if you missed out on a table, then you can sign up to our reserves list here.
Now. You may have heard that each year we like to have a chat with some of the wonderful creators that we get to meet through the festival, and pop the transcripts up online. We ask the same 5 starting questions to everyone, and then figure out 5 more questions from their answers to those to form a mini-interview, a MINTERVIEW! They’re also called MINTerviews because that’s our favourite flavour ice-cream, and we always eat it when Minterviewing people. Mint ice cream is good for you because it is green. THIS IS SCIENCE.
This week we had a talk with Emma Rios, amazing artist on Dr Strange, Prophet, Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel, and more besides. Her art is lovely, as can be seen on her blog, flickr, and tumblr. You can see what we talked about below, so get readin’, pilgrim!
TB: Hi Emma! First off, how did you get started in comics? Did you get a big break, or was it more gradual?
ER: I learned how to read by reading comics, so creating them felt quite natural. I started drawing comics quite young, when I was 13 or 14 years old, and I’ve been involved in comics during all that time, but actually never thought I was going to become a professional.
TB: So, which comics did you start off reading as you were growing up?
ER: Asterix and Obelix, Donald Duck, some old Spanish stuff I inherited like Jabato, anime adaptations like Mazinger and Gatchaman and Superheroer. I didn’t read any manga stuff until starting High School.
TB: And what’s your proudest moment been, in comics or otherwise, to date?
ER: Probably when I took my first self-published work to a professional printers when I was 21. I’d already done several photocopied ‘zines at that moment, but this felt different.
TB: Do you still produce any self-published stories, or does your work on titles for publishers like Marvel and Image mean you no longer have time to do that?
ER: Not really, just short collaborations. I definitively have to find time for that.
TB: Do you enjoy attending conventions and other events like Thought Bubble?
ER: I have a lot of fun, but they always make me feel a bit nervous. I’m not very fond of huge cons but I do like small ones, a lot.
TB: You sketched live on stage for our audience at 2012′s Thought Bubble convention, how was that as an experience?
ER: Less traumatic than I thought it would be, actually. I always freak out regarding these things because of not being an English speaking person, but it went great. I had a lot of fun, thanks to Peter Doherty and all the guys there.
TB: Which comics are you enjoying at the moment, any all-time favourites?
ER: More than anything I’m quite obssessed with anything that comes from Taiyou Matsumoto. I do like Brandon Graham’s stuff, Frederik Peeters, Angie Wang, Hwei Lin Lim, Guy Davis, Frank Quitely, Burns, Pope, Samura…
I’m enjoying Hawkeye, Daredevil, BPRD, Prophet, what Josh Tierney and the gang are doing in Spera, and Brandon´s Multiple Warheads quite a lot… I’ve also had a blast reading the Spanish edition of Prison Pit last week, the Shigeru Mizuki bio… My reading is pretty chaotic, but I enjoy that.
I´m reading Fantagraphics’ Heart of Thomas right now. And some all-time favourites are Wolfman and Colan’s Drácula, Batman: Year One and DD: Born Again by Mazzuchelli and Miller, Ditko´s Doctor Strange, Nocenti´s run on Daredevil, Otomo´s Akira, Lone Wolf and Cub, Sienkievicz and Claremont´s New mutants, Tezuka, specially Ode to Kirihito and Ayako, Moto Hagio, Shigeru Mizuki…
It´s completely impossible to do a full list, honestly.
TB: So, do you think that your varied reading habits have influenced your artistic style? Are there any creators in particular that you see as having had a strong influence on your own work?
ER: Yup, definitively. I think I have quite a lot of different influences because of that.
Bernet, Colan, Samura, Ikeda, Pope, Miller, probably Crepax, some Bilal… The first Ghost In The Shell movie had a huge impact on me, and also Yoji Shinkawa, the guy who does the concept art on the Metal Gear games.
TB: Have you got any big work plans for this year? How’s Pretty Deadly coming along?
ER: I have quite a long schedule planned so far, which is a bit frightening but great. These are exciting times for me, I couldn’t be more grateful. The only thing I can talk about though is Pretty Deadly.
I’m having a blast working on this book. Kelly Sue and me are pretty close, we are a dream team, honestly, having so much trust in each other’s work. Everything feels smooth, the collaboration is organic and perfect. About what I’m doing there – one of the reasons I decided to move to creator owned stuff was because I needed to stop a bit, and think about how to improve the quality of my drawing. I really want to do something a bit different here and moving a step forward.
The western atmosphere, being so suggestive, helps a lot. Everything seems to flow on the page. I know this feeling is not going to last long -I’m always so insecure and a maniac perfectionist – but I’m kind of OK with how my work is looking so far.
TB: Finally, as always, thought bubbles or caption boxes?
ER: I do like both, but the way you use them is a bit different, I think. I normally try to express the character´s thoughts through their acting, before writing their thoughts – I can´t help it.
A huge thank you going out to Emma for taking the time to talk to us, Pretty Deadly is looking like it’s gonna be a whole heap of awesome, so keep an eye out for that dropping at your local comic emporium – and we’ll have the creative team behind it at this year’s festival, so come along and say howdy!
More Minterviews and updates coming sooooooon!
Filed under: Film and Sequential Art, Previous Thought Bubble Festivals, Programme 2012, Thought Bubble 2012, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Better Things, Documentaries, Films About comics, Indiegogo, Jeffrey Catherine Jones
Plans are continuing apace for this year’s Thought Bubble, and we’ll have a full update coming soon with regards to all manner of shenanigans we’ve got in the pipeline. For now, we’ve got a quick little post about a fundraising appeal (with some excellent rewards up for grabs) for a lovely documentary that we had the immense pleasure of screening during last year’s Thought Bubble festival.
Here’s what our fearless leader, Thought Bubble festival director, Lisa Wood had to say about the film:
Better Things is an extremely insightful look into both the life and work of Jeffrey Catherine Jones – one of the foremost fantasy artists of her generation, and sure to be a source of immense inspiration for generations to come.
Jones was one of the few artists to pave the way for a more painted abstract feel to comic books in the 70′s and 80′s, and as such her work deserves much wider recognition, and this film serves as a testament to that need. Her artwork would have been just at home in a classical art gallery as a comic book, with Frazetta describing her as “the world’s greatest living painter”, and seeing the pieces, and their sometimes turbulent inception, brought to life on screen is a delight.
The documentary also offers an invaluable look in to the lives and working environment of other similar artists and contemporaries of Jones who were working around that time such as Vaughn Bode, and the group known as ‘The Studio’, which included greats such as Michael Kaluta, Bernie Wrigtson, and Barry Winsor-Smith, all of whom would in some way drive and inspire the advances in comic art for years to come.
One of the best documentaries I have seen, on a much loved artist who will be sorely missed.
The Indiegogo fundraising campaign for the film’s wider release is currently running, and full details can be found here. There’s some amazingly candid interviews with creators that were working in comics at the time, and have been influenced by her work since, and some great rewards (including an excellent art book with an amazing line-up of contributors), so well worth checking out.
We’d like to be able to show more films like this at Thought Bubble, and part of that is making sure the ones that do get made find their audience.
We’ll be back soon with the first round of updates for this year’s festival. EXCITE!
Filed under: Film and Sequential Art, Programme 2012, Thought Bubble 2012, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: 1000 Words, Comics, film, music, Sequential Art, Talks, television, video games, writing
Over the last couple of weeks, the extremely lovely Matt Sheret has been popping up videos from the ’1000 Words’ strand of talks that he curated (along with web-presence-phobic Thought Bubbler Mikey B) at this year’s Thought Bubble convention. After the jump there’s a summary of the event, and links to all the talks collected in one handy block, but first – a few thank you’s…
If any of you went to last year’s We Are Words + Pictures strand of talks on independent comic creation at Thought Bubble’s convention, then that was organised by Matt too, and this was coming off the back of his working as Thought Bubble 2011′s Writer in Residence, so to say that we owe Matt a debt of gratitude is a bit of an understatement. We’d highly recommend checking out his Paper Science anthology, and, if we can convince him and Mikey to put on 2000 Words: A Space Odyssey next year, then we’re sure we’ll be thanking him again in December 2013. Cheers Matt, you’re a Good Egg.
Another big thank you has to go to Anne Hollowday, whose films on Thought Bubble and the British Comic Awards had already put us eternally into the red on the karmic balance sheet, but her filming of the 1000 Words talks has cemented the Wookiee life-debt we now owe. Thanks Anne, may your lenses ever be clear.
Massive thank you’s as well to all the speakers, including Kate Brown, Andy Belanger, Kristyna Baczynski and Laura Snapes for delivering some excellent talks on the day, all those whose presentations are presented below, and our lovely technical crew. And a big final thank you to all those who came along and made up the audience, we hope you’ll be back for more next year!
That’s enough preamble, on with the shows!
1000 Words was a series of short talks about comics & culture by those who make them curated by Matt Sheret and Mike Bennet, full information on the talks can be found by clicking here.
1000 Words 2012 video presentations:
Emma Vieceli - 50 Shades of Niche
a talk about the distinction between mainstream and niche, and about one very popular novel…
Anne Hollowday - Don’t Over Manage the Scene
a few lessons from the world of documentary filmmaking and tells us how it links to comics writing with the Marvel Method…
Si Spurrier - Day of the Dingle
some delicious brainfarts on the topic of Collaborating With Creative Humans, as filtered through a true story from Spurrier’s brief and traumatic career in TV.
Antony Johnston - And His Massive Ego
setting us straight about the terrific and powerful ego of artists and writers everywhere… or does he?
Hannah Donovan - Digital Craft
a talk about music, personal expression, and the pixels we pin to our bedroom walls.
Kieron Gillen - Decimation [2012's Keynote Talk]
As a writer, Kieron’s been dancing with comics for a decade now. He’s trying to decide if he’s learned anything. If he has, he’ll tell you about it. If not, this video will be extremely quiet…
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Film and Sequential Art, Small Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble, Thought Bubble 2011, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Comics, Kayla Hillier, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds comic workshops, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, UK Conventions, Webcomics
Hello! We’re back!
Back after an exhaustingly good time at the MCM Expo down in the big ol’ city known as Londinium. While there we announced some new guests for TBF11, and generally had a jolly old time with Team Comics, as well as handing out some lovely new Thought Bubble flyers along the way. But we are now ensconced in the lofty spires of Thought Bubble Towers once again, and we have work to do, so let’s get this party/blog post started!
First up – tickets for this year’s convention are now up on sale, first 500 weekend passes sold confer guaranteed entry to our party on the Saturday night, and full details as to pricing and purchase options can be found on the website! We’ve changed things up a bit with the festival and convention expansion, so be sure to read all the details – makes life a lot easier for everyone.
Next up, news of a competition for all of you out there with their sights set on being the next big thing in comics. The publisher Myriad Editions has launched a competition for aspiring graphic novelists and are looking for a first-time GN in progress, with the winner working with the publisher to complete the title. The writer who comes first in the competition also stands a chance of being offered a contract and seeing their title published.
On the judging panel will be author Ian Rankin, Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, author and cartoonist Ed Hillyer, graphic novelists Hannah Berry and Bryan Talbot, and Myriad Editions creative director Corinne Pearlman.
Full details on the Myriad Editions website.
News has also reached us of a new arts event in Leeds taking place this month! The north’s first applied arts fair, LOOP Arts Fair, will take place June 17th-19th at Marshalls Mill, Leeds.
Keynote speaker on the Friday is James Jarvis “Born in London in 1970 and raised on a diet of Richard Scarry, Hergé, Judge Dredd and Albert Camus, Jarvis studied Illustration at the University of Brighton and the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1995. Since then he has gone on to establish himself as a graphic artist of international repute.In 1998 Jarvis designed the iconic toy figure ‘Martin’, unwittingly helping start the ‘designer’ toy phenomenon.” And they’ve also got open studios, talks, live art, workshops, printshops from TOY, Analogue Books, Drew Millward, Lizzie Stewart, Best Joined Up, Kibbo Kift and more! Tickets are on sale through their website.
Finally, we’re welcoming a new Friend of Thought Bubble into the fold! This week’s super friend is the awesome Kayla Hillier, a Canadian comic creator now living here in Blighty. There’s a selection of her work below (click the images to embiggen), and a description of the lady herself in her own words under that. Give them a gander, eh!
Kayla Marie Hillier has been livin’ large for a little more than a quarter of a century. She hails from a small town – nay, village – of 600 people called Stoney Point or Pointe-aux-Roches which is found in the most southern part of the Canadian province of Ontario.
She spent 18 years of her life there where she became BFFs with the internet although she was limited by her dial up connection. Shhhhh shhhhhh beep bop boo beep shhhhhhh-
She left the nest to pursue “higher education” in the Niagara region at Brock University where she achieved a degree in both Philosophy and Film and managed to write well over 100 articles for the Canadian University Press. She left Toronto about a year ago to return to Manchester, England – as the country managed to woo her with an impressive display of overcast skies.
She digs comics, so she makes some of her own. Her work includes the now completed webcomic GALAVANT which documents her travels throughout the UK over a period of 3 months – she’s also involved in Julia Scheele’s 69 Love Songs, Illustrated project.
Kayla’s one of my favourite people in comics, and I’d really recommend checking her stuff out, or come along to Thought Bubble 2011 and say hi to her in person!
That’s all for now, back soon with more TBF11 news and other shenanigans.
Filed under: Art by Guests, Film and Sequential Art, Thought Bubble 2011, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art
Hello! It’s only 181 days (or a year if you live on the planet Chimera) until the start of this year’s Thought Bubble, and we have some details of exciting new comic goodness for all of y’all in the meantime!
First up, we’re extremely happy to be able to bring you the first details of our first ever Thought Bubble Anthology! We’ve been working away on this for quite a while now, getting it all shiny and ready for the public’s discerning gaze, and we’re super pleased with how it’s turned out. We’re still finalising everything ahead of printing, but we can tell you that it will be distributed globally this summer by Diamond Publishing, is made possible by a generous grant from the Arts Council UK, and all proceeds from its sales will be going to Barnardos.
The anthology will showcase a wide variety of creators and styles, as well as giving you another chance to see the six winning entries from last year’s inaugural Northern Sequential Arts Competition! We’ve got a sneak peak at the cover below, featuring our wonderful festival image for this year from Becky Cloonan, and we’ll have full details on how to get hold of a copy very soon…
Next up, it’s Friends of Thought Bubble alumnus Howard Hardiman’s The Lengths, issue 1 of which hits comic shops on Wednesday 18th May, with new issues released every two months.
Drawn from extensive interviews with real sex-workers in the city, The Lengths is a quirky, uncompromising but ultimately sympathetic take on the oldest profession in the world. You thought being a male escort is a dog’s life? Think again.
The Lengths is available from all good UK comics shops, including:
…and online at: http://cutebutsad.bigcartel.com
We’ve also got news of Dick Turpin and the Crimson Plague, a new graphic novel from our friends over at Time Bomb Comics that will be launching at this year’s convention. The book is a follow up to their 2008 highwaymen vs zombies one-shot Dick Turpin and the Restless Dead, and is set one year on from the first book, with Dick Turpin up against a nest of vampire prostitutes in 18th century London. Written by Steve Tanner it features art from Graeme Howard and is lettered by Nikki Foxrobot. You can get a glimpse at the artwork below, but vampire prostitutes – what’s not to love?
Finally, we’re very pleased to see that the Comics Forum website is now up and running. We’ve worked with them for the past few years, bringing fascinating academic talks on the theory and practices behind sequential arts to Leeds as part of the Thought Bubble festival, and 2011 is no exception. This year will see three days of talks, on a variety of themes, and the call for submissions is now open. Come along and see the serious side of funny books!
Exciting, I’m sure you’ll agree! Back on Friday with a new Friend of Thought Bubble.
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Film and Sequential Art, News, Thought Bubble 2011 | Tags: Animation, Anime, Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds International Film Festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, UK Conventions
Hello Thought Bubblers!
Apologies for the unintentional blog hiatus, we’ve been working away at prepping for this year’s festival and have a whole heap of exciting things to reveal to you, just not today. But soon. Prooooomise.
There are things that we can reveal now, however, so let’s start the ball rolling with the facelift that the blog’s had.
We were super psyched when the amazing Becky Cloonan agreed to produce this year’s official festival image, and when we received the finished piece it literally blew our minds. Took us hours to get the walls of Thought Bubble towers cleared of all the grey matter, that’s how awesome it is. Becky’s great take on Snow White, we’re sure you’ll agree, is a perfect fit for the festival, and just goes to show that comics can even bring together homicidal step-mothers and their intended victims. There is literally nothing they cannot do. There’s a great step-by-step process of how the image was created up on Becky’s website, and if you glance down you can see the individual elements presented here for your viewing pleasure!
Next bit of housekeeping – Tables are available to book for this year’s expanded, two-day, two-hall convention! Early bird prices are in effect until August 1st, so take advantage and get in on the action. Full details on how to register are up on the website, if you have any queries please drop us a line via exhibitbubble[at]gmail[dot]com and we’ll get back to you sharpish!
Speaking of the website, we’re currently in the process of giving the old girl a complete overhaul, as a result of which there may be some slight downtime later in the week. This shouldn’t last for too long, and once the website’s back up it’ll be all new and shiny and ready to accommodate all your myriad browsing needs! While the website is down you will still be able to contact us via e-mail, twitter, and Facebook, and we’ll still be able to process table bookings, rest assured.
In other, non-Thought Bubble news, this week sees the start of the 12th annual Leeds Young Peoples Film Festival, and this year’s programme looks like their best yet!
Tickets are now on sale for Film Festival, an event organised by Leeds City Council and MediaFish, a group of award-winning young film enthusiasts. The annual event taking place from Monday 28th March to Friday 8th April boasts a special preview 3D screening of Rio, from the makers of ‘Ice Age’.
The We Love Anime roadshow takes place on Saturday 2nd April and comes to Leeds’ Hyde Park Picture House with a fantastic showcase of Anime films, old and new including Summer Wars, and fan-favourite Redline. The rest of the day is made up of the 1986 Miyazaki classic Laputa Castle in the Sky and the new Trigun Badlands Rumble based on the cult 90’s series. Tickets for the films start at £2.50 and passes for the whole day start at just £8.00, the first 60 people who buy full day passes will also receive a free goody bag worth over £30 that includes DVD’s, shirt’s, book’s and more.
As well as the films there will also be a manga wall where budding young artists can show off their talents, the best drawings will be awarded prizes throughout the day. There will also be a Cosplay competition for the best costume judged by Travelling Man and Thought Bubble.
It’ll be a great day, so come along and join in the fun!
And that’s it for now, next month we’ll have the new website up and running, fresh festival guests to announce, the convention programme to reveal, and some new Small Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble to welcome into the fold! Almost too much to handle. Almost.
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Art by Guests, Film and Sequential Art, Minterviews, News, Small Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble, Thought Bubble 2010 | Tags: Adi Granov, Comics, Joe List, Kristyna Baczynski, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds comic workshops, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, Small Press, UK Conventions
Borag thung bubblets! It’s now only 9 DAYS until the start of this year’s festival, and we’re so excited we can’t think of any analogies to properly convey that anticipation to you, dear reader. In lieu of an apology please find attached to this – our final blog post before the Thought Bubble 2010 begins – a brand new minterview, and a whole host of news about events later this month. But don’t just take my word for it, enlightenment is mere sentences away…
For our final minterview of 2010 we talked to esteemed fellow Mr Joe List – Guardian Weekender defacer extraordinaire, and creator of the magnificent Freak Leap – who is a true Friend of Thought Bubble. For a transcript of our conversation, simply read on, and I can personally confirm that everything he say in there is 100% true.
To start off, do you think you could give us an idea of how you first got into sequential art?
I’ve always enjoyed doodling; more recently I’ve tried to force them into various shapes, like boxes or hexagons, It’s a tricky procedure, but I’m getting there.
What led you to transfer the doodling onto the Guardian’s Weekend section?
Long train journeys and cheap pens!
Would you ever consider producing a long-form narrative comic, or do you prefer more condensed, self-contained story telling?
One day I’d love to write a three part novel. I’d call it “THE HOUNDS OF INFERNO” and would be full of maps and diagrams, as well as big words, like Octopuscloth and fungreatfulness
Are you a fan of comics in general? Any favourites you’d recommend reading?
I am a comics fan, but I don’t read as many as I should, I highly recommend the following comics creators;
There are many more that I adore; I would probably give you a different list in half an hour.
So, do you consider any comic creators to have a direct influence on your own work?
I do, although I’d say a lot of illustrators and animators had an equal influence. I recently did an inspiration map, which may better explain this. [see below – Clark]
You’re appearing at this year’s Thought Bubble, what will you be bringing to the convention?
I will be bringing Freak Leap again, and also my sketch book comic Guts, as well as a promotional book for my new web comic (also called Freak Leap). I will be bringing badges too, and some new stickers that you can have for free! I will also be framing some of my favourite drawings from the annotated weekender for the kind people of Leeds.
Do you enjoy attending events like Thought Bubble?
YES, they are a lot of fun, shaking hands, buying and selling comic, seeing people’s confused faces when they quickly study a strange drawing you can’t remember including in a book. IT’S ALL WORTH IT.
Do you find your comics get a good reception from the general public? Do you think the UK is a good environment for nurturing local indie talent?
Well, I have never expected to be a big name, like Sir Roger Sunderfields or Derek P Saunders, but people seem to like my comics, as long as they aren’t lying to me.
And yes, I do believe comic shops are wising up to the inexhaustible power of the small press. A few large operators will now stock interesting books by the comic book wonder children of the UK. I saw a copy of Steven Gravy’s Acorn Diary next to a copy of Disney’s Invisible Space Aladdin the other day!
Well the UK small press community does seem to be packed with good folk, have you noticed any changes to the scene since becoming a part of it?
Good question, I got my UK small press license and ceramic Biro holder about a year and a half ago, and in that time, so much has changed. We’ve come up with a new secret handshake, had a number 1 hit single (with the instant classic, ‘Ink and Vimto’) and built England’s widest tree-house.
Finally – as ever – Thought bubbles or caption boxes?
Thought Bubbles my friend! Forever and all ways, Joe List
Many thanks to Joe for taking the time to talk to us, you can also see his illustrations in the Answer Me This book, available at all good bookshops, and quite a few disreputable ones too I’d wager!
…And now for some Thought Bubble news! As you may have noticed from the opening paragraph of this post 2010′s festival is pretty close, so here’s some last minute highlighting of awesome stuff(tm)!
To start we’re super pleased that Kristyna Baczynski (another Friend of Thought Bubble) is putting on her debut solo show as part of this year’s Thought Bubble! We here at TB towers love Kristyna’s work, and we think you will too, so pop on down to the Hyde Park Picture House from November 14th to get a glorious eyeful!
Next up, our friends at Momiji are inviting you all to bring your designs for their dolls to our convention! They’ll be running a workshop at their tables all day, and for £5.50 you can paint your own dolls and submit designs to be taken back to Momiji HQ and the creative team, with the potential that it’ll be put into production. As well as this 50% of the money will be going to the humanitarian charity Medicins Sans Frontiers. Super fun times and a worthy cause! It literally doesn’t get any better than that, y’all. Just drop by the Momiji table at Saviles Hall on Saturday 20th to find out more.
Finally, a quick mention of our programme of FREE workshops and masterclasses as part of this year’s Thought Bubble Festival! We still have places left on a few of them, but they’re filling up quickly so move fast to avoid disappointment! Details as follows…
ComixBox with Laydeez Do Comics! 13:30 – 15:00 Leeds Art Gallery Hepworth Room
Laydeez do Comics is a comics forum, open to all, focusing on autobiography & domestic drama, set up by artist Sarah Lightman & illustrator Nicola Streeten. This is a fascinating opportunity to hear from an array of comics artists & academics, who each get just 10 minutes to share their work and research. The international line-up includes: comic artists Maureen Burdock, Francesca Casavetti, Monica Hee Eun Jensen, Rikke Hollaender, Karen Hansen, Ina Kjoelby Korneliussen, Edward Ross & academic Rikke Platz Cortsen. Please note places are limited, to sign-up email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Create Fun Eco Mini-Comics! 13:30 – 16:00 Leeds Art Gallery Tiled Hall
Ages 12 to 18. FREE
HI-EX’s Vicky Stonebridge will show you how to make your own handmade small story books using a variety of waste products, old magazines, scrap paper & packaging! Quick, easy, & fun to do. Please note: this is a drop-in workshop but places are limited, to sign-up email: email@example.com
Storyboarding & Portfolio Workshop 13:10 – 15:00 Leeds Library Exhibition Space
Ages 14-19 years FREE
Join concept & storyboard artist Steve Beaumont to find out how to create storyboards for film, video games or tv advertising. Plus bring your portfolio with you to recieve a portfolio critique. Please note: places are limited, book early to avoid disappointment, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Diarise Your Thoughts Workshop 14:50 – 15:50 Leeds Library Your Space
Ages 14-19 years FREE
Want to make a comic of your favourite gig, day out, or experience? Adam Cadwell can show you how! Well know for his Glastonbury postcard strips & his work with the Manchester Comics Collective, Adam will take you through the steps of making your own comic & recording experiences in comic form. Please note: places are limited, book early to avoid disappointment, email: email@example.com
Tony Harris Art Workshop 15:00 – 16:00 Leeds Art Gallery Henry Moore Room
Eisner award winning artist Tony Harris (Ex Machina, Starman) is one of the most critically acclaimed & respected artists working in the business today. This special insider look at his creative process will give an insight into how those award-winning comic book panels came to be & is a must-see for any fan of sequential art. Please note: places are limited, book early to avoid disappointment, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grandville Mon Amour talk 15:30 – 16:30 Leeds Art Gallery Hepworth Room
Comics Legend Bryan Talbot discusses his graphic novels Grandville and Grandville Mon Amour, and the venerable & ongoing tradition of anthropomorphic characters in illustration & comics from which they have grown. Please note: places are limited, book early to avoid disappointment, email: email@example.com
Andy Diggle’s Breaking & Entering For Comics Writers 15:45 – 16:45 Leeds Library Exhibition Space
Following the sell-out success of last year’s writing workshop, the former 2000AD editor & writer of such comics as The Losers, Hellblazer, and Daredevil will be here to pass on some tips & tricks that help separate the wannabes from the gonnabes. Topics include the value of your own initiative & the “DIY aesthetic”, as well as concept, structure, theme, pacing, conflict, exposition, how to pitch to editors… and how ‘not’ to! This class will conclude with a Q&A, so come armed with questions. Please note: places are limited, book early to avoid disappointment, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, the amazing Adi Granov is raffling off his ridiculously awesome double spread cover from Incredible Hercules #138 in order to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care! Tickets, and further details, can be found on the website. You can also buy tickets from his table at this year’s thought bubble convention, and the winner will be announced at the end of the day (Saturday 20th November). Don’t miss out on a chance to own some superb comic book art, and help yet another exceptionally worthy cause in the process!
That’s it for now, and probably until after this year’s festival. We’re super busy getting all the last little details squared away, and we’re thinking this could be our best Thought Bubble yet. Thanks for reading during the build-up and I hope we’ll see a lot of you at our various events from the 18th – 21st November!
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Art by Guests, Film and Sequential Art, Minterviews, Small Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble, Thought Bubble 2010, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Comics, Howard Hardiman, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, Small Press, UK Conventions
Hey you guys! Super special minterview time! Hold your shocked gasps until the end, please. This week we’re talking to Howard Hardiman (now an honourary Friend of Thought Bubble) the excellent creator behind cutebutsad, whose latest comic project – The Lengths – is looking like it could be something very special indeed. In his own words it “will tell the story of Eddie, a young man who moves to London to art school, but in his quest to find himself, he finds Nelson, a muscled prostitute who he becomes infatuated with and follows into a world of drugs and vice and then his quest for absolution once he finds that it’s a life he’s not cut out for.” Powerful stuff, and from the previews alone the artwork looks gorgeous.
To start off, do you think you could give us an idea of how you first got into sequential art?
I don’t even know if I’m entirely sure what that means, really. When I was growing up, once I’d stopped wanting to be an astronaut, a mother, a vet or Spider-Man, I wanted to be a writer, then a poet, then while I was at art school I started getting into photography alongside writing poetry. I toyed with both, getting a few things published but never being happy, having a few exhibitions of photography, never quite being happy with those either, then I started doodling on post-it notes while I was at work and drawing very bad pictures of animals saying slightly random things. From that, I wound up selling a zine and some post-it notes in picture frames at the UK Web Comics Thing a few years back, then Badger sort of appeared and I suppose that’s a sort of skewed potted history of me. There wasn’t a moment when I thought, “Yes! Comics!” and I think I still spend more time looking at other kinds of art than comics, to the point where I feel a bit lost when other comics artists are talking about things they’ve read – I still feel like I’ve got a lot of catching up to do because of all the time I’ve spent looking at and reading other stuff, but get me on my favourite artists and writers and I’ll bore you to death with my geekdom.
So, in amongst the ‘other stuff”, is there any work that you’d consider an influence on your own output?
Well, I worked at the National Gallery on and off for a for a few years and I think now that I’ve spent the last year doing the MA in Illustration at Camberwell and taking a lot more time on drawing and composition, the influence that painting’s had on my visual language is starting to come through, so I’ve been finding myself going back to look at how Caravaggio used light and how how painters like Titian and Reubens use composition. I’m not for a moment saying I’ve got an ounce of their talent, but it’s really inspiring to have that resource available. I’m also a massive fan of the way some artists can create a sense of mood or spirituality through tone, like Rotkho or Van Gogh – the exhibition of Van Gogh and his Letters at the Royal Academy this year was amazing, particularly because they had lots of pages from his sketchbooks and it really gave you a sense of how he thought and there’s a slightly self-indulgent part of me that wondered if some of these artists might have found their way into comics if they were working now.
Um, other stuff. I love Klimt for texture, and I’m not ashamed to say I got a bit emotional when I saw his paintings first-hand in Vienna a few years back. I’m also a bit of a fan of Mapplethorpe’s photography, not just because there’s a lot of beautiful men in it, but because of how incredibly he uses light to lift subjects into a timeless place and I’ve been looking at a lot of that lately, too. That said, for The Lengths, I’ve been looking at a lot of photos of naked men, like Joe Oppedisano’s work, because it’s a territory I’m delving into there.
I’m still a big fan of poetry and I think there’s an influence there that endures, whether it’s Plath or Hughes (when he’s introspective) or the acrobatics of Gerard Manley Hopkins or the beautiful intellect of someone like Miroslav Holub, there’s something about the craft of poetry that still holds huge appeal to me and it’s something I think I will return to.
Books wise, I’ve been really excited by Scarlett Thomas this last year since Anna Petterson got me reading The End of Mr Y, and that book’s raised my expectations of what storytelling’s capable of weaving into itself, but I’d also have to say I’m a bit of a fan of slightly intellectually arrogant philosophical novels as a general rule, so I still go back to Hermann Hesse as one of the best of that genre.
I’ve also been reading The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker over the last year, which tells you an awful lot about how stories are constructed and what they’re for, archetypically, and that’s surprised me that it’s made me intrigued rather than horribly depressed.
Oh, I’m also a huge fan of stuff about science and I get far too excited about quantum physics and astronomy, but I can’t quite say that’s really filtered through into my comics, apart from a line in Polaroids from Other Lives, but who knows what might come in somewhere down the line?
That wound up being a bit of a list, didn’t it? I think the basic thing is that I’m excited by loads of things and I think the beauty of comics is that it’s a very malleable medium, so there’s, at least theoretically, room for all of these influences to worm their way in, so it’s a perfect place for someone who’s a bit of a synaesthete like me to be dotting around from place to place, falling in love with lots of things at once.
Do you think there’s an expectation that a ‘comic’ creator should be a font of geek knowledge – that the production of sequential art goes hand-in-hand with being a ‘nerd’?
Well. I think there’s a stereotype that comics fans are introverts with no sense of a world outside of comics, which is really being exploded as the audience expands and becomes more literate and I think we’re living in a culture that’s increasingly visually literate and consumes an incredible amount of coded visual information all the time, so it stands to reason that we consume comics in a very complex manner. I think it’s only reasonable, then, that if you’re creating comics then you’re someone who’s also a bit immersed in the same way of thinking so that you’re giving the reader something that will stimulate them.
I know that I’ve been really lucky that I’ve been able to share things with an audience right from the start with what I’ve been making, but that’s also meant that I’ve been learning in public a bit and as I say, there’s times when I’m aware that that makes me quite exposed because there’s so many people who know so much more about comics than I do, but that’s brilliant when people are so generous with what they know, I really can’t take it as criticism; I can’t be blamed for not knowing what I don’t know.
That’s not quite what you were asking, though, was it? Are comics people nerds? I don’t think so; I think there’s such a diversity of work being produced and a diversity in the audience drawn to the work that perhaps wasn’t there when the only comics you’d be exposed to would be superhero comics or newspaper strips that it’s less true than before to say that it’s a niche thing to like comics. I think the DIY Zine scene and the art books scene has brought a lot into the world of comics, just as the mainstream success of stuff like Watchmen has at the other end of the market.
Still, I only read Watchmen quite recently; I hadn’t liked the way the colours were printed and that had put me off, so I was late to the game on that one, but I don’t think I mind that much knowing that I don’t actually know the names of all the alien princesses in alternative Marvel universes. I think there’s room for all that and more.
I’m impressed when there’s people whose entire lives seems to revolve around comics, and the collectors and cosplayers scared me at first and now just amaze me. I just hope no-one’s too offended when I don’t know who that wig and codpiece combo’s meant to make you.
You’re appearing at this year’s Thought Bubble, what will you be bringing to the convention?
Well, I’ll have the two Badger books and some of the artwork from the first book for sale and some of the short comics I’ve made over the last couple of years, but this last year I’ve had my head down to do a lot of development work on a new comic, The Lengths, which is my first foray into “proper” comics storytelling with words and a long story and panels and things, rather than the wordless tales for Badger or the graphic poems I made for Polaroids From Other Lives. The Lengths is based around interviews I did with men selling sex to men in London, so it’s quite a heavy subject and it’s one I want to do justice to, so I’m hoping to have something to show from it in time for Thought Bubble, but it’s slow progress, so if it’s not done in time, then we might just have to cope…
What inspired you to take on the – presumably quite dark – subject matter of prostitution in comic form, as opposed to, say, just publishing the interviews?
At first, when I did the interviews, I’d thought they were going to end up forming a play, and I got as far as having meetings with artistic directors at theatres about putting it into development, but it wasn’t feeling like the right medium for the material and I didn’t want to go ahead with it. I wrote a couple of articles around it, about attitudes that escorts have towards HIV, and I was quite pleased with those, but they were a different beast to telling a story, so I just kept the material for a couple of years until I didn’t have such a strong sense of being able to remember the people attached to each interview so I was able to approach it again as a story rather than as an account of real people’s lives.
I think there’s something really personal about comics that you don’t get from other media, so it seemed like the right way to do it, and making the characters dogs has a symbolic importance in the story as well as making it a more anonymous experience for the reader and for the people whose lives I’m talking about in the story. There’s still a lot of real events that will be in the comic, but it’s now much more of a story rather than an account and I’d like to hope that making it a bit more symbolic and emotional means that more people will be able to relate to what’s in it.
I would still like to use the interviews, but perhaps I’ll save them up for when the collected edition comes out and use a few of the transcripts then. There’s some really moving, funny and chilling things that came out in those chats and some of the guys I met through that process I’m still friends with now, so I’m hoping they’ll like the way the comic ends up.
Is Badger finished now, or might we see his inquisitive little face again?
Oh, Badger will be back, but I think he’s very much connected to a particular mood for me and he pops out when I don’t really expect him to, so we’ll have to see when he comes out.
Do you enjoy attending events like Thought Bubble?
No, Thought Bubble is rubbish and all the organisers are mean. Ha, seriously? Yes, although I’m not sure how many events I could say are “like Thought Bubble” – it’s got such a good atmosphere and the crowd is really engaged with the comics and the artists there, it’s seriously one of my favourite events on the comics calendar of the year.
That said, the slumber party that Timothy Winchester, Lizz Lunney and Philippa Rice had at Caption will live in infamy.
Well, we can be quite mean sometimes. Do you think the UK general public’s ‘acceptance’ of comics in the mainstream has increased over the last few years?
I’d like to think so – I’ve only been making comics for the last few years, so I can’t really comment with any authority about any difficult wilderness years before then, but it’s been a very supportive couple of years for me and I’m really happy with how it’s been going. Obviously, I’d love to see a situation where we had more of us able to make a living out of making the work we love and I’d like to see Marc Ellerby being more stalked than Jordan and Tom Humberstone (see, I can get his name right sometimes!) nodding sagely on Newsnight, but let’s see, eh?
Thought bubbles or caption boxes?
Actually, in The Lengths, I’m kind of going for neither, so the narration sort of floats in the background. I don’t know if that counts as captioning, if it’s a thought bubble the shape of the sky, or a caption box that’s the window of a District Line train.
Hmm, that wasn’t terrifically good at answering the question, was it?
Thanks to Howard for taking the time to talk to use, we’re really looking forward to seeing the finished copies of The Lengths, and hope you out there in the interwebs are too.
In Thought Bubble news – we’ve finalised the programme for this year’s festival, completed the brochure designs and will be officially announcing the full line-up of events very soon. Sunday’s workshops and masterclasses in particular are looking very strong, and Thursday and Friday’s academic conferences should be a fascinating insight into the more ‘serious’ side of comics.
Fresh minterview next week, just a few to go now in the run-up to Thought Bubble 2010, don’t forget to enter our comic competition, the deadline for submissions is Monday 18th October!
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Film and Sequential Art, Thought Bubble 2010, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Anime, Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds comic workshops, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, Small Press, UK Conventions, Webcomics
Alright guys, this is a big one, we’ve got a lot to get through and we’re losing daylight here people. Read like you’ve got a purpose! WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR MAL- sorry, sorry, started channeling R Lee Ermey. Again. Seriously though, we’ve got a whole bunch of news for you in this here post, and it’s all pretty dang BIG.
Ok, We’re now able to officially reveal the two TOP SECRET newly announced side-projects that Thought Bubble has had up its sleeves for this year.
The first is the Northern Sequential Art Competition – a contest we’re running in association with Travelling Man comic shops, Imagine FX, and 2000AD – open to all artists/writers (12 years old +) in the United Kingdom. There are some great prizes on offer, and we can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with. ALL entries will also be displayed as part of a digital exhibition in venues across Leeds and the surrounding areas in the two weeks prior to this year’s Festival. To the drawing boards!
The second is related to the first (and is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while now), namely compiling a Free Comic Book Day Anthology. This will feature big name contributors from across the sequential art spectrum, as well as our competition winners, and will be launched on May 2011′s FCBD! Thought Bubble will bring the comics to YOU. (Yes, you)
Next up is the heartening news that Thought Bubble 2010 is well on the way to full lock down – we finalised the programme for this year’s festival at the weekend (and it’s looking pretty spiffy if we do say so ourselves), and there should be some shiny new flyers and brochures winging their way across the country soon.
A few things to be said on this note – first is that pre-order tickets are selling fast. If you want guaranteed entry to the Saturday evening’s after-party (as conferred by the first 500 pre-booked tickets) – with music provided by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Team Phonogram and the Thought Bubble Soundsystem – then don’t delay. We’ll put out an announcement once they’re gone.
The second is that we’re now running very low on exhibitor tables for the Saturday convention. If you’re still planning on attending with your wares then get in touch quick to bagsie one of the remaining few. Again, an announcement will be made when they’re all gone.
In related event news, our friends at the Anime League are running their Alcon again next month and it should be a blast!
Alcon will run from the 9th-12th September at De Montfort University in Leicester!
Filed under: About Thought Bubble, Art by Guests, Film and Sequential Art, Minterviews, Thought Bubble 2010, What is Sequential Art? | Tags: Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds comic festival, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, Small Press, Tom Humberstone
Fresh Minterview for you! Today we’re talking to the eminently talented Tom ‘Ventedspleen’ Humberstone, whose work has long been a favourite here in the lofty spires of Thought Bubble Towers. You can find the profile we did a while back on Tom here, and I urge you all to check out his 100 Days comic project. It’s ACES.
To start off, do you think you could give us an idea of how you first got into sequential art?
Comics! Call them comics!
I started making comics at art college when I became disillusioned with some of my peers and frustrated with the few seconds of animation I was producing each week despite extremely long hours in the studio. To me, making a comic was a wonderful exercise in instant gratification. Which, as time has gone by and I attempt more ambitious work, seems laughably naive in retrospect.
Regardless, I started photocopying these vicious little character assassinations called Art School Scum on the way into college and plastered them throughout the halls under the pseudonym of Ventedspleen. To my surprise the comic proved extremely popular and a couple of friends convinced me to publish a collection of the comics.
That was my first taste of the small press. Since then I’ve dipped in and out of comics and the alternative press scene here in the UK – only treating it as more than a hobby over the past couple of years.
Heh, ok, so comics – what prompted the shift from casual creator to fully fledged small press mastermind?
Ha. Not sure I’d call myself that…
Well. After I graduated, I worked in film for about a year which left me very little free time to concentrate on my own work – in fact, that was the main reason I backed away from the industry. I was incredibly frustrated creatively. I dabbled in producing more comics work – starting How To Date A Girl In Ten Days and attending more comic conventions. This led to me attending TCAF in 2007 which really renewed my enthusiasm for comics and helped to solidify a bunch of ideas that had been kicking around my head for years. I suppose it wasn’t until sometime after I returned from America and published My Fellow Americans that I started to have the time, finances and – crucially – health to follow through on those ideas…
Some, if not all, of your comics are extremely personal in content, were you ever tempted to retain the anonymity that publishing under a pseudonym affords?
The Ventedspleen pseudonym was created principally for Art School Scum because I never wanted the content to be judged as being by a ‘fine artist’ or ‘designer’ or ‘illustrator’. For the material to work properly, the author needed to be anonymous. This could only last so long of course, and as people started to discover it was me behind the comics I inevitably found myself in conversations with friends suggesting I draw a comic about a specific person or even request one about themselves. So it had to end.
Since then I’ve kept the name but have never really wanted or had the need to hide behind it. I’m really very comfortable with people knowing it is me who has Crohn’s disease or has an under-developed ability to date. It’s only dawning on me now to really get rid of that name altogether – something I keep putting off because of the amount of work involved with moving websites and ‘rebranding’
Are there any particular creators that you admire? Any favourite comics that you read to this day?
Oh, far far far too many! Probably all the usual suspects too. Tomine had a huge influence on me as a teenager. As did Pekar, Moore, Seth, Ware, Jeffrey Brown, Matt, Crumb…
The two turning points for me as a teen coming back to comics after falling out of the habit – were From Hell and Sleepwalk. Those were what brought me back to the LCS.
I’ll always pick up whatever Joe Sacco does, or Craig Thompson, or Rutu Modan, or Farel Dalrymple… I’m sorry, this question is spiralling out of control quickly. I’m just going to keep listing a bunch of names…
Lately I’ve really been enjoying the work of Hope Larson, Lucy Knisely and Raina Telgemeier. Smile was fantastic. Oh oh oh! And James Sturm’s Market Day is the best comic of the year hands down.
Do you think you’ll ever try your hand at animation again having experienced the more “drawn-out” side to comic creation?
Possibly. I love animation. But it’s very time-consuming and tends to need a team of people. I like the singular vision of the comic artist. I fear I may be too much of a control freak to want to tell stories in any other medium. Besides, there are too many exciting comics I want to make right now!
Never say never though. I could definitely see myself being involved with animation and film at some level. Be it the storyboard commissions I sometimes take on, or some other side of pre-production.
You’re appearing at this year’s Thought Bubble, what will you be bringing to the convention?
I’ll be bringing Solipsistic Pop Book 3 which will be enjoying it’s official unveiling at Thought Bubble after a launch party in London. The back catalogue of Solipsistic Pop will also be available, as will the comics of any contributors who are unable to attend the convention.
Solipsistic Pop has been a pretty ambitious , and thoroughly successful, project – what are its origins?
It was an idea I had while travelling across America. I started to feel we had all these great comic artists who weren’t getting the attention they deserved or were unable to publish their work in the best light. So I just wanted to create that platform and provide the UK scene with a bit of an infrastructure. No matter how modest and small.
I wanted to see a UK comics version of McSweeneys and I wanted to design and publish it!
It’s something that I guess I wanted to have existed when I first came to the UK small press scene. That published the fantastic alternative comics we had in the UK in the way RAW did or Fantagraphics do with Mome. The UK comics scene has always felt a little disparate and I suppose SP was a way of tying it all together while making a beautiful book-as-art-object product that people will covet for their bookshelves.
I know that I’ve been able to watch the UK Small Press community grow rapidly since Thought Bubble started – are there any changes that you’ve noticed since being active on the scene?
It’s certainly a lot more encouraging now than it was maybe three or four years ago. I think one of the reasons I never quite committed to small press comics was due to being a little disappointed with the UK scene back then. I didn’t really feel there were many people on my wavelength at the time. I just didn’t feel inspired by it. I guess that’s why TCAF was such an eye-opener for me.
Now, that could very well just be down to me being too shy and insecure about my work at the time to fully engage with the UK scene. But whatever the case, I think most people would find it hard to disagree with the notion that UK comics are incredibly strong right now and there feels like there is a real momentum building for everyone involved.
Everyone feels it I think. I don’t think there’s a better time to be making comics and I also think it’s a sustainable momentum. Too many people have great business models and ideas in place for it to be ruined by any sort of false media/publishing interest.
Do you enjoy attending events like Thought Bubble?
I generally find comic festivals and conventions quite exhausting and hard work, but Thought Bubble is the exception. Thought Bubble is one of only two comic events (the other being TCAF) that I genuinely enjoy and look forward to. It’s always a lot of fun and I came away last year feeling enthused and inspired. I’m not exaggerating when I say Thought Bubble is my favourite UK comic festival.
Finally – thought bubbles or caption boxes?
Aw, I have a massive soft spot for thought bubbles regardless of whether they are considered in vogue or not. It’s probably not very fashionable to be a fan of thought bubbles right now, but I like them. They’re a part of the rich visual language of comics and a wonderfully succinct pictorial shorthand – why would any comic artist turn their nose up at that? They’re extremely versatile too. I have a lot of time for the thought bubble.
Many thanks to Tom for taking the time to rap with us, his work is super mega good, and Solipsistic Pop has quickly become the anthology of note in the UK. Lovely stuff. Be sure to check back on Monday for some BIG NEWS. Like, Godzilla big. Srsly.