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


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 visiting the show (and Leeds), 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




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.

Thought Bubble Socials – 2014 by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang! We’re running some free art workshops in the coming months that we’d love you to attend!

Following on from the success of ‘Bub’s Lounge’ at 2013’s Thought Bubble Festival, we are running a series of free art workshops at the Travelling Man Lounge (107 Kirkgate LS1 6DP) with the next on Thursday 27th March.

Bub’s Lounge was created as a space where people could escape the crowds of the bustling convention halls, and take some time out to read comics, draw, or just sit and relax. These monthly workshops, run by Thought Bubble and artist Alison Herbert, will be informal sessions, open to all, for fans of comic art or those who have never picked up a comic before.

You don’t need to have any drawing experience, you can just come by and say hello, and meet some like-minded individuals. You can find out more about the project, and what inspired it on this blog post.

If you’d like some more information on the sessions, or the project that inspired them, please email or call 07585 504 763.

Sessions will be running at the Travelling Man Lounge (accessible via the red doors adjacent to The Regent pub) from 5pm to 7pm on these dates:

Thursday 30th January (thanks to everyone who came along!)
Thursday 27th February (thanks to everyone who came along!)
Thursday 27th March (thanks to everyone who came along!)
Thursday 24th April (thanks to everyone who came along!)

We’d love to see some of you there, and this gives us a good opportunity to meet all of you away from the hectic whirlwind that is Thought Bubble’s convention and the wider festival events, so please do pop along and join in the fun!


2013 Festival Spotlight – Portfolio Reviews by thoughtbubblefestival

Our series of spotlight features on aspects of 2013′s Thought Bubble concludes today with a look at the portfolio reviews that will be taking place at this year’s convention on the 23rd and 24th November! The full programme of festival events is our biggest ever, and the convention programme is a big part of that – with over 40 events to enjoy, as well as the three massive exhibitor halls with almost 400 creators for you to meet!

This year’s portfolio-based events are taking place in conjunction with the lovely people at 2000 AD, Image Comics, Marvel Comics, SelfMadeHero, Titan, and Vertigo Comics. You can find out more about Thought Bubble, and this year’s programme, in our festival e-guide, and for more information on this year’s portfolio review events, please read on…


Please note: the convention and all events taking place within are free to enter for under-12s, however, they will need to be accompanied by a ticket-holding parent or guardian.

2000 AD Comic Competition

Entries must be submitted in person at Thought Bubble’s Convention, Saturday 23rd November, at the 2000 AD table in New Dock Hall.

Want to be the next great artist to draw Judge Dredd? Then take this opportunity to have your art seen by one of the world’s best known publishers by entering the 2000 AD portfolio challenge!

This year we have the ultimate prize – the winner of the portfolio session will get the chance to illustrate a Future Shock in 2000 AD! Join the ranks of the biggest names in British comic books by getting a paid strip from Tharg the Mighty!

Budding artists should view the free sample script at, draw their own version of it, and bring their efforts to the portfolio sessions being held at the 2000 AD table at the Thought Bubble Comic Con on Saturday 23rd November.

The six best efforts chosen by Tharg himself will then go before the searing eyes of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic and its art droids!

For full information on this event, please click here.

Image Comics Portfolio Reviews with Eric Stephenson

Free with Saturday/Weekend convention pass, free for under 12s, but an accompanying ticket-holding adult must be present, all ages

This year we are delighted to announce that Image Comics will once again be holding portfolio reviews at Thought Bubble!

Because of time constraints, the format for reviews will be as follows: your portfolio must be emailed in advance, if your portfolio is selected, you’ll be called back for a full review by Publisher of Image Comics Eric Stephenson.

Please submit your portfolio to by 5pm, 11th November. A confirmation email will be sent before the convention specifying times/location for successful applicants.

Marvel Portfolio Critiques with Stephen Wacker and C B Cebulski

Free with Saturday/Weekend convention pass, free for under 12s, but an accompanying ticket-holding adult must be present, all ages

This year we are pleased to announce that once again Marvel Comics will be holding a talent search at Thought Bubble!

Because of time constraints, the format for reviews will be as follows: your portfolio must be emailed in advance, then, if your portfolio is selected, you’ll be called back for a full review by senior Marvel editor Stephen Wacker and Marvel talent scout C B Cebulski.

Please submit your portfolio to by 5pm, 11th November. A confirmation email will be sent before the convention specifying times/location for successful applicants.

SelfMadeHero Drop-In Portfolio Critique

SelfMadeHero Table, New Dock Hall, free for under 12s, but an accompanying ticket-holding adult must be present, all ages

SelfMadeHero is the UK’s finest graphic novel publisher, home to some of the world’s best creators. Their editors will be on hand throughout this year’s Thought Bubble convention to give advice on portfolios, scout for new talent, and hear your pitches!

Titan Comics Portfolio Reviews with Steve White

Sat 23 Nov 1400-1600, Sun 24 Nov 1100-1200, Holiday Inn Express Bar, Armouries Square, free entry with Saturday/Weekend convention pass, all ages

Titan Senior Editor Steve White will be holding portfolio sessions for a limited time during Thought Bubble’s convention. Have a great comic book in you? Steve is looking for something special: breaking talent, fresh art, and innovative new creators. Titan Comics publishes daring comics both licensed and creator-owned so bring your portfolio along to get feedback from the top editor of the UK’s biggest comics factory!

Vertigo Comics Portfolio Critiques with Will Dennis

Free with Saturday/Weekend convention pass, Free for under 12s, but an accompanying ticket-holding adult must be present, all ages

This year we are pleased to announce that Vertigo Comics will be holding portfolio reviews at Thought Bubble!

Because of time constraints, the format for reviews will be as follows: your portfolio must be emailed in advance, then, if your portfolio is selected, you’ll be called back for a full review by Vertigo Comics group editor Will Dennis.

Please submit your portfolio to by 5pm, 11th November. A confirmation email will be sent before the convention specifying times/location for successful applicants.


That’s all the spotlights for this year, don’t forget that with 90 events taking place over more than a week of programming, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy, so be sure to check out our festival guide and join in the fun this November!


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