Thought Bubble 2014: 9th-16th November!


Illuminate – 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 Illuminate 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 makes beautiful things like this:

Lamp Example

Workshops will take place across a ten-week period, starting August 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 martha@thoughtbubblefestival.com.

Cheerio!

LiLogoGrey

 



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!

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(please click image to enlarge)

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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”).

EXCITEMENT!



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 http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/thoughtbubblefestival 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)

DeclanShalvey

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

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

FabioMoon

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

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

FionaStaples

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

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

GabrielBa

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

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

joeQ

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

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

MeredithGran

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

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

MingDoyle

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

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

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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 martha@thoughtbubblefestival.com 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 
Thursday 24th April

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!

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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…

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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 thoughtbubblefestival.com, 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 portfolioreviews@thoughtbubblefestival.com 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 portfolioreviews@thoughtbubblefestival.com 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 portfolioreviews@thoughtbubblefestival.com by 5pm, 11th November. A confirmation email will be sent before the convention specifying times/location for successful applicants.

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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!



Thought Bubble Programme 2013 by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

The final countdown to this year’s Thought Bubble has well and truly begun with the release of the full festival programme for 2013′s events! Taking place from 17th – 26th November at venues across Leeds and beyond, 2013′s celebration of comics comprises 90 events for fans of all ages, and includes free art & writing based workshops for young people & adults, talks & masterclasses lead by industry professionals, a programme of sequential art related film screenings, & our massive two-day comics convention on 23rd & 24th November!

The full festival programme can be found on this page, with full information on events available by clicking their titles.

A similar programme highlighting the screenings taking place in association with Leeds International Film Festival can be found on this page, with show times, ratings, and film blurbs listed, including showings of a new digital print of Akira, a documentary on the making of The Dark Knight Returns, and a retrospective of renowned Polish animator Walerian Borowczyk.

Details of books making their début at this year’s Thought Bubble can be found on this page, and if you’ve got a project launching at the show then there’s details of how to get it listed on there too.

Thought Bubble 2013 is extremely grateful to Arts Council England for their generous support of the festival, which this year will allow us to open the special Bubs Lounge venue, and commission a sequential art project with the Best Joined Up collective. Full details of these endeavours can be found in the festival programme.

Thought Bubble 2013 promises to be a whole heap of comics-related fun for everyone, and is now only 38 days away, so don’t forget to check out all the guests and exhibitors who’ll be joining us, and make sure to get your tickets for this year’s convention (although more will be available on the door).

We look forward to welcoming everyone to Leeds very soon!



TBF13 Exhibitor Update – Third Hall Announcement by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

As we mentioned earlier in the year, exhibitor tables for this year’s Thought Bubble Comic Con sold out in a couple of hours, which was rather unexpected.

As you may be aware, in previous years, tables have been available for a couple of months before selling out completely – and we’ve had a reserves list in place for those who’ve missed out. Obviously we were delighted that the tables were all snapped up so quickly, it just goes to show how quickly the community of comic creators here in the UK has grown over the last few years, and how interest in the medium continues to grow every year both here and abroad. However, we were also acutely aware of the frustration this caused to those exhibitors who missed out on booking a table, and we really appreciate the passion that people have developed for our festival, which is one of the many reasons we love putting it on so much.

Exhibitors, whether they are self-publishers or retailers make Thought Bubble what it is, and your contribution to the festival each year helps it to grow and expand in ways we never thought possible when we first started.

As stated in previous updates, we’ve been working very hard behind the scenes to create space to accommodate more exhibitors at this year’s convention –  over the last few months we’ve looked at erecting a marquee, and also the possibility of finding an extra hall in the area.

In the end we found exactly what we were looking for with support from the wonderful people at Allied London, the new owners of the New Dock site where the majority of convention events take place. Since the beginning of the year Allied London have been carrying out some major redevelopment work on New Dock, and many of the empty retail units have been opened up into large open-plan spaces. As a result of which we have been offered the use of an extra 1400 sqm space, which is comparable in size to New Dock Hall, and means we can now accommodate more exhibitors than ever before.

The new unit is just a few yards away from both New Dock Hall and Royal Armouries Hall, so audiences will only have to take a few steps before they’re in the new additional venue. This means we’ll be taking over the whole of the New Dock area for this year’s convention, and turning Yorkshire into the hub for comics for one very special week as the wider festival takes place!

What we have to do now is make this space fully accessible, which means fitting a temporary floor in one half of the hall, overseeing the installation of a new lighting and heating system, and initiating a big clean-up operation to spruce the place up to our standards. There’s a lot to do, and that’s why it’s taken us longer than expected to finalise plans, so we’d like to thank everyone for their patience while we’ve worked out all the necessary action we’ll need to take to expand things at our end.

While the unit isn’t a purpose built exhibition hall, we hope that by the time Thought Bubble arrives we’ll have a high quality, temporary hall space that can accommodate many of the exhibitors on our waiting list, enabling even more people to attend Thought Bubble in 2013.

Table space will be available soon and we’ll be contacting exhibitors on our reserves list for first refusal in chronological order – each entry on the system creates a unique time-stamp so we know who filled it out and when they did so. We’ll let everyone know of the table prices once we begin contacting exhibitors regarding the new space, and once all the available slots are filled people can still sign up to the reserves list to be notified should any cancellations occur in the run-up to the event and more spaces become available that way.

While we can’t promise we’ll be able to fit everyone in who’s applied for space via the reserves list, we’ll do our best to try and accommodate as many people as we possibly can, with a view to making this year’s event even bigger and better than the last.

We’re really excited to have this new additional space at our disposal, which will help us to accommodate more exhibitors and bigger audiences, and provide an even more diverse experience for everyone attending the show. We’ve popped some photos under this post of the space, taken at the start of spring this year.

We’d like to thank Allied London for their invaluable help, but most of all we want to show our gratitude to all those exhibitors who have patiently waited for us to deliver on our promise of a new space – thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing even more of you in a few months time!

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Thought Bubble 2013 Summer Update! by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang, we hope you’re enjoying/enduring this blast of summer from the giant nuclear furnace in the sky, hopefully the heatwave will last until November and we can all wear shorts to the festival.

Shorts are fun, they’re like knee/ankle clothing windows. Yay!

We’re currently busy working to pull together all the many ingredients that are baked into a Thought Bubble cake each year, and we’ll be revealing the full (looking to be pretty darn huge) programme in the autumn, but in the meantime here’s an update on some of the things we’ve got cooking. Let’s go in alphabetical order this time, eh chums? ALPHABET… INITIATE!

Anthology: this year’s anthology will be in the same tabloid format as 2012′s issue and will feature all-new material from a number of wonderful creators both from within the UK and beyond!

You’ll be able to see the winning entries to last year’s Thought Bubble Comic Competition, and all profits from the sale of the anthology will again be going to The Barnardos Charity – a great cause that does some amazing work that’s very close to our hearts here at the festival.

More information can be found in the October solicits which are now up at Comic Book Resources.

British Comic Awards: Thought Bubble 2013 sees the sophomore British Comic Awards ceremony, and we’re delighted that such a prestigious judging panel has been assembled to pick the best of this year’s British comics. You can see the full judging line-up, as well as find out how to nominate your favourite comics of the last year, at the website.

Competitions: if you’d like to see your comic strip featured in 2014′s Thought Bubble Anthology, then you should look at entering our comic competition! We’re looking for single-page scripts from UK creators aged from 12 – 112 (or older, no ageist discrimination here), and there’s some great prizes up for grabs as well as getting your work featured in our next Anthology! Full details can be found at our website, and the deadline for entries is 07/10/13.

We’re also very pleased to be running another 2000 AD Portfolio Competition as part of this year’s festival, and you could win a paid gig with the galaxy’s greatest comic! Last year’s competition saw Will Morris emerge victorious, and his comic appeared in Prog 1836, with The Mighty Tharg’s steely approval. If you think you’re up to the challenge then check out the details on our website and get to drawing!

Hotel: this year Thought Bubble is a proud partner of the Leeds Marriott Hotel – conveniently located in the heart of the city centre! The Leeds Marriott hotel is the official and exclusive hotel partner of the Thought Bubble Festival, and is within walking distance of most event venues. We’ve secured a special festival rate for executive rooms over the convention weekend, and these are filling up fast, so head to the website for full details.

Tickets: passes for this year’s Thought Bubble convention (taking place on the 23rd and 24th November at Armouries Square) have been selling like warmed up baked goods! If you’d like to bag one of the first 500 weekend passes, and get guaranteed entry into our mid-convention party on the Saturday night, then head over to the website and get one quick-like!

Volunteers: if you’d like to help out with this year’s festival, then we’re always on the look-out for new Thought Bubblers, Bubblenauts, and Bubblifiers! We’re extremely lucky to bring together an incredibly friendly group each year, and we’d love to see some new faces in the mix, so if you think that sounds like your cup of bubble tea, then you can find more information at the website.

Website: we update the site throughout the year, including putting up guest profiles and exhibitor icons as we receive them! We’re really happy that we get such a diverse selection of creators and exhibitors each year, and we’d really recommend checking them out if you’re looking to find a new favourite, or simply see some artwork from some of the best!

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That’s all the updates we have for now, we’ll be back very soon with an exhibitor update, and then later this year we’ll be unleashing the full Thought Bubble programme into the wild, along with all the amazing screenings you can expect to see in partnership with our friends at Leeds International Film Festival.

We hope you all have a lovely time until next we meet, oh, and go see Pacific Rim, because it’s Robots hitting Aliens, and those are both Good Things.



Minterviews 2013: Emma Rios by thoughtbubblefestival

Holla!

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.

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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.

Artwork by Emma Rios

Artwork by Emma Rios

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.

Artwork by Emma Rios

Artwork by Emma Rios

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!



Minterviews 2013: Giannis Milonogiannis by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey you guys!

Did you have a nice vernal equinox? I went to school with someone called Vernon Equinox, but he was no relation, and that’s a whole different story for another time!

The story right now is one of updates! These are not bad dates, these are the best dates, and they lift your spirits, hence being called UP-dates. Or something? I’m no word scientist. Anyways, we have updated…

The Thought Bubble 2013  guests pages!

The Thought Bubble 2013  New Dock Hall exhibitor pages!

The Thought Bubble 2013 Royal Armouries Hall exhibitor pages!

All of which are slowly, but surely, getting crammed to the gills with some absolutely brilliant comics creating talent. It’s gonna be a fun ol’ time in the city of Leeds this November. BOY HOWDY!

If you’re 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, every 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! We also call them MINTerviews because reading them is like inhaling a cool blast of mountain air for your mind grapes, and leaves your noggin minty fresh. For any neurobiologists in the house, please don’t email in, we’re just having some fun. WHY YOU GOT TO HATE?

This week we’ve been talking to Giannis Milonogiannis, the excellent creator of cyberpunk webcomic Old City Blues, and whose (awesome) work can currently be found in Prophet and Spera, the collections of which are both worth picking up, as they’re firm favourites here. You can see what we chatted about below, and for more of Giannis’ work you can check out his website, or his art tumblr.

TB:Hey Giannis! So, to open, can you give us an idea of how you got started in comics? Did you get a big break, or was it more gradual?

GM: I sort of gradually scammed my way into comics – I got started doing small things locally in Greece, before putting up Old City Blues online in 2010. I suspect most people have found out about my stuff through Prophet, though.

TB: And how long were you publishing OCB online before Archaia expressed an interest in putting the book out? How did that come about?

GM: The book was online for about 7 months before Archaia found it – I had actually submitted it to them when they found it online themselves around the same time. So it’s like the book worked itself out in that way.

TB: So, do you prefer working on projects like OCB that you have complete control over, or collaborative projects with other writers/artists like Prophet and Spera? 

GM: Both are great for different reasons, I suppose – and doing one helps you better understand the other. Working with a writer is infinitely easier, most of the time, but I like to be able to show readers something like OCB and know it’s all my own, for better or worse – the characters and situations in a solo project are part of the creator in a different way than on collaborative books. It’s a totally different feeling.

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Artwork by Giannis Milonogiannis

TB: What’s your proudest moment, in comics or otherwise, to date?

GM: Finishing anything up is a pretty proud moment. The feeling doesn’t last long, but the high you get from finishing a story is probably when I feel proudest – “wow, we actually finished this?”

TB: And does that feeling of satisfaction become addictive after a while then? Do you think it’s that high that drives you to create, or do you just like telling stories?

GM: I think the cartoonist’s high is addictive even if we don’t realize it at first. I’d like to say it’s solely the stories that push me to make comics, but I’d probably be trying to write novels or something if that were true. The high I get from being in the zone while drawing or from just having finished a book is a big part of the fun in making comics.

TB: Do you enjoy attending conventions and other events like Thought Bubble?

GM: Definitely. I’ve only been to two or three because I live a ways from everything, but it’s been fun the times I’ve been. It’s fun to see people walking around for an entire weekend in a constant state of excitement.

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Artwork by Giannis Milonogiannis

TB: So, did you ever go to any conventions as a fan, when you were still trying to break into the industry? Do you think showing your work at events can help when you’re starting out? 

GM: I did go to a convention in the States in 2010 purely as a fan trying to break in. It was great to finally get to meet people up close, and see their immediate reactions to my work. It’s definitely something that helps you grow more comfortable with being someone who draws to be in such an environment.

TB: And as a comics fan – which titles are you enjoying at the moment, any all-time favourites?

GM: Some favorites: Adam Warren’s Dirty Pair: Sim Hell, Yukinobu Hoshino’s 2001 Nights, Hugo Pratt’s Corto Maltese, obviously anything by Shirow and Otomo. Right now I’m going back and reading a lot of Tezuka, Golgo 13 and 90′s X-Men stuff.

I should really read more current books.

TB: Do you have any characters, that aren’t your own, that are particular favourites to draw? Any that you’d jump at the chance to work on a title featuring? 

GM: I draw too much Metal Gear Solid fan-art probably, but I don’t know if I could draw a decent book of that. It’s definitely the first thing that comes to mind, though.

TB: Finally, thought bubbles or caption boxes?

GM: Both – in my head they’re two entirely different things with their own use. I don’t see how we can ban the use of thought bubbles – it’s like saying we can’t use red in our comics anymore.

***

We’d like to say a massive thank you to Giannis for taking the time to talk to us, and you really should check out the excellent free-to-read cyberpunk awesomeness of Old City Blues. It’s ACE.

We’ll have another Minterview for you next week, as well as more guest and exhibitor updates, so be sure to check back, check in, and check it out.

SO SAY WE ALL.




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