Thought Bubble 2017 runs 18th – 24th September!


Friends of Thought Bubble: Rebirth by thoughtbubblefestival

‘Sup, guess what? After another, increasingly familiar, hiatus (my bad), the Small-Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble (or Blog-Force) is back – just when you thought it was safe to go back in the internet. This edition focuses on one of the big guns in British webcomics: JohnScary Go RoundAllison. Operating, in a small-press context, since almost the inception of the internet*, and thus producing quality sequential output on a regular basis for longer than is generally thought healthy (but is hugely appreciated by his multitude of fans), John is one of the institutions (meant in the nicest way possible) of internet comics. If you don’t believe me – and I repsect the need for proof in the face of such high praise – then check out the gallery below, or his site.

*Ok, maybe not since the inception of the internet, but since 1998, which, in internet terms, is a long time.

John is one of the UK’s premier makers of comics on the internet. He grew up in Addingham, in West Yorkshire, and is old enough to remember when Thought Bubble was all fields. He now lives near Manchester and has been, variously, a music writer, a magazine designer, and a web designer, as well as having earned a degree from Sheffield University in “the journalism”.

John previously drew Bobbins, one of the first webcomics, from 1998-2002, which came runner-up in the category of ‘best online comic strip’ at the 2002 UK National Comic Awards. He subsequently followed this with Scary Go Round which began in 2002 and will conclude (after a staggeringly succesful run) next month, followed by his new project, Bad Machinery, in late September. Comics have been John’s full-time job since 2003, and examples of his fine wares can be found in his shop. For more information, and to keep up with John’s new project, you can check out his website or his blog. Both are AMAZING.

Well, sadly, that brings us to the end of yet another ‘Friends of Thought Bubble’, big thanks to John Allison who will also be appearing at this year’s festival. If all goes to plan there should be a couple more posts in this series on the horizon, followed by a super-secret plan the like of which would stun even Lex Luthor into humbled silence. If you think the Manhattan Project, meets Dream Patrol, meets Voltron, well, to be honest, you’d be miles off, but it’s a sweet idea in itself so who am I to judge? If you build it, they will come…

– Clark



Events! Videos! Exclamation marks! by thoughtbubblefestival

Hotter on the heels of our last post than the Flash in pursuit of Captain Cold, here’s a whole other bunch of sequential art themed goodness for you to stare in wonderment at…

First up is news of a signing at Tokyo 15, Manchester’s finest purveyors of manga and anime-themed wares. Sonia Leong, manga artist extraordinaire – who will also be appearing at this year’s Thought Bubble festival – is going to be in-store signing books and giving talks, so if you’re able to get to the rainy city in the North on September 12th then it promises to be well worth your while! For more information visit their site, or glance downwards slightly for a cheeky peek at the flyer…

Sonia Leong SigningAs if that signing wasn’t enough, word on the street has filtered up to the lofty spires of TB towers of a signing at Travelling Man comic shop, Leeds by a legend of British comics – Dan Abnett.  Having sold over 1.1 million Warhammer novels worldwide, his last novel Horus Heresy: Legion, was the 8th bestselling science fiction and fantasy title overall in the UK for 2008. As well as having written 20 novels for Warhammer, and books and audio plays for Doctor Who and Torchwood, Dan has penned numerous comic series for legendary imrpints DC and 2000 AD. To celebrate the November release of his latest work, Blood Pact, Travelling Man will be holding a signing on October 19th at 3pm, followed by a Q&A session, at their Leeds branch. Mere adjectives will not suffice, so needless to say we think this is going to be ‘the bomb’.

Finally, and more directly Thought Bubbly, never let it be said that we aren’t at the forefront of modern advances in technology, for we now have a YouTube channel! This is going to be the zenith of video repositories, where you’ll be able to find comic trailers, animations, films made by attendees of the Thought Bubble festival, and video blogs made by us! There is now no communication format known to man, carrier pigeons aside, which we don’t have our agents working tirelessly to keep updated with the newest of news, all for your delight and delectation. The upshot of this is that, hopefully, you’ll never be more than 1.8 feet from some way of getting the latest updates about this year’s festival, short of us coming round to your house and shouting through your letterbox (although we are considering this for our marketing campaign next year).

That’s it for now, we’ll be back soon, and, if the trend the last few posts have set continues, it will be with even more exciting sequential art news, all the better to build the anticipation for November’s Thought Bubble to fever pitch. Oh yeah!

– Clark



News. Lots of news. And some olds. by thoughtbubblefestival

By the hammer of Thor, we have a lot of news at the moment, a sure sign that this year’s Festival is getting closer than Luke Skywalker and the insides of a tauntaun. Deep breath, here goes…

The Adi Granov masterclass (previously announced here) has had a date change, and an expansion… On October 9th Thought Bubble and Travelling Man Leeds will hold a very special night of comics fun, with an interactive art-wall shop-front where anyone can pop by and draw some doodles! Plus free comics! Also Iron Man concept artist Adi Granov will run a special Art Masterclass!  
Coinciding with Leeds’ annual Light Night there will be a very special masterclass lead by Industry comics superstar Adi Granov. Adi will run an Art/Breaking into comics masterclass which will take participants through the process of how he works and talk about how to build a strong portfolio. Places are very limited for this event, so sign up soon to avoid disappointment…
email travellingmanshops@googlemail.com or call 0113 2436461

Next bit of news is related to our last post, concerning the Leeds International Film Festival (our partner in quality edutainment) and their extension…
Next week the LIFF team will be announcing their venue line-up for this year’s festival, along with early details of the programme sections and the first film announcements. The festival’s team are also on the look-out for volunteers to help the various events run smoothly, writers with a love of cinema for their Fanomenon series, and are also still accepting submissions of films for the festival proper.
The best way to get all the latest updates for this year’s Film Festival is to subscribe to their newsletter via filmfestival@leeds.gov.uk

The final little bit of news is more related to our core aim: providing top notch sequential art bits and bobs to you, our loyal (and thoroughly lovely) fans. Malorie Blackman (author of most excellent prose, including Pig Heart Boy) has a peice up on the Guardian’s website counting down her Top 10 Graphic Novels for Teenagers. It’s a strong list, and one which anyone who has been looking for a way to break into the, sometimes baffling, world of sequential art could be well served in following. Totally worth checking out, and anything with such a worthwhile cause as getting more youngsters reading comics (and also affording the medium the respect it so rightly deserves in the mainstream) requires everyone’s attention.

And that’s the news. Keep checking back regularly for all the juiciest Thought Bubble and Sequential Art morsels and we’ll see you in November for both the festivals, as Wyclef Jean might have said (Mr Jean is in no way affiliated with either Thought Bubble or the LIFF).

– Clark



23rd Leeds International Film Festival by thoughtbubblefestival

By the power of Greyskull Thought Bubblers! Leeds International Film Festival (our partners in fighting crime and pop-culture ignorance) is returning to take over the city this November with their longest festival yet!

The newly extended festival runs from the 4th to the 22nd of November this year, and will once again showcase the very best new cinema from around the world in venues across Leeds. In the coming months they’ll be keeping everyone up to date with all the latest news and information about the programme of events, as well as a few surprises. In order to ensure you stay up-to-date with the most exciting and innovative film event in the UK you can visit their website, become a fan on Facebook and ride the bleeding edge via their Twitter

In the meantime, here’s what they’ve announced so far. Hint: it looks frakking awesome…

2009 Passes and Major Event Tickets now on sale!
Now available to buy online – Passes for the 23rd Leeds International Film Festival and Short Film City 2009, and Major Event Tickets for the Fanomenon 10th Night of the Dead, Fanomenon 3rd Day of Dead, and the 3rd Thought Bubble Comic Book Convention! Save money and take advantage of some amazing special offers. Passes and Major Event Tickets can also be bought through Box Office on 0113 247 8389

23rd Leeds International Film Festival – Full Single Pass £70
The official Film Festival Pass provides incredible value for money, giving access to every screening throughout the packed eleven day programme, including the Official Selection, Fanomenon, Cinema Versa and Short Film City sections, and more. Pass holders will also receive exclusive invitations to special events, advance programme announcements, and a free copy of this year’s event catalogue. 

23rd Leeds International Film Festival – Full Double Saver Pass £120
The Double Saver Pass enables two people to enjoy the full benefits of a Film Festival Pass but with even greater savings!

Short Film City 2009 – Full Single Pass £25
Last year’s Short Film City programme showcased 180 of the very best new and unseen short films from around the world and enthralled audiences in venues across the city. You can enjoy every screening and event in Short Film City 2009 (10th to 14th November) for just £25.

Fanomenon 10th Night of the Dead – Major Event Ticket £20 / £16 concession
The legendary Night of the Dead returns to the Hyde Park Picture House on Friday 13th November as part of this year’s Film Festival with a terrifying all-nighter guaranteed to ‘raise the stakes’ on anything we’ve done before – a must for dedicated fans of horror.

Fanomenon 3rd Day of the Dead – Major Event Ticket £25 / £20 concession
The giant Day of the Dead horror event moves from the City Varieties Theatre to the grand Victorian splendour of the Victoria Hall at Leeds Town Hall. Day of the Dead 2009 on Saturday 7th November will be a morning to midnight marathon of genre cinema, special guests, events and prizes, plus the Fanomenon Film Fair.

The LIFF continues to surpass itself year on year, and is guaranteed to satisfy even the most hardened fans of motion pictures. So, in the immortal words of Jack  Nicholson’s Joker – Let’s broaden our minds…

– Clark



Culture Vulture/Campaign for Drawing Moleskine by thoughtbubblefestival

What-up Thought Bubblers? Some very worthy comic-related news for you to mull-over here:

The Culture Vulture (bringing you the best in Yorkshire culture and beyond) have teamed up with The Big Draw to undertake a travelling Moleskine® project beyond compare! Over 75 of these iconic sketch books have been unleashed into the world, travelling far and wide and bringing together multitudes of talented people.

The project will culminate in a fabulous arty party and exhibition in October to help raise funds for the Campaign for Real Drawing (Registered Charity No: 1114811).  Everyone who has taken part in the project will be invited along to meet up with their new Moleskine® buddies and there will be the chance to get your mitts on some of the extra special books featuring the etchings of various famous participants, with an extra special treat for all comic book fans…

There are a whole heap of fab sponsors involved including Travelling Man/Thought Bubble (us!), Numiko, Thompson Brand Partners, Sturban Clothing, Creative Space Management and Mojo London, as well as the support of great people at Howies and Innocent.

You can follow the journeys of the travelling Moleskines® on the Culture Vulture Flickr Group, check out the real-time adventures of the books on Twitter, and for more details of the people and artists involved browse the Roll Call to see a vast wealth of talented individuals…

As part of this, frankly awesome, fundraising idea Thought Bubble Festival and Travelling Man Comic shops are putting together a Moleskine® sketch book of their own with the theme of ‘Book of Magic’.

Contributors would be gladly welcomed, and all that is required is a quick sketch that fits into our theme that can be printed out and added to our sketch book. The normal approach would be to physically send the book out and then have it passed around, however, the timescales are a little too tight for this. The Moleskine® pages are A6 sized, but if the sketches can be sent electronically, then they can be readjusted to the appropriate size.

If you are interested please email Sabrina Peyton at sabrinapeyton@hotmail.com, our deadline is September 20th!

This is a genius idea for raising the profile and funds of an extremely worthwhile charity and everyone who has an interest in sequential art and comic-related goodness should check it out… Vamanos!

– Clark



We Love Comics Mini-Con ’09 by thoughtbubblefestival

News has just hit the inter-waves of a mini-con event happening next month at the Travelling Man comic shop in Leeds.

Travelling Man is the premier comics establishment in various cities across the country and is one of the sponsors for this year’s Thought Bubble Festival. The lovely people at Travelling Man have just announced that they will be holding the inaugural ‘We Love Comics’ mini-con on Saturday 5th September at their Leeds branch and they’ve secured some brilliant guests for it. This day of sequential-art fun will be the perfect remedy for any post-summer blues and will serve as a nice warm-up for the TB convention in November: guests appearing are…

Adi Granov (Iron Man Extremis)
Andy Diggle (Losers, Daredevil, Thunderbolts)
Liam Sharp (Special Gears of War graphic novel release signing)
Frazer Irving (Seven Soldiers, Iron Man Inevitable)
Peter Doherty (Judge Death, Shaolin Cowboy, 2000AD)

The mini-con will run from 1pm-4pm and provides an excellent opportunity to meet some of contemporary comics’ top-flight in a more intimate setting…

This year looks set to be a corker for comic related events in the UK so if you can’t make one then you’d be hard pressed to feel left out. Although we’d completely understand, heck we want to go to them all too!

Hopefully see some of you there for a thoroughly fun time… Flame on!

– Clark



Anime League Club London Event by thoughtbubblefestival

Howdy Thought Bubblers, another mini-post here this time on the subject of an Anime-League Club event taking place in London this November, this is one of the TB festival’s sister events so will be a nice warm up to our convention which is the week after!

Running on Saturday November 14th 2009 at the Slug & Lettuce, American Square at Tower Gateway, London, and with a capacity of 400 people, the ALCL is more of a mini-con than a club. It will run from midday until midnight and have merchandise dealers, video gaming, anime screenings, an artist’s alley, DDRing, roleplaying, card-gaming, along with a number of other events such as a masquerade, pub-quiz, parties, special guests and a whole lot more!

The ALCL runs events like these in November, February and May and they are well worth checking out… For more information on the ALCL please visit their site, and join in the anime fun!

– Clark