Thought Bubble 2018 runs 17th – 23rd September!

Friends of Thought Bubble: Building Blog by thoughtbubblefestival

Three blog posts in three weeks! It’s almost like we know what we’re doing here. Almost. If not for the fact that I’m writing this sat outside on the steps of Thought Bubble towers (having lost my keys in a Pokemon-based wager) there’d even be a vague air of professionalism to the proceedings. C’est la vie.

Here for your approval is the latest in our Small Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble (or Harry and the Friendersons) series! This week we have the privilege of welcoming Tom ‘Vented Spleen’ Humberstone into the ranks! Comic maker extraordinaire, and an amazing anthological architect to boot, Tom’s work is superb – some telling examples lie in the gallery a few degrees south…

Tom Humberstone is the creator of Art School Scum and Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Crohns Disease. His latest comic, How To Date a Girl In 10 Days, won an Eagle Award in 2008 for “Favourite black and white British comic”. He is also the co-author of My Fellow Americans, a book written and drawn during an eight week roadtrip across America following the 2008 Presidential elections.

In 2009 Tom created and edited the biannual anthology of UK comic artists – Solipsistic Pop – which was described by The Independent as “the British equivalent of Dave Egger’s McSweeneys“. Solipsistic Pop 2 is due for release on April 28th 2010 (this Wednesday!). He is currently working on a collection of short stories for his next book – Ellipsis. His illustrations have appeared in several publications including The Independent, Electric Sheep Magazine, Dazed&Confused, The Guardian and Word Magazine. His work can be viewed at his site or blog, and details of updates can be found on his twitter.

Tom’s 100 Days comic project was shaping up to be one of my favourite sequential art series of the year, and once it’s finished – sadly having been delayed due to illness – the results will be available to download for free as a special booklet that readers can create at home. I for one cannot wait to see the complete set!

Even more exciting is the news that Solipsistic Pop 3 will be released in November in time for Thought Bubble! Solipsistic Pop 2 isn’t even out yet and I’m already excited for volume 3! Whoo!

Tom’s comics are some of my favourite from the small press scene – they’re consistently moving and funny, (not to mention looking freaking gorgeous!) – and Solipsistic Pop looks set to be the indie anthology for the UK. You heard it here first! Well, not really, it’s a common sentiment, but true nonetheless.


In related news, this Saturday (May 1st) sees the phenomenon that is Free Comic Book Day arrive yet again (but, you already knew that, right?), and We Are Words & Pictures have a fresh free edition of Paper Science to delight you with. I don’t know, you wait ages for great anthologies to come along, and then two arrive at once. Note to self: don’t complain about things that are awesome. Details below on the spiffy flyer!


That’s your lot for now, and to be honest there’s so much hot small press goodness here that I’m going to have to let my Amstrad E-Mailer(tm) cool down before I can type anything else anyway.


– Clark


Friends of Thought Bubble: The Uncanny Blog-Men by thoughtbubblefestival

Hello! Has it been a week already? Well, as promised, here’s a new profile for the Small Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble (or Masters of the Friendiverse) portfolio, and also some information on a fantabulous new anthology which you should all check out. Would you like to know more? If so – simply read on, Macduff.

This week we’re extremely happy to be dusting off, and rolling out, the red carpet for Huw “Lem” Davies, a Leeds local whose lunatic tales of leporidaen life are lovely! Just take a look at the gallery (below), and I’m sure you’ll agree. If not, then there is simply no helping you.

Lem is a twenty-something, Leeds-dwelling graduate in Fine Arts with an
emphasis on sculptures that go beep. Somehow this has translated
reasonably well to the science of creating comics.

In-between drawing a webcomic called Bunny – which features a family of
small marshmallow like creatures on a mission to understand their world
and ours – and sewing together plush toys for a living he can be found
drawing covers and introductory comics for short-story anthologies about
Robots in the Wild West, stories about lonely cosmonauts for the 69 Love
Songs Illustrated project, and small bleak comics about sleepwalking
into a city made almost entirely of rather forbidding spires for his own

You can also follow Lem’s work on twitter, and via his blog. I recommend you do, it’s seriously worth it.


In other Small Press news, the time is fast approaching for the launch of Solipsistic Pop volume 2!

Solipsistic Pop is a biannual anthology designed to spotlight the best in alternative comic art from the UK. It features diverse, beautiful, twisted and peculiar comics that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Comic artists old and new are encouraged to contribute.

Volume 2 contains 64 pages of sequential art from some of the best comic artists, illustrators and designers working in the UK today. With a 12 page newspaper insert, gorgeous gatefold cover and specially designed tote bag, it’s a must have for any comic fan.

Contributors include Kristyna Baczynski, Becky Barnicoat, Adam Cadwell, Stephen Collins, Joe Decie, Marc Ellerby, Sally Hancox, Anne Holiday, Tom Humberstone, Philippa Johnson, Daniel Locke, Lizz Lunney, Jack Noel, Mark Oliver, Luke Pearson, Octavia Raitt, Anna Saunders, Julia Scheele, Matthew Sheret, and Matilda Tristram.

The first volume received rave reviews (for good reason), so be sure to get your hands (or other appendages) on the sophomore issue. Awesome.


That’s it for this week, but we’ll be back in seven(ish) days time with some more sequentially goodness, so you won’t have to wait too long. Of course, if you’re really impatient, you could store yourself in carbonite for seven days and then get a friend to begin the thawing process (and aid your recovery from the associated hibernation sickness) just before then. But that would be silly.

Put the bunny back in the box.

– Clark

Friends of Thought Bubble: BloGalactus (it’s a big post, and it eats planets) by thoughtbubblefestival

Howdy Thought Bubblers! We’re back in business with a bumper edition of the blog bringing you a small press profile (below), info on some up ‘n’ coming events (below), more YouTube frolics (below) and a lengthy opening sentence (here). There’s only 222 days remaining until this year’s festival, and according to numerology that particular set o’ digits signifies we’re on the right path. Reassuring to say the least.

First up is the latest in our series introducing you to some of the crème de la crème of the UK’s comix community, members of this exclusive club are inducted into the Small Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble (or Defrienders of the Earth) for all of time. This week we’re welcoming into the ranks the awesomely talented Joe List, hijacker of the Guardian’s Saturday output with consistently hilarious results, and producer of fine comic wares, as can be seen in the handily placed gallery (below).

Joe List is designer and illustrator from Cheshire.

He is better known for his work on The Annotated Weekender, a blog where, each week, he doodles onto the Guardians Weekend Supplement. His first comic book, Freak Leap, was released last year and features a series of abrupt adventures in glorious black and white vectors. He has recently put together a mini comic, GUTS, which is a collection of sketch book comics

Joe enjoys running away from fights, stamping on things, and letting people know how they have nice shoes.

If you’d like Joe to compliment your footwear then he’s on twitter, and also has a handy site from which you can see his work.

I thoroughly endorse Joe’s comics, The Annotated Weekender is a regular source of mirth and is single-handedly helping to save the newspaper medium (I assume).

Next up, some info on forthcoming attractions which UK comics fans should be excited about…

April 22nd-25th sees the inaugural UniComics Festival – a celebration of all kinds of comics for everyone. The four day festival features sequential art superstars Pat Mills, Dave Gibbons and Kevin O’Neil, and a broad spectrum of work drawing upon and inspired by comics – from film and story-boarding to illustration and theatre performance, encompassing opportunities for learning, networking and idea sharing. UniComics is presented by the University of Hertfordshire and you can find out more at their site, following them on twitter, or their Facebook.


The MCM Expo have just released their guest list for this May’s comic village (which includes us!), and it looks set to be a good one. From the 29th – 30th May at Excel London we’ll be in attendance with a table, new flyers for this year’s Thought Bubble, free stuff/prizes, and smiles. Lots of smiles. Like the UniComics festival (above), the Expo’s comic village also has an aim  in common with Thought Bubble, one which should be encouraged: to allow creators of all styles, mediums and levels to join together in one equal space and promote the good word of sequential art. The Expo and its visitors provide a unique fusion event for comic creators and fans to gather and share in sequential art goodness with those new to the medium! Come say hi, howdy, or hello! (Other greetings may be acceptable, depending on context).

Finally, we’ve put up some more videos from 2009’s Thought Bubble on our YouTube channel, including Bryan Talbot’s excellent talk on the history of anthropomorphism in British comics, and the “Do Zombies Read Comics?” panel from last year’s convention (featuring Ben Templesmith, Charlie Adlard, Sean Phillips, and Antony Johnston). Both well worth your time and the effort of a few clicks of your mouse.

… And that’s it for now, next week we’ll be back with another Small Press profile, I vow to you that they’ll be weekly for the foreseeable future, and my word is my bond people, so you know I mean business.


– Clark