Thought Bubble 2018 runs 17th – 23rd September!

Thought Bubble February Update by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

We’ve just sent some big updates live over on our website, so we wanted to go into a little more detail here on the blog as to what you can find!

Ahead of this year’s Thought Bubble, which takes place from 17th – 23rd September, with our centre-piece convention running in Leeds city centre on 22nd and 23rd September, we’ve added a new wave of guests to the website, including:

Paul Cornell;

Marc Ellerby;


Sebastian Girner;

Sarah Graley;

Ariela Kristantina;

John Lees;


Mike Norton;

Carey Pietsch;

Declan Shalvey;

Andrew Wildman;

and Steve Yeowell!

We’ll be updating the site throughout the year, so be sure to bookmark and check back regularly!


We’ve also added our first wave of exhibitors to the site at so you can get an idea of who’ll be joining us for this year’s convention! We’ll be updating this page regularly, and then, once floor plans are finalised, we’ll be listing exhibitors by which of our convention spaces they’ll be appearing in, along with floor plans for the various venues.

We’re welcoming new creators and retailers to Thought Bubble with each festival, so be sure to have a click around and find some new favourites to track down when September rolls around.

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Our charity art auction, in support of Barnardo’s, closes this Thursday 8th February, so if you want to try and get your hands on some amazing comic art, created at 2017’s Thought Bubble, don’t miss out!

You can see a preview of the artwork up for auction in the gallery above, and full listing details can be found on our eBay profile at – all proceeds from the auctions will go to Barnardo’s, with the exception of postage and packaging costs.


That’s it for now, we’ll be back soon with more updates on this year’s Bubbly events!


Thought Bubble Charity Art Auction 2018 by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

As part of last year’s Thought Bubble convention, we ran our regular Sketching Spotlight event, where some amazing comic artists came up on stage and discussed their approach to illustrating with Peter Doherty, while also sketching live for our excellent audience.

Because comic artists are the best people on the planet, they 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 people who took part, both for their time and generosity, 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.

For archival videos from a selection of previous years’ Sketching Spotlights, please visit our YouTube channel.

The auction will take place on eBay and will run for 10 days from 12pm (GMT) on Monday 29th January, with bidding/delivery open to fans 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 for a good cause, and find some new homes for some awesome artwork!

(100% of proceeds from each auction (excluding P&P) will be donated to the Barnardo’s charity all artwork is A4 in size, full information available on individual item listing pages linked below, which will be live from 12pm (GMT) – Monday 29th January, or can be viewed at – worldwide shipping is available, with full P&P details available on individual items’ listing pages.)


Charlie Adlard - 2017

Artwork by Charlie Adlard, pencils and inks on paper, September 2017

Please click here to visit item auction listing page (live from 12pm, Monday 29th January)

Nick Derington - 2017

Artwork by Nick Derington, pencils on paper, September 2017

Please click here to visit item auction listing page (live from 12pm, Monday 29th January)

Joelle Jones - 2017

Artwork by Joëlle Jones, pencils and ink on paper, September 2017

Please click here to visit item auction listing page (live from 12pm, Monday 29th January)

Sean Phillips - 2017

Artwork by Sean Phillips, pencils and inks on paper, September 2017

Please click here to visit item auction listing page (live from 12pm, Monday 29th January)

Sara Pichelli - 2017

Artwork by Sara Pichelli, pencils and inks on paper, September 2017

Please click here to visit item auction listing page (live from 12pm, Monday 29th January)





Artwork by James Stokoe, pencil and inks on paper, September 2017

Please note: these are auctioned as a pair and appear on different sides of the same sheet of paper.

Please click here to visit item auction listing page (live from 12pm, Monday 29th January)

Gabriel Walta - 2017

Artwork by Garbiel H. Walta, pencils and inks on paper, September 2017

Please click here to visit item auction listing page (live from 12pm, Monday 29th January)


Our special thanks to go out to Peter Doherty for all his help and for hosting the Sketching Spotlights, and to Jip and all our technical volunteers for making these sessions possible, as well as the wonderful audiences who attended on the day!

TB 2018 – Exhibitor Registration by thoughtbubblefestival

Table registration for this year’s Thought Bubble convention is now open, and we wanted to put up some more information on the curation process, and how that will work for next year’s show, which takes place 22nd and 23rd September.

2018’s convention will be taking place in Leeds City Centre, and a map of the area of the city we’ll be taking over to share the world of comics with the UK can be seen below, with convention exhibition spaces marked on it. We’ve also got a google map of this area of the city, which can be found here.


Thought Bubble’s convention will have four exhibition spaces, as seen above: Leeds Town Hall’s Victoria Hall, and three custom-built venues on Victoria Square (in front of Leeds Town Hall), Millenium Square, and Cookridge Street (in front of Radisson Blu Hotel / The Light), with surrounding venues hosting panels and live events taking place across the weekend.

We remain committed to being as inclusive a show as possible, and it’s one of the core values that makes the convention, and the festival as a whole, what it is. While we’d like to be able to include everyone who may wish to exhibit at the show, Thought Bubble has now reached the stage where the demand for exhibition space exceeds the venue space available to us, and the convention is curated.

As with previous years, this involves a simple online registration form which is now live on the website, and will remain open for four weeks until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 7th January 2018. In order that this process remains as fair as possible, after this time we won’t be able to accept any more exhibitor applications (including to the reserves list).

The registration form contains full terms and conditions of exhibiting, so please take the time to read these fully before submitting your application, and if you have any queries during the process, just drop us an email. Remember that all applications received during the window will be considered in full, so there’s no need to rush your entry. Terms and conditions can also be found on a dedicated web-page by clicking here.

Following the close of the registration window, we’ll contact all those who applied by late-January to confirm whether we’ll be able to accommodate them this year, and also to take payment for the table – and any changes to this schedule will be communicated ahead of time. If your email address, or primary contact reference, changes at any point during this time, please let us know as soon as possible.

Because of this curation, and the nature of the festival as a forum to promote comics and those who make them, we need to give priority to comic book publishers and retailers, and comic book artists and writers (either independent or publisher-affiliated). If you have exhibited with us in the past and do not fit into this category, please do still fill in the online form once it goes live, as we would love you to come if we do have room in one of our exhibition spaces.

Every year, we also have a small number of people who book tables and are then unable to attend, and so we’ll form a reserves list of unsuccessful applicants who will be offered tables should they become available. As these offers are based on previously confirmed exhibitors cancelling, we are unable to advise on the date at which they will become available, but as soon as we receive a cancellation we’ll contact the next person/group on the reserves list with first refusal.

The decision on who we can accept to the convention will be made by the organisational team as a whole, to ensure the process remains as fair as possible, but due to the number of applications we receive, we’re unfortunately not able to give feedback to unsuccessful exhibitors, as we’re only a small team. However, to give an idea of what we’re looking for, we’d like to see:

  •  Examples of your work, ideally online versions (including webcomics)/e-shop listings of comics/graphic novels/prints/illustrations you’ll have for sale at the show;
  •  If the above is unavailable, then a portfolio website such as DeviantArt or Tumblr will also be suitable;
  •  If your work is mostly print, as opposed to online, then we’d also be able to view scanned versions of documents via dropbox links (or similar);
  •  If you’re a creator with no online examples of your work, then please link to/provide a bibliography/list of credits if none of the options above are possible;
  •  If you’re a retailer with no formal online presence, then please give as full an idea as possible as to the range of merchandise/titles you’d be bringing to the convention;
  • With regards to the above, please make sure your website link is correct, and that the website is currently live/active;
  •  If in doubt shout it out – tell us about what you think you can bring to Thought Bubble, even if it may seem obvious to you; if it’s not immediately apparent in the information you provide to us we may not know about it, and we don’t want anyone to miss out;
  • Similarly, if you’d like to table next to/near other specific exhibitors please let us know in your application – after curation closes and table plans are drafted it becomes very difficult to move people around, so please make sure to be specific if you’d like to be close to someone at the show;
  • Thought Bubble also loves sharing – we’re more than happy for exhibitors to share table space, so if you’d like to exhibit with friends or as a collective then please do send us a combined application, but remember to include relevant details (listed above) for all exhibitors who’d be utilising the table space;
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, when filling out the application form, take your time – you’ve got a month to complete the form, and all applications received in that window are considered fully after the close of the registration period before a final decision is made, so make sure to fill it in correctly and with as much detail as possible to the answers.

Full details as to pricing, along with full tabling terms and conditions, are live on the website now along with the registration form, and the terms and conditions will remain in place for reference until after this year’s events. Please do make sure to read these carefully, as they contain very important information about attending the convention, should your application be successful.

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who supports Thought Bubble, and we look forward to seeing many of you next September!

TBF18 Winter Update! by thoughtbubblefestival

Greetings, Bubblers!

We hope you’re having a good winter (in the northern hemisphere, at least), and are building up to a nice end to 2017 – we’ve been planning away for 2018’s Thought Bubble events, and we’ve got our first wave of updates below, including important information for people wanting to apply to exhibit at this year’s convention, festival dates, and our first wave of guests!

Thought Bubble 2018 will be taking place from 17th – 23rd September, with our centre-piece convention once again taking over Leeds City Centre on 22nd and 23rd September, as well as a number of fringe events around the festival week. If you’ve never been to Thought Bubble before, we’ll have full information on festival events going up online next summer, and we’ll have a number of info posts on the blog to help with planning your visit, so keep an eye on our feed!

Our website has undergone its yearly regeneration, and you can probably spot our brand new festival image at the top of this very blog! 2018’s image has been created for us by the excellent Stephanie Son, and will be making sure the stars align for next year’s Thought Bubble. You’ll be able to see the image below popping up on all our online media, and later this year once our posters and billboards start appearing all over the country!


We’ll be updating the website throughout the year as we confirm details for this year’s events, so be sure to check it regularly – and any time we have important information about the festival we’ll pop it up on here and our Twitter and Facebook accounts too, so however you like to get your bubbly news there’s an option for you.

Exhibitor applications for the convention will be opening on Monday 11th December and run for 4 weeks, until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 7th January. We’ll have another blog post coming on Monday with full information on how to apply, and the curation process, if you’ve never attended Thought Bubble as an exhibitor before. Don’t forget that this is a curated process, not first-come first-served, so there’s no need to rush your application when the system goes live.

Finally, we’re delighted to present our first wave of guests for this year’s Thought Bubble! We’ll be updating our guest list throughout the year, but early confirmations include:

Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead)

Saladin Ahmed (Black Bolt)

Jeff Dekal (Iron Fist)

Cully Hamner (RED)

Dustin Harbin (Diary Comics)

Leslie Hung (Snotgirl)

Janet Lee (Return of the Dapper Men)

Afua Richardson (Black Panther)

Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman)

Nicola Scott (Black Magick)

Ben Sears (Volcano Trash)

Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther)

Magdalene Visaggio (Kim & Kim)

Victoria Ying (Frozen)


That’s everything for the time being – we’ll be back on Monday with convention registration information, and we’ll be updating throughout the coming year as we build up to 2018’s events – thanks, as always, for supporting Thought Bubble!

TBF17 Competition Results & Fringe Events by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

We’re back in the office, following last month’s Thought Bubble, and we’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who came along to our biggest ever festival! We were so happy to be able to welcome so many comics-loving folks to Leeds city centre, and hope you enjoyed visiting us in the festival’s new home!

We’re just catching up with post-Festival admin, and we’ll be back soon with updates on 2018’s events, including festival dates, but in the meantime, we have competition results, an award shortlist, and some last Thought Bubble ’17 fringe events before we bid TB adieu for another year.


The results for this year’s TB Comic Art Competition are now available to view on the website, and we’d like to say thank you to everyone who entered, and congratulations to the winners! You’ll be able to find this year’s winners in 2018’s issue of our charity anthology, and we’ll have details of 2018’s competition going live in the new year.

This year’s winners can be viewed by clicking here.


The shortlist for 2017’s Young People’s Comic Award is now available online, and can be viewed by clicking here. The shortlisted books will now go before the discerning gaze of our reading groups from participating schools and public libraries, who will vote on the winners, with the final result to be announced in December.

We’d like to say a big thank you to our awards committee for this year, and all the young people who take part in the judging process, and good luck to all this year’s shortlisted authors and publishers!


Finally, we’ve got two final Thought Bubble ’17 fringe events taking place this week, with the Lost Forest of Leeds opening its boughs to visitors on the 5th and 6th October at Leeds Town Hall, as part of Light Night celebrations.

As its strange secrets come to life around you, use a special flashlight and explorer’s map to help local artist, Jack Fallows, solve the cryptic messages of the mysterious forest before the portal closes up again!

Jack has worked with young people across Leeds to create characters and stories set against the backdrop of this hidden world.

For full details on the event, please click here.


That’s all for now, we’d like to say another final (big) thank you to all our volunteers and panel hosts for this year’s Thought Bubble, for giving up their time and energy to help make our biggest Bubble yet so special.

We’ll be back soon with 2018 updates, but if you’d like to find out what we’re up to in the meantime (as we never really stop) then you can follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Thought Bubble 2017 Festival Spotlights: Zarjaz! Exhibition by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

We’re now just 2 weeks away from the start of 2017’s Thought Bubble, and our return to Leeds City Centre, and as the festival gets ever closer, we’re marking the run-up to this year’s events by cherry-picking some selected highlights from this year’s programme here on the blog – helping you get the most out of the festival week!




Taking place from 18th to 24th September at venues across Leeds (and beyond), 2017’s Thought Bubble will be a celebration of all comics has to offer – comprising a huge range of events for fans of all ages, and will include free art & writing based workshops for young people & adults, talks & masterclasses lead by industry professionals, free exhibitions, & our massive two-day comic convention on 23rd and 24th September in the heart of Leeds City Centre!

The full festival programme can be found on this page, with full information on events available by clicking their titles, and a map of venues for this year’s festival can be found here. We’ve also got a digital version of this year’s festival guide up online here, with provisional convention floor plans available here, and free print copies of all of these will be available at our events for attendees.

Don’t forget to check out all the guests and exhibitors who’ll be joining us for this year’s convention, and make sure to get your convention tickets (although more will be available on the door)!

We’ve also updated our visitor’s guide for the festival, including travel advice for getting to/around Leeds, which can be found here.

Today, in the first of our series of festival highlights, we’re looking at the free Zarjaz! exhibition, open now, celebrating 40 years of the galaxy’s greatest comic – 2000 AD!




Presented in association with Vice Press, and free to view at The Gallery at Munro House for the whole of September, the exhibition brings together a host of amazing artists to create some spectacular original tribute art to celebrate 40 years of 2000 AD.

Artists involved include: Charlie Adlard, David Aja, Mark Chilcott, Michael Cho, Mike Collins, Boo Cook, Rufus Dayglo, Nick Derington, Tom Eglington, Jason Edmiston, Brett Ewins, Carlos Ezquerra, Glenn Fabry, Matt Ferguson, Florey, Tom Foster, Godmachine, Matt Griffin, John Higgins, Dan Hipp, Jock, Clint Langley, Tula Lotay, Jake Lynch, John McCrea, Mick McMahon, Tom J Newell, John Pearson, Luke Preece, Raid71, Arthur Ranson, Alex Roland, Henrik Sahlstrom, Greg Staples, Chris Weston, and Kei Zama.

Ahead of this year’s Thought Bubble Comic Convention, on Friday 22nd September from 7pm onwards, Vice Press and 2000 AD will be hosting a special Thought Bubble Exhibition Event at The Gallery at Munro House, which will be followed by The 2000 AD Juve Cube – a riotous night of celebration featuring Live music, DJs and live art from super-star VIP droids featured in the accompanying exhibition.

Full information on the exhibition and Juve Cube event can be found here, including previews of the exhibition pieces, all of which are available for purchase from the gallery.


We’ll be back tomorrow with another festival spotlight, but in the meantime, don’t forget that you can get live updates on all the current Thought Bubble action, please follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook!


A5 Flyer - Thought Bubble


Visiting Thought Bubble – A Brief Guide For 2017 by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

With 2017’s Thought Bubble just around the corner we thought it would be a good idea to update our visitor’s guide for this year. If you’ve never joined us for a Thought Bubble before, or you’re returning for more comics fun and want to get more out of your trip to Leeds, then we hope the information below will be of help.

We’ve been busy updating the guest pages for this year’s festival, with some brilliant creators for you to meet in Leeds this month (with over 100 guests now confirmed as attending), and we’ve also been updating the exhibitor icons on the site for 2017’s convention, which will be our biggest yet, in our new home in Leeds City Centre!

A map of the city with festival venues marked on it can be found here, and the full festival guide is now available online, with details on all this year’s events, which can be found here.

Convention exhibitor information, including links to provisional floor plans, can be found below for:

comiXology Marquee

Cookridge Street Marquee

Leeds Town Hall Marquee

Victoria Hall

Free maps of all convention halls with exhibitors and guests listed on them will be available at the event, along with free print copies of this year’s festival guide.




Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Thought Bubble convention, taking place on the 23rd and 24th September, and can be pre-purchased via our website or picked up in person from Travelling Man stores! We’ve got free entry for under-12s and over-65s, and discounts for those attending in costume to celebrate our expanded cosplay programme, more on which can be found here.

This year’s mid-con party, celebrating comiXology’s tenth birthday, is free-to-attend, and full information can be found in the guide, or on the website here.

Registration is now open for 2017’s Comics Forum academic conference, which takes place at Leeds Library on 21st and 22nd September. Full details of this, including how to register, can be found in the festival guide.



  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 5 minute walk from the convention site, and there’s a taxi rank that’s constantly manned just outside the main station entrance.
  2. 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.
  3. 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;
  4. If you’re driving into Leeds then there’s information on how to get to the convention village area available here – 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;
  5. Parking is available at a variety of venues in Leeds City Centre – take a look here for parking options, or click here for Leeds park and ride – there is no parking provided at the convention venues, and, due to this being a city centre location, we strongly advise planning your journey and parking spot ahead of the convention dates;
  6. If you’re getting the bus into the city, then the convention area 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 Radisson Blu which is located in Leeds city centre, and is directly adjacent to the convention site. The hotel is a 5 minute walk from the rail station, and close to central bus routes in the city.

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 area in Leeds City Centre in around 20 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 (the site of this year’s Mid-Con party), all of which are a short walk from the convention area, which also has a number of nearby bars and restaurants on the surrounding streets.


The convention – 10 important points:

  1. This year’s convention takes place on the weekend of September 23rd and 24th, with doors opening to the public at 10am and closing at 6pm on Saturday 23rd September and 10am until 5pm on Sunday 24th September;
  2. Tickets will be available for purchase on the day of the convention, but this may involve some queueing, and your convention wristband will get you into all events taking place at the convention on the day/s for which it is valid (including panels and live events) – your wristband can be picked up from the ticket desks at the convention village on the day (just bring along your physical ticket to exchange, or the booking email if a physical ticket was not provided);
  3. Venue information for 2017’s events can be found here, and all listings in the festival programme include the individual event’s locations (including postcodes, where appropriate) and timings;
  4. We’d recommend bringing some waterproof clothing, as Leeds’ weather can be changeable in September, and there are open spaces between the convention venues;
  5. All venues at the convention are wheelchair accessible, and baby changing facilities are available in Leeds Town Hall, Leeds City Museum and the Carriageworks Theatre;
  6. We’d recommend bringing a decent amount of cash (especially change) with you, as our supply is generally taken up with handling on-the-door ticket sales, but there are a number of free-to-use cashpoints in the area, which our volunteers will be happy to point you in the direction of – on a related note, exhibitors will love you if you can pay with exact change;
  7. While we don’t impose limits on the number of items people can bring to be signed, please be aware that, for the purposes of security, we may need to check your bags on entering convention venues, so kindly ask for your cooperation in this regard;
  8. If you have any issues during your visit, 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 – if you find yourself needing a quiet space during the convention at any time, then Bub’s Lounge in Leeds City Museum is free to enter for all attendees, and designed in partnership with Leeds Specialist Autism Services;
  9. A simple point, 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, so we ask that:
    • attendees treat each other, including exhibitors, guests, and volunteers, with respect;
    • anyone wishing to take photographs or film at any Thought Bubble events are requested to please ask permission from the subject/s before doing so – information on our Cosplay policies can be found here.


A5 Flyer - Thought Bubble