Thought Bubble 2018 runs 17th – 23rd September!

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.


Friends of Thought Bubble by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

We’ll be coming at you later this week with a big post containing info on tickets for this year’s convention going on sale, but before that we just wanted to let you know about our new Friends of Thought Bubble programme, supporting our community outreach and educational events.


For the past decade, we’ve been growing as an organisation, coming up from our humble roots as a one-day convention, through to a fully-fledged not-for-profit comics festival, and one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of this has been our community outreach programme.

As well as our centrepiece convention each year, and our wider programme of signings and exhibitions, we run a number of free schools workshops, our book crossing programme that gives away hundreds of free comics to those who might not otherwise have access to them, work with Leeds Libraries on the Young People’s Book Awards, design quiet spaces like Bub’s Lounge at our convention for people with anxiety issues and autism, run our Rainbow Age LGBTQ* reading events, and work with local groups like the Bradford Action for Refugees centre and Leeds Specialist Autism Services.

Our work within the community lets us connect with young people and adults across Yorkshire, and use comics as a force for good, as well as bringing the medium into schools as a learning tool. As we head into our second decade, we’d like to expand that programme as much as possible. In order to help with this, we’re launching our Friends of Thought Bubble initiative, which will part-fund the work we do in the community, and let us continue and grow our educational and outreach programme.

We’ve full information on the initiative, and what it entails, on our website, and there’s a number of great perks available for becoming a Friend of Thought Bubble, and supporting comics education, as well as the option to simply donate a small amount if it’s a cause that’s close to your heart without subscribing to the full programme.

We’d really appreciate your help spreading the word about this on social media, or to anyone you think would be interested, and we’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped support Thought Bubble in the past, and let us do some amazing work in our local community!

Thanks again, and we’ll be back soon with information on booking tickets for this year’s convention!

Kodama Woods – 2014’s Thought Bubble project funded by Leeds Inspired by thoughtbubblefestival

Bub's Lounge Long PicHello everyone!

We’re incredibly excited to announce one of this year’s Thought Bubble projects, kindly funded by the wonderful Leeds Inspired.

Influenced by Hayao Miyazaki’s and Studio Ghibli’s brilliant animations such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, the Kodama Woods project will see us build a large-scale light installation, using wood and paper to form of a magical woodland. Attendees will be able to create their own sprite lanterns, which will then form a canopy under which we will hold story-telling sessions during the two-day Thought Bubble convention.  Artist Tom Eglington, who made last year’s amazing lamps in Bub’s Lounge, will be helping us with the project. He’s currently hard at work making beautiful things like this for us:



Workshops will be taking place from late September 2014 – Art therapist Alison Herbert  will be helping us run the events, and we hope to see as many of you at them as possible!

Leeds Inspired is part of the city’s cultural programme that celebrates arts, sport and heritage events throughout the year. They support culture in the city through the Leeds Inspired website, as well as grants schemes and commissions.

The Leeds Inspired what’s on website brings together the city’s annual highlights alongside independent events and  DIY happenings to create an ever changing inspirational cultural calendar. We’re immensely grateful to them for giving us the opportunity to put on these events, and hope some of you will be able to join in the fun with us!

Please get in touch if you would like to be involved in any way. We would love to hear from you. Email




Bub’s Lounge and Bub’s Social Art Workshops by thoughtbubblefestival

Hi everyone!

We’ve just had the second in our series of four Bub’s Social art workshops at the Travelling Man Lounge, Leeds. They’re going really well, so I thought I’d tell you a little more about them.

The workshops are a continuation of the work that we started in the new Bub’s Lounge space at Thought Bubble Festival last year. Bub’s Lounge came about following a series of meetings with David Newell from Specialist Autism Services. We discussed how to make the festival a more welcoming place for people on the Autism Spectrum who may find the bustling convention halls a little overwhelming, and the idea for Bub’s Lounge was formed.

With the help of Arts Council funding, we created a small, quiet and calm space down at New Dock. We had some fantastic artwork in there – incredible paper cut-out lamps by artist Tom Eglington and an exhibition of comic art by Portland artists. We also had projections and art therapy sessions, led by Art Therapist Alison Herbert. Due to the temporary nature of the space kindly given to us by Allied London, we were able to invite people to draw on the walls.

Wall art in Bub’s Lounge – Thought Bubble 2013

Lamps by Tom Eglington

Bub’s Lounge was used by many people throughout the convention weekend. A big group of people from Specialist Autism Services came over on the Saturday afternoon, when the convention is at its absolute busiest. A couple of members did have difficulty dealing with the crowded halls, and found Bub’s Lounge to be a useful respite.

Our Arts Council funding meant that the Art Therapy sessions can continue this year. Art Therapist Alison Herbert was really excited about working with us some more, as she found the Bub’s Lounge sessions to be extremely fun and rewarding. The new Bub’s Social workshops are running on the last Thursday of each month at the Travelling Man Lounge in Leeds.

We didn’t know what to expect from the first workshop but we were delighted when lots of eager faces arrived. Everyone introduced themselves and drew a portrait/avatar to start things off. Some of the attendees were burgeoning artists who wanted to gain more confidence in their work and bounce ideas off other people, while others had very little experience but just wanted to have a chat and a draw. We’ve created an email group where everyone can talk to each other between sessions too.


The second workshop was last week. Many of the attendees from the first session came back, and there were some new faces too. This workshop focussed more on creating art collaboratively; drawings were passed round, added to and modified by different people. The group discussed what they’d like to do with the next two sessions, and it was decided that they would work together on a large-scale sequential art piece; a creative group effort on writing a story with each person drawing a frame.

We would love it if you want to come and join in the next session. It will be held on Thursday 27th March in the Travelling Man Lounge (107 Kirkgate, Leeds, LS1 6DP) from 5pm til 7pm. Here’s is the Facebook event If you want any more details, or if you’d like to discuss the workshops or Bub’s Lounge, please email me at or call me on 07585 504 763.


Thought Bubble Socials – 2014 by thoughtbubblefestival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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