Thought Bubble 2018 runs 17th – 23rd September!

Visiting Thought Bubble – A Brief Guide for 2016 by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

As we head towards this year’s festival (only a month away!) we thought it would be a good idea to update our visitor’s guide for 2016. 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 also got a number of early ticket releases currently open for events, so you can find a quick summary below, before the full festival programme launches later this week.

We’ve been busy updating the guest pages for this year’s festival, with some brilliant creators for you to meet in Leeds this November (with over 100 guests now confirmed as attending), and we’ve also been updating the exhibitor icons on the site for 2016’s convention, which should be our biggest yet!

Convention exhibitor information can be found on the links below for:

New Dock Hall exhibitor list and provisional floor plan;

Royal Armouries Hall exhibitor list and provisional floor plan;

Marquee exhibitor list and provisional floor plan.


Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Thought Bubble convention, taking place on the 5th and 6th November, and can be pre-purchased on our website or picked up in person from Travelling Man stores!

We’ve also opened up the ticket pre-sales for our Mid-con party, which this year is taking place from 7pm – 1am on Saturday 5th November, and we’ve full information on this, including details of our excellent new party venue right here on the blog.

Registration is now open for 2016’s Comics Forum academic conference, which takes place at Leeds Library on 3rd and 4th November. Full details of this, including how to register, can be found here.

Registration is also open for our free festival event, Creative Networks @ Leeds College of Art Present An Evening With Mike Mignolawhere the legendary comics creator will be discussing his career with Richard Starkings. Spaces on this are filling up fast, so we’d recommend booking soon to avoid disappointment, and full event details can be found here.



  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 15 minute walk from the convention site, or about a 5 minute taxi ride, 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 detailed instructions of how to get to the convention site here, including information on parking at the Royal Armouries’ museum, which is attached to the convention square. 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. If you’re getting the bus into the city, then the convention site 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 about a 20 minute walk from the convention site. The hotel is a 5 minute walk from the rail station, and close to central bus routes in the city.

Free water taxis run on the weekend which will take you from the city centre to the convention site at Leeds Dock in approximately 10 minutes. More information on the water taxis can be found here – please note, the water taxis are weather permitting, and may not be operating if the river levels are too high.

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 centre on Leeds Dock in around 50 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). There are also a number of convenience stores located around the convention square, but they can tend to sell out of a lot of essential items quickly on the convention weekend.

The convention – 10 important points:

  1. This year’s convention takes place on the weekend of November 5th & 6th, and set up for exhibitors runs from 7.30am on Saturday 5th, with doors opening to the public at 10am and closing at 5pm on both days;
  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 Leeds Dock sites (including panels and screenings) – your wristband can be picked up from the ticket desks at the convention on the day (just bring along your booking email or physical ticket to exchange);
  3.  Venue information for 2016’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 warm/waterproof clothing, as Leeds can be quite chilly in November, and there are open spaces between the three convention halls;
  5. All venues at the convention are wheelchair accessible, and baby changing facilities are available in the Royal Armouries Museum (which has free entry);
  6. We’d recommend bringing a decent amount of cash (especially change) with you, as the nearby cash-points can run out during the weekend, and our supply is generally taken up with handling on-the-door ticket sales – also, exhibitors will love you if you can pay with exact change;
  7. We currently cannot offer on-site storage at the convention, so while we don’t impose limits on the number of items people can bring to be signed, please be aware that you’ll need to be able to carry them with you all day, along with any purchases that are made at the event;
  8. 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;
  9. A simple one, 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 please ask the subjects before doing so.


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.


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.


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.


Thought Bubble 2013 – Official Festival Announcement by thoughtbubblefestival

Greetings, true bubblievers!

Spring is approaching, and the sun is valiantly fighting its way back into the sky, so, by my ancient Babylonian crop tracking device, I make it just about time to make some big ol’ TBF13 announcements! HUZZAH!

We are delighted to reveal that this year’s festival will run from 17th – 24th November, in conjunction with the 27th Leeds International Film Festival, and our humongous convention will take place on the 23rd & 24th November! We’ll have announcements coming soon regarding table registration and ticket sales for the convention, but in the meantime we have our first wave of guests confirmed, including…

Rafael Alburquerque (American Vampire);
Gabriel Bá (Daytripper, Casanova);
Andy Belanger (Swamp Thing, Black Church);
Becky Cloonan (Batman, Wolves, The Mire);
Ming Doyle (Mara, Jennifer’s Body)
Fábio Moon (Casanova, Daytripper);
Sean Gordon Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus);
Ramón Pérez (Wolverine & The X-Men);
Emma Rios (Captain Marvel, Pretty Deadly);
Annie Wu (Hawkeye, The Venture Bros)

You can see more details on the website, and we’ll have many, many more guests to announce as the festival draws closer, so keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook to find out as soon as we add new names to the list!

In further TBF13 news, and as you’ve probably spotted from the top of the blog – we’ve got an awesome new festival image! This year’s festival icon has been provided by the wonderful Alice Duke, and we should hopefully have a blog post soon about her process for creating it. We love it, and the sci-fi vibe that it’s giving to this year’s proceedings is out of this world. Literally! Hahaha– sorry. You can see the full version of her ace art below (click to embiggen).



That’s all for the time being, but there’s plenty more to see up at so be sure to have a nose around, and we’ll be back soon with more updates for our biggest festival ever!

Oh, and Minterviews will be back next week! So look out for that! YAY!

Thought Bubble 2011, the saga continues… by thoughtbubblefestival

Hello Thought Bubblers!

Apologies for the unintentional blog hiatus, we’ve been working away at prepping for this year’s festival and have a whole heap of exciting things to reveal to you, just not today. But soon. Prooooomise.

There are things that we can reveal now, however, so let’s start the ball rolling with the facelift that the blog’s had.

We were super psyched when the amazing Becky Cloonan agreed to produce this year’s official festival image, and when we received the finished piece it literally blew our minds. Took us hours to get the walls of Thought Bubble towers cleared of all the grey matter, that’s how awesome it is. Becky’s great take on Snow White, we’re sure you’ll agree, is a perfect fit for the festival, and just goes to show that comics can even bring together homicidal step-mothers and their intended victims. There is literally nothing they cannot do. There’s a great step-by-step process of how the image was created up on Becky’s website, and if you glance down you can see the individual elements presented here for your viewing pleasure!

(click to embiggen)

Next bit of housekeeping – Tables are available to book for this year’s expanded, two-day, two-hall convention! Early bird prices are in effect until August 1st, so take advantage and get in on the action. Full details on how to register are up on the website, if you have any queries please drop us a line via exhibitbubble[at]gmail[dot]com and we’ll get back to you sharpish!

Speaking of the website, we’re currently in the process of giving the old girl a complete overhaul, as a result of which there may be some slight downtime later in the week. This shouldn’t last for too long, and once the website’s back up it’ll be all new and shiny and ready to accommodate all your myriad browsing needs! While the website is down you will still be able to  contact us via e-mail, twitter, and Facebook, and we’ll still be able to process table bookings, rest assured.

In other, non-Thought Bubble news, this week sees the start of the 12th annual Leeds Young Peoples Film Festival, and this year’s programme looks like their best yet!

Tickets are now on sale for Film Festival, an event organised by Leeds City Council and MediaFish, a group of award-winning young film enthusiasts. The annual event taking place from Monday 28th March to Friday 8th April boasts a special preview 3D screening of Rio, from the makers of ‘Ice Age’.

The We Love Anime roadshow takes place on Saturday 2nd April and comes to Leeds’ Hyde Park Picture House with a fantastic showcase of Anime films, old and new including Summer Wars, and fan-favourite Redline. The rest of the day is made up of the 1986 Miyazaki classic Laputa Castle in the Sky and the new Trigun Badlands Rumble based on the cult 90’s series. Tickets for the films start at £2.50 and passes for the whole day start at just £8.00, the first 60 people who buy full day passes will also receive a free goody bag worth over £30 that includes DVD’s, shirt’s, book’s and more.

As well as the films there will also be a manga wall where budding young artists can show off their talents, the best drawings will be awarded prizes throughout the day. There will also be a Cosplay competition for the best costume judged by Travelling Man and Thought Bubble.

It’ll be a great day, so come along and join in the fun!


And that’s it for now, next month we’ll have the new website up and running, fresh festival guests to announce, the convention programme to reveal, and some new Small Press and Independent Friends of Thought Bubble to welcome into the fold! Almost too much to handle. Almost.

– Clark

Thought Bubble 2010 Hyper-efficient mega-news post by thoughtbubblefestival

Alright guys, this is a big one, we’ve got a lot to get through and we’re losing daylight here people. Read like you’ve got a purpose! WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR MAL- sorry, sorry, started channeling R Lee Ermey. Again. Seriously though, we’ve got a whole bunch of news for you in this here post, and it’s all pretty dang BIG.

Ok, We’re now able to officially reveal the two TOP SECRET newly announced side-projects that Thought Bubble has had up its sleeves for this year.

The first is the Northern Sequential Art Competitiona contest we’re running in association with Travelling Man comic shops, Imagine FX, and 2000AD – open to all artists/writers (12 years old +) in the United Kingdom. There are some great prizes on offer, and we can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with. ALL entries will also be displayed as part of a digital exhibition in venues across Leeds and the surrounding areas in the two weeks prior to this year’s Festival. To the drawing boards!

The second is related to the first (and is something we’ve been wanting to do for a while now), namely compiling a Free Comic Book Day Anthology. This will feature big name contributors from across the sequential art spectrum, as well as our competition winners, and will be launched on May 2011’s FCBD! Thought Bubble will bring the comics to YOU. (Yes, you)


Next up is the heartening news that Thought Bubble 2010 is well on the way to full lock down – we finalised the programme for this year’s festival at the weekend (and it’s looking pretty spiffy if we do say so ourselves), and there should be some shiny new flyers and brochures winging their way across the country soon.

A few things to be said on this note – first is that pre-order tickets are selling fast. If you want guaranteed entry to the Saturday evening’s after-party (as conferred by the first 500 pre-booked tickets) – with music provided by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Team Phonogram and the Thought Bubble Soundsystem – then don’t delay. We’ll put out an announcement once they’re gone.

The second is that we’re now running very low on exhibitor tables for the Saturday convention. If you’re still planning on attending with your wares then get in touch quick to bagsie one of the remaining few. Again, an announcement will be made when they’re all gone.


In related event news, our friends at the Anime League are running their Alcon again next month and it should be a blast!

Alcon will run from the 9th-12th September at De Montfort University in Leicester!

Alcon has everything from an anime night-club, companies to buy anime goodies from, screenings of the latest anime, a bar, artists alley, cosplay cafe, DDRing, a J-Culture room, Cosplay Hangout, roleplaying, Card Gaming and much much more. It’s a four day event and all for just £29.
Finally, we’re super excited about the Leeds Alternative Comics Fair which will be taking place in our fair city next month. Organised by friends of Thought Bubble Hugh ‘Shug’ Raine and Steve Tillotson,  full details can be found on their site – or on their rather delightful posters (below) –  and real-time updates are coming thick and fast on their twitter! It’s awesome to see another great event taking place in Leeds, and it looks like the next year or so is going to see a whole host of new comic shindigs popping up all over the country. Excelsior!
And that is literally all the news. Check back soon as we’ll be posting the programme for this year’s festival in the near future, and it looks set to be our best yet! We can’t wait, and it’s just over 3 months to go! Cushty.
– Clark

Ben Templesmith Minterview by thoughtbubblefestival

Alright guys, this it it – we’re now less than a week away from the start of this year’s Thought Bubble. Fasten your seatbelts, keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times, and do not leave your seat until we’ve come to a complete stop (around 5pm Sunday 22nd November). Otherwise enjoy yourselves, it’s promising to be a belter.

In celebration of the impending awesomeness, we have the final in our series of minterviews with some of our professional guests – today sees Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Fell, Wormwood Gentleman Corpse) take time out to talk to us, the results of which are below for your delight and delectation. Get some.


Hi Ben, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today; for starters, could you tell us how your comic book work first came about?

I technically broke-in twice into comics, at the same time virtually. One was via Joe Casey on a project he wanted to do at Vertigo, called The Darwin Theory, which we actually started, but, alas, never ended up seeing print for one reason or another. My first actual work the world knows though was as the new artist on Todd McFarlane’s Hellspawn, after Brent Ashe, then TMP art-director saw my work online, and I think he said Todd walked by and noticed he was looking at something on his screen, and it basically went from there!

Your artistic style is not what most people would consider ‘traditional’ comic book art, was this a conscious decision to reflect the, often gothic, tones of titles you’ve worked on, or is it simply your natural illustrative style?

That always makes me laugh. Being “non traditional” in comics means I’m, kind of, just “art” to the rest of the world instead of the perceived stereotypical “comic” style. It’s great that the medium has opened up now to a whole variety of eclectic styles though, in the last few decades certainly. As with most artists I guess my style is simply about being an extension of who I am to some degree. I always loved the darker side of things, and atmospherics – that just translates to the art really. I always try to slightly tailor things depending on the project though, of course.

Do you feel that this ‘stereotypical comic style’ is, perhaps, one of the main reasons that it’s taken so long for comic books to become accepted, by the mainstream, as a culturally relevant storytelling medium?

I still don’t think it has. Sure, we now have the “graphic novel” being a cool buzz-word, but all the general population still think they are, in general, is superheroes. Obviously they’ve had great success now, but a medium still isn’t one genre. A few more successful non-superhero stories that are just, well, good stories that have more interesting art could change that, but I won’t hold my breath just yet. It would just be nice if comics had the comparable success of, say, a Harry Potter, or a Twilight series – to really break it open with a bona fide cultural phenomenon – to change mindsets completely. I can dream, no? I only see the quest for “acceptance” as a way to guarantee a viable future for the medium though – not for riches, or glory for glory’s sake.

Has your individual style adapted to embrace the recent advances in digital illustration techniques, or do you prefer to work with more orthodox materials?

To be honest, not really. I started using the computer soon after I started. Nothing that I do now has fundamentally changed since then. Sure, I updated to a new version of ‘photoshop’ a couple times, but I’m not doing anything differently than before. No fancy tricks or button pushing! I’ve probably decided to go more the other way, and do more real world art before I add any computer elements now, actually. I just want to make art, rather than have things only exist digitally.

You’re one of a select group of individuals within the comics industry who work as both writers and artists, notably having created a number of your own titles – is the artistic process markedly different when illustrating another writer’s script as opposed to your own?

Absolutely – well, until telepathy becomes more commonplace. Since I know what I’m doing in my own head, and I don’t need to bother explaining what I want to another person, doing it all yourself definitely is a different, more short hand experience. Pros and cons to both though. My scripts are more just loose notes until I really solidify the dialogue, which I have all worked out before I actually start to illustrate.

Within your own writing the subversion of human nature, either by supernatural (e.g. the vampires of 30 Days of Night) or scientific means (in Singularity 7), seems to be a recurring theme – is this something that you feel has a special relevance to the modern world?

Well, we’re a moderately intelligent species. As human beings, we’re almost masters of our own destiny these days. The only things that can really screw us are technology and fear, or a combo of both. We’ve seen the results of fear rather recently, and some aspects of science. My little stories that deal with things like that probably show I’m rather cynical when it comes to my thoughts as to if we’ll actually see the year 3000, I guess.

Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, the series which you’re currently best know for, while primarily gothic in tone, also has a very dark, macabre sense of humour running through it – do you enjoy the idea of making people laugh while also terrifying them?

Well, if anyone reads my twitter they probably know by now, I don’t hold back too much. I kind of dig challenging people, and saying uncomfortable things, but also funny things. I figure if you can show people rather nasty, uncomfortable things but make them laugh at them at the same time, it’s a rather good way to get by – something a little more complex and harder than simply grossing someone out for its sake alone. It, kind of, gives me a thrill to know I can actually make someone laugh out loud at my sick ideas sometimes. I feel honoured whenever anyone tells me that – never thought it’d be something I could do as a kid.

30 Days of Night was one of the first major cinematic adaptations of a less well-known comic property to find success at the box office – do you feel Hollywood’s increased interest in titles which don’t necessarily feature an eponymous Superhero for a protagonist has been beneficial to the comics industry?

Actually, it technically wasn’t! Previous to that one there’d been things like The Crow, or Road to Peridtion, etc, but, yes, as an actual comic that was trust more into the mainstream of the time – it did wonders to revitalize horror comics at the time – I guess you could say that.

Having non-super hero movies made, especially if they meet with success, is ultimately far more important to the comics medium than doing just superhero films. That’s a genre, one that people will get sick of one day perhaps, but stories themselves never go out of style, so if creatives can transfer successful ideas across mediums it helps keep talent creating new things, and bringing in new readers, hopefully, who don’t just have to like one genre. Imagine if the only ever books to get turned into movies were the Fabio romance-type novels, or just spy thirllers? Diversity is the best thing possible.

Speaking of films, the creatures in the 30 Days of Night comic series appear to draw inspiration from cinema rather than literature – did you have any specific referential sources in mind when developing your vampires?

I’ve been told my vampires looked like “Euro-trash”, though I’m not really sure what that means since I’m Australian, and don’t know what “Euro-trash” actually look like. I just figured they shouldn’t be the overly frilly-dressing romantic looking types, frequently popular, and now rather popular again. I guess. Never once did I think of Blade or anything though – for me I just drew inspiration from Charles Darwin (for my wanky theories on how vampiric eating machines would look via evolution), and the movie John Carpenter’s The Thing.

One final question, on the nature of comic conventions – are they something which you personally enjoy attending, either as a creator or a spectator?

I’ve been told I travel a lot, so I guess I do more than most. I personally love going to new places and meeting people who read my work in them. I could be working in a box factory, in an alternate universe, but instead I get to travel the world to meet people who actually appreciate my work. To me that’s amazing, and I never want to forget that or take it for granted. To meet the people who allow me to earn a living, well, that’s really something every creator should treasure.


Big props to Ben for talking to us, a fitting end to this series of minterviews. I’d just like to take the time to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s contributed to the blog this year, you’re all amazing! Hopefully we’ll have even more awesome stuff to induce wonderment in your brain sacs next year, but for now let’s focus on the more pressing engagement: Thought Bubble ’09!

In TB ’09 news, Leeds University’s Anime Society has made us some lovely promotional material, which, I’m sure you’ll all agree, kicks some serious ass.

Okay, enough for now, remember that Thought Bubble ’09 kicks off Thursday 19th November in the fair city of Leeds, we hope to see you there!

– Clark

Leeds University Anime Society GIAG Session by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey Bubblers! Let yourself in, I’ll put the kettle on. Continuing in our current sequence of informative blog posts I bring to you news of an up-coming event with our friends at Leeds University’s Anime Society…

The Anime Soc is holding a free Give it a Go event open to absolutely anyone, student or not, who is even vaguely interested in anime/manga and is 18 or over

It will be take place on Thursday 24th September, between 7pm and 10pm in the ARC Conference Hall, and some of the super-friendly AnimeSoc Committee members will be on hand to escort anyone unfamiliar with the venue from outside the Leeds Travelling Man shop at around 5.30pm, so just meet them there and they’ll show you the way.

The evening promises a whole host of festivities for those attending, with anime screenings, video games, a chance to browse the AnimeSoc’s lending library, or the opportunity to simply relax and debate the finer points of anime with the society’s existing members. All of this followed by some sociable alcohol appreciation at the pub. I’m sure you’ll agree there are few better ways to spend a Thursday evening, and it can serve as a nice precursor to Thought Bubble’s own Thursday-based launch party in November! What’s not to like? Answer – nothing.

For more information on the evening check out AnimeSoc’s website which also has an overview of who they are, what they do, and what you could get out of joining.  There’s also an e-invite on Facebook, and if you have any questions then email

Thought Bubble is proud to be associated with Leeds University’s various student societies dedicated to the wonderful word of sequential art, and we think you’d be crazy to miss out on such an awesome opportunity for anime-based frivolity. Crazy.

In more Thought Bubble related news the Hotel for this year’s festival (henceforth to be known as the Fortress of Awesomitude) has been announced, details available here, and the programme of workshops and masterclasses taking place over the festival period is set to be announced any day now. Excited? You will be. You… Will… Be…

– 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

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