Thought Bubble 2018 runs 17th – 23rd September!

Minterviews 2013: Emma Rios by thoughtbubblefestival


I hope you’re all eggcited for Easter, or an equivalent egg-based non-denominational holiday of your choosing! EGGS! Here at Tho Bubs Central, we’re continuing with our plans, plots, and schemes for this year’s festival, and because of that we have some fresh as the dickens updates for you!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only, and because of this we’ve updated…

The Thought Bubble 2013 guests pages! Including… Geof Darrow, Kelly Sue Deconnick, Matt Fraction, and David Aja!

The Thought Bubble 2013 New Dock Hall exhibitor pages!

The Thought Bubble 2013 Royal Armouries Hall exhibitor pages!

It’s gearing up to be our bestest festival ever, so keep your eyes out for more and more goodness coming at you, thicker and faster as the festival dates near, exponentially increasing in amazingness until it all collapses into a singularity of super cool awesome times.

If you’re exhibiting with us and are 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. You may have heard that each 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! They’re also called MINTerviews because that’s our favourite flavour ice-cream, and we always eat it when Minterviewing people. Mint ice cream is good for you because it is green. THIS IS SCIENCE.

This week we had a talk with Emma Rios, amazing artist on Dr Strange, Prophet, Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel, and more besides. Her art is lovely, as can be seen on her blog, flickr, and tumblr. You can see what we talked about below, so get readin’, pilgrim!

TB: Hi Emma! First off, how did you get started in comics? Did you get a big break, or was it more gradual?

ER: I learned how to read by reading comics, so creating them felt quite natural. I started drawing comics quite young, when I was 13 or 14 years old, and I’ve been involved in comics during all that time, but actually never thought I was going to become a professional. 

TB: So, which comics did you start off reading as you were growing up?

ER: Asterix and Obelix, Donald Duck, some old Spanish stuff I inherited like Jabato, anime adaptations like Mazinger and Gatchaman and Superheroer. I didn’t read any manga stuff until starting High School.

TB: And what’s your proudest moment been, in comics or otherwise, to date?

ER: Probably when I took my first self-published work to a professional printers when I was 21. I’d already done several photocopied ‘zines at that moment, but this felt different.

Artwork by Emma Rios

Artwork by Emma Rios

TB: Do you still produce any self-published stories, or does your work on titles for publishers like Marvel and Image mean you no longer have time to do that?

ER: Not really, just short collaborations. I definitively have to find time for that.

TB: Do you enjoy attending conventions and other events like Thought Bubble?

ER: I have a lot of fun, but they always make me feel a bit nervous. I’m not very fond of huge cons but I do like small ones, a lot.

TB: You sketched live on stage for our audience at 2012’s Thought Bubble convention, how was that as an experience?

ER: Less traumatic than I thought it would be, actually. I always freak out regarding these things because of not being an English speaking person, but it went great. I had a lot of fun, thanks to Peter Doherty and all the guys there.

Artwork by Emma Rios

Artwork by Emma Rios

TB: Which comics are you enjoying at the moment, any all-time favourites?

ER: More than anything I’m quite obssessed with anything that comes from Taiyou Matsumoto. I do like Brandon Graham’s stuff, Frederik Peeters, Angie Wang, Hwei Lin Lim, Guy Davis, Frank Quitely, Burns, Pope, Samura…

I’m enjoying Hawkeye, Daredevil, BPRD, Prophet, what Josh Tierney and the gang are doing in Spera, and Brandon´s Multiple Warheads quite a lot… I’ve also had a blast reading the Spanish edition of Prison Pit last week, the Shigeru Mizuki bio… My reading is pretty chaotic, but I enjoy that.

I´m reading Fantagraphics’ Heart of Thomas right now. And some all-time favourites are Wolfman and Colan’s Drácula, Batman: Year One and DD: Born Again by Mazzuchelli and Miller, Ditko´s Doctor Strange, Nocenti´s run on Daredevil, Otomo´s Akira, Lone Wolf and Cub, Sienkievicz and Claremont´s New mutants, Tezuka, specially Ode to Kirihito and Ayako, Moto Hagio, Shigeru Mizuki…

It´s completely impossible to do a full list, honestly.

TB: So, do you think that your varied reading habits have influenced your artistic style? Are there any creators in particular that you see as having had a strong influence on your own work?

ER: Yup, definitively. I think I have quite a lot of different influences because of that.

Bernet, Colan, Samura, Ikeda, Pope, Miller, probably Crepax, some Bilal… The first Ghost In The Shell movie had a huge impact on me, and also Yoji Shinkawa, the guy who does the concept art on the Metal Gear games.

TB: Have you got any big work plans for this year? How’s Pretty Deadly coming along?

ER: I have quite a long schedule planned so far, which is a bit frightening but great. These are exciting times for me, I couldn’t be more grateful. The only thing I can talk about though is Pretty Deadly.

I’m having a blast working on this book. Kelly Sue and me are pretty close, we are a dream team, honestly, having so much trust in each other’s work. Everything feels smooth, the collaboration is organic and perfect. About what I’m doing there – one of the reasons I decided to move to creator owned stuff was because I needed to stop a bit, and think about how to improve the quality of my drawing. I really want to do something a bit different here and moving a step forward.

The western atmosphere, being so suggestive, helps a lot. Everything seems to flow on the page. I know this feeling is not going to last long -I’m always so insecure and a maniac perfectionist – but I’m kind of OK with how my work is looking so far.

TB: Finally, as always, thought bubbles or caption boxes?

ER: I do like both, but the way you use them is a bit different, I think. I normally try to express the character´s thoughts through their acting, before writing their thoughts – I can´t help it.


A huge thank you going out to Emma for taking the time to talk to us, Pretty Deadly is looking like it’s gonna be a whole heap of awesome, so keep an eye out for that dropping at your local comic emporium – and we’ll have the creative team behind it at this year’s festival, so come along and say howdy!

More Minterviews and updates coming sooooooon!

Thought Bubble 2013 – Charity Sketch Auction by thoughtbubblefestival

Hello! Welcome to 2013 and the run-up to this November’s Thought Bubble Festival!

Sorry, getting ahead of myself there – how are you?! Been a while hasn’t it? Is that a new jumper? Christmas present? Lovely.

Ok, social niceties adhered to, let’s get down to some biznis… We’re well under way finalising the initial round of details for this year’s Thought Bubble Festival, so in our next update expect firm details as to such interesting things as:






In the meantime, just know that we’re racking our brainiums, taking feedback into account, and generally rubbing our temples to try and figure out all the ways we can make 2013’s Thought Bubble our biggest and best ever! Yay!


Right now, and much closer to home, we’ve got details of our inaugural Charity Sketch Auction! Last year, at Thought Bubble 2012’s convention, we ran a sketching spotlight event, where 8 wonderful artists came up on stage and had a chat with Peter Doherty about their craft while drawing live for our awesome audience. Because comic artists are a uniformly wonderful class of human being, they all 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 ladies and gents for this kindness, and we hope to be able to raise a lot of money for a great cause.

You can see a preview of all the pieces in the gallery below (click to embiggen), and a full list of the sketches that will be up for auction can be found underneath. The auction is now live, and full details for each item can be found on our ebay channel at and will run for 10 days until 9am on Thursday 24th January, with bidding open to people 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, and find some new homes for some wonderful artwork!

Sketches up for auction (all approximately A4 in size) include:

Spider-Man & The Incredible HulkScott C (watercolours)

Agent 355 (Y The Last Man)Pia Guerra (Ink and Pencils)

BatmanJock (Ink and Pencils)

The Incredible HulkJason Latour (Ink and Pencils)

Swamp ThingYanick Paquette (Ink and Pencils)

Leonardo (TMNT)David Petersen (watercolours)

Pretty DeadlyEmma Rios (Ink and Pencils)

Iron RexPaolo Rivera (Ink and Pencils)

— click the links above to be taken to that individual item’s listing page —

There’s some amazing art up for grabs, so be sure to check out, and put in your bid! Special thanks to Peter Doherty for all his help, and Jip and all our technical volunteers for making this possible.

We’ll be back soon with the first round of 2013 festival updates, but for live up-to-the-minute news, follow us on twitter (@thoughtbubbleuk), or like us on Facebook.