Thought Bubble 2018 runs 17th – 23rd 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!

Thought Bubble Spring Round-Up by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

We’re currently busy at work finalising this year’s floor plans for our convention, and cracking on with prepping our jam-packed festival programme ready for launch in the summer, so in the meantime we wanted to put together a handy-dandy summary of everything Bubbly we’ve announced so far this year…


Convention Tickets!

This year’s convention will be taking place on the 23rd and 24th September in the heart of Leeds City Centre, and tickets for our festival’s flagship event are on sale now!

This year we have free entry for under-12s and over-65s, and complimentary tickets available for carers attending with disabled visitors to the convention.

We also have discounts available for costumed attendees wishing to pre-book tickets, and have updated our cosplay guidelines for 2017, more information on which can be found below.

For full information on convention tickets, including prices and how to book, please click here.



Cosplay at Thought Bubble 2017!

Our cosplay programme for 2017 is going to be bigger and better than ever, and we’re delighted to be welcoming special guests The 86th Floor to the show this year!

We’ve got some great discounts available for our cosplaying attendees for this year’s convention, and we’ll have full information on this year’s masquerade coming in the summer with the festival’s full programme.

We’ve updated our cosplay guidelines over on the website, so if you’ll be coming to our events in costume this year, please give them a read before September comes around, to make sure everyone’s visit with us runs as smoothly as possible.



Friends of Thought Bubble!

The heart of Thought Bubble, and one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of the festival’s growth over the last decade, has been our community outreach programme.

As part of our work supporting the medium of comics each year, we run free schools workshops, give 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 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’ve launched 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.



Thought Bubble Comic Art Competition 2017!

The 8th Thought Bubble Comic Art Competition, a prize open to artists and writers worldwide, taking place as part of the 11th Thought Bubble Sequential Arts Festival – and in association with Travelling Man and Diamond Comics – is now open to entries!

Split into two age groups with a category for young people aged 12 -17 and a second category for adults aged 18 and over, the competition seeks to discover new creative talent as well as new work from established writers and artists. Winners from each category will be showcased in 2018’s Thought Bubble anthology with Image Comics, as well as some excellent comics goodies.

This year’s competition closes 5pm on Friday 28th July 2017, and we’re looking for an A3, portrait aspect page, telling a single story using a minimum of 6 panels. Pages will need a 3mm bleed, with CMYK colours at 300dpi.

For full competition guidelines, and information on how to enter, including submission forms, please click here.



Comics Forum 2017!

This year’s Comics Forum academic conference will be taking place on the 21st and 22nd September, at Leeds Central Library, as part of Thought Bubble.

2017’s Forum will be focused on the concept of space in comics, and the call for papers is now open, with proposals of 250 words invited for talks of up to 20 minutes in length.

The deadline for submissions is the 1st of July 2017, and you will receive notification of acceptance by the 14th of July. Please click here for the full call for papers, and information on how to submit your proposal for the conference.



Thought Bubble 2017 hotel!

We are very pleased to once again have Leeds’ Radisson Blu as 2017’s official hotel partner for Thought Bubble.

The Radisson Blu is situated in The Light – a 6 minute walk from Leeds Railway Station, at 1 The Light, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 8TL, and is adjacent to this year’s convention site.

More information on the hotel can be found on our website.



Thought Bubble 2016 panel videos!

If you’re as excited as we are for this year’s festival and want to get into the Bubble mood, then we’ve got some great Bubscast panel videos from 2016’s convention for your viewing pleasure!

If you missed out on these talks at last year’s convention, or just want to experience them again, we’ve got a selection of panels and Q&As up on our YouTube channel now (along with lots of archives from past Bubbles) for you to enjoy.

A special thank you to all our hosts, and panel speakers, and to Green Light Video for producing and editing the footage.

Also from last year’s convention – our recent art auction of original pieces created as part of our sketching spotlight events raised a whopping £967.99p for Barnardo’s!

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who bid and helped spread the word, and if you’d like to see some sketching spotlights from previous year’s festivals then we’ve got some video archives available on the links above.

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Guests at Thought Bubble 2017!

We’ve been updating the guest list diligently on a regular basis and currently have over 70 guest creators confirmed as attending this year’s festival!

The current roster is up online to view, and we’ll be continuing to update it as folks confirm their attendance with us, so be sure to check back regularly.

We’ll have full exhibitor lists for our (biggest ever) convention coming soon over on our website, along with floor plans and signing times for those attendees who have them, and we’ll announce on our social media (and this blog) once they’re available to view!

That’s it for now – we’ll be back soon with some more festival updates as we work towards September and our first festival in our new home in Leeds City Centre!

Don’t forget that we have a number of FAQs up on our website to help out those who haven’t visited us before, and you can find us online and posting regularly about what we’re working on at:




So be sure to say hi, and let us know if you’ll be joining us for 2017’s Thought Bubble!

Convention Tickets 2017 by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

Following our launch post earlier this week for our Friends of Thought Bubble initiative, we’re very pleased to announce that tickets for our convention, which this year takes place on the 23rd and 24th September, in the heart of Leeds city centre, are now on sale!


We have full information on the costs and types of passes available on our website, and have also updated our cosplay information and guidelines for 2017, for those wishing to attend the event in costume, and join in with our expanded cosplay programme!

As with previous years, we have free entry to the event for under-12s and over-65s, and complimentary tickets available for carers attending with disabled visitors to the convention. For full information on these, including how to book, please visit our website.

Convention tickets will grant full access to the various convention halls, signing events, and our programme of panels and live-events taking place across the weekend. We’ll have full venue and scheduling information coming as part of the full festival programme later this summer.

Tickets for this year’s mid-con party will be going on sale later in the year, and we’ll provide full details for this as soon as possible, via this blog, and our Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Thought Bubble remains a not-for-profit organisation, and your support of the festival through convention tickets, exhibitor tables, and now also becoming a Friend of Thought Bubble is invaluable to us. We’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who attends every year, and if you’re going to be joining us for the first time in 2017 we look forward to welcoming you to Leeds, and will have an updated visitor’s guide going up online soon!


Thought Bubble 2016 – Panel Videos by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

A little update here coming out of last year’s Festival, as we’ve got some great panel videos from 2016’s convention for your viewing pleasure. If you missed out on these talks, or just want to experience them again, we’ve got a selection of panels and Q&As up on our YouTube channel now (along with lots of archives from past Bubbles), with full details for each video below. Enjoy!

A special thank you to all our hosts, and panel speakers, and to Green Light Video for producing and editing the footage.

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CREATING WORLDS took place on Sunday 6th November – a fascinating panel talk on the reality of inventing worlds for creator owned projects, as well as inhabiting those of comics’ hottest licensed properties.

With speakers Cecil Castellucci, Becky Cloonan, Jeff Lemire, Simon Roy, and Cameron Stewart.

Hosted by Steve Morris.



COMICS IN CONVERSATION WITH MIKE MIGNOLA took place on Saturday 5th November – where Mike Mignola, the award-winning creator of Hellboy (and its spin-off titles BPRD, Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien, and Witchfinder) and The Amazing Screw-On Head, discussed his career with journalist and PR-Coordinator for Rebellion Mike Molcher.



I IS FOR INNOVATION took place on Saturday 5th November – a wide-ranging discussion about creative freedom in the new age of comics independence and the panelists’ exciting new projects at Image Comics.

With speakers Brenden Fletcher, Kieron Gillen, Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, Declan Shalvey, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr.

Hosted by Publisher of Image Comics, Eric Stephenson.



2000 AD WRITING COMPETITION 2016 took place on Saturday 5th November – writers were invited to pitch their ideas for a brand new Future Shock to a panel of top script droids – but they have just two minutes to make their case!

With judges Al Ewing, Leah Moore, and Matt Smith.

Hosted by PR-Coordinator for Rebellion Mike Molcher.



GOSH! COMICS PRESENTS THE BEST THING I’VE READ ALL YEAR took place on Saturday 5th November – helping to discover the hidden gems and best of the year’s comics that you should be reading.

With speakers Hannah Chapman, Sarah Graley, Claire Napier, and Andy Oliver.

Hosted by Tom Oldham of Gosh! Comics / Breakdown Press.



DECOMPRESSED: THE WICKED + THE DIVINE took place on Sunday 6th November – a panel featuring Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Stephanie Hans, Kevin Wada and Dee Cunniffe talking about how they create really, really, really ridiculously good looking comics.


Thanks again to all our panelists, hosts, and to the audiences who attended the events – we’ll be adding to the YouTube playlist with videos from last year’s events, and updating this post, as they become available!