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 2016 Festival Spotlights: Exhibitions by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

We’re now just 3 weeks away from the start of 2016’s tenth anniversary Thought Bubble, and we’re going to be continuing our 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 1st – 6th November at venues across Leeds (and beyond), 2016’s Thought Bubble will be a celebration of comics 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, a programme of sequential art related film screenings, & our massive two-day comic convention on 5th & 6th November on Leeds Dock!

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.

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), and tickets to our expanded mid-con party!

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 our series of festival highlights, we’re looking at the free exhibitions taking place as part of 2016’s festival, bringing some amazing artwork to you throughout the whole of November!


Thought Bubble Comic Art Competition Entries 2016

Mon 24 Oct – Sun 6 Nov, Leeds Central Library, Room 700 (1st Floor), opening times vary, All ages, FREE

Pop by Leeds Central Library to view all the wonderful entries from the Thought Bubble Comic Art Competition in a brand new digital exhibition!

Winners of the competition will be announced at the Thought Bubble comic convention on Sun 6 Nov, and will have their work featured in 2017’s Thought Bubble Anthology, but you can preview all the stories we’ve received before the judges present their final decision!

For full details of this year’s entries and how to get involved with 2017′s competition, please click here.

Unstable Molecules by Gramsch

Tues 25 Oct to Sun 20 Nov, Nation of Shopkeepers’ Window of Opportunity (opposite Leeds Cathedral), 29 Cookridge St, Leeds LS2 3AG, All Ages, FREE

Local artist/geek Gramsch returns to the city centre’s finest drinking establishments with another exhibition of his abstracted superhero paintings.

From 25th October, and for the duration of the festival, Nation of Shopkeepers’ Window of Opportunity plays host to Gramsch’s geometric reinterpretations of otherwise memorable colour/shape combinations.

Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom presents Animate Europe

Thurs 27 Oct to Mon 16 Jan, Staircase Gallery, Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 3AD, Opening Times Vary, All Ages, FREE

What will Europe, what will the European Union look like in 50,100, 250 years? That is what the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, asked graphic novelists and comic artists from all over the world, as part of the second round of our Animate Europe International Comics Competition.

In their stories, the artists provide a lot of food for thought and debate, ranging from depictions of social or economic hardship to the role of community and cultural heritage.

A launch event for this exhibition will be taking place on Thursday 27th October from 5pm-8pm, for more information, and to sign up for the launch event, please email

The Gallery @ Munro House & TB present The Wicked + The Divine

Tues 1 Nov – Sun 30 Nov, The Gallery at Munro House, Corner of York St/Duke Street, Leeds, LS9 8AG, 08:00-18:00 Monday to Friday, 10:00-18:00 Saturdays, Closed Sundays (but will be open on Sun 6 Nov), All ages, Free

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. Welcome to THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, where gods are the ultimate pop stars. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

We are delighted to be partnering up with The Gallery at Munro House for a second time, to host an exhibition of THE WICKED + THE DIVINE by artist Jamie McKelvie and writer Kieron Gillen. The ground-breaking, multiple Eisner award nominated, contemporary fantasy comic book series has been a huge breakout hit, and has been optioned for TV. First published by Image Comics in 2014, it remains one of their most popular series over two years later. Alongside images from THE WICKED + THE DIVINE will be pieces from McKelvie and Gillen’s cult favourite Phonogram series.

A free launch event for this exhibition will be taking place on Friday 4th November from 6pm onwards, for more information, please click here.

Leeds College of Art BA Illustration @ Travelling Man

Tues 1 Nov – Wed 30 Nov, Travelling Man, 32 Central Road, Leeds, LS1 6DE, 10:00-18:00 Monday to Sunday (11:00 – 17:00 Sundays), FREE, All ages

Do art students like comics? Of course they do! Third year students from the exciting new Illustration degree at Leeds College of Art exhibit a series of prints made in response to their love for comics & pop culture.

The exhibiting artists have been drawing, painting, printing and making non stop for the last two years and are excited about this opportunity to exhibit their talents as part of the Thought Bubble festival. Prints will be editioned and available to buy.

Presented in association with

A free launch event for this exhibition will be taking place on Tuesday 1st November from 6pm – 7pm.

Prints of Eternia @ Colours May Vary

Tues 1 Nov to Sun 30 Nov, Colours May Vary, Munro House, Duke St, Leeds LS9 8AG, 10:00-18:00 Mon-Sat, 12:00-17:00 Sun, All ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Please note: Thought Bubble does not control event content, FREE

Prints of Eternia is a colourful and exciting project that brings together established and upcoming artists to celebrate HE-MAN, the much loved 80’s action packed cartoon series.

Artists from different backgrounds and practices were tasked with creating one piece using HE-MAN as inspiration. The results are as varied as the characters in the show!

All the work produced will be exhibited for the whole month of November at Colours May Vary, Leeds, coinciding with the Thought Bubble comic art festival.

Artists who ‘have the power’ include Jack Teagle. Peter Lloyd. Billy Mather. ZEEL, Lord Hurk, Lucy Irving, Laetitia Bocquet, Anthony Atkinson, Drew Millward, Patrick R Allan, Adam Moore, and Print Wagon.

Assembly House and 44FLOOD present Heretics

Thurs 3 Nov to Sun 6 Nov, Lady Beck Studios, Unit 22, 64-76 Mabgate, Leeds, LS9 7DZ, 1700-2100 Thurs & Fri, 1300-1600 Sat & Sun, All Ages but please note: Thought Bubble does not control event content, FREE

44FLOOD and Assembly House are partnering with Lady Beck to host an exhibition of dark art by Leeds College of Art and Plymouth College of Art contemporary crafts and fine art students and graduates, alongside original artwork from the upcoming 44FLOOD folk-horror series HERETICS by Martin Simmonds and P M Buchan.

Contributing artists include contemporary dark bohemian jewellery artist Stevie-Leigh Smith and award-winning metalsmith Luke Axworthy, plus international comic artists Martin Simmonds (Titan Comics: Death Sentence), Ben Templesmith (IDW: 30 Days of Night), Caspar Wijngaard (Image Comics: LIMBO) and John Pearson (Beast Wagon).

Martin Simmonds, John Pearson and P M Buchan will also be holding free workshops and talks for members of the public and Leeds College of Art students to discuss their careers and bridging the gap between comics and fine art.

For more information visit


We’ll be back soon with another festival spotlight, looking at some selected highlights from over 80 events taking place as part of Thought Bubble 2016!


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.


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