Thought Bubble 2017 runs 18th – 24th September!

Visiting Thought Bubble – A Brief Guide For 2017 by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

With 2017’s Thought Bubble just around the corner we thought it would be a good idea to update our visitor’s guide for this year. 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 been busy updating the guest pages for this year’s festival, with some brilliant creators for you to meet in Leeds this month (with over 100 guests now confirmed as attending), and we’ve also been updating the exhibitor icons on the site for 2017’s convention, which will be our biggest yet, in our new home in Leeds City Centre!

A map of the city with festival venues marked on it can be found here, and the full festival guide is now available online, with details on all this year’s events, which can be found here.

Convention exhibitor information, including links to provisional floor plans, can be found below for:

comiXology Marquee

Cookridge Street Marquee

Leeds Town Hall Marquee

Victoria Hall

Free maps of all convention halls with exhibitors and guests listed on them will be available at the event, along with free print copies of this year’s festival guide.




Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Thought Bubble convention, taking place on the 23rd and 24th September, and can be pre-purchased via our website or picked up in person from Travelling Man stores! We’ve got free entry for under-12s and over-65s, and discounts for those attending in costume to celebrate our expanded cosplay programme, more on which can be found here.

This year’s mid-con party, celebrating comiXology’s tenth birthday, is free-to-attend, and full information can be found in the guide, or on the website here.

Registration is now open for 2017’s Comics Forum academic conference, which takes place at Leeds Library on 21st and 22nd September. Full details of this, including how to register, can be found in the festival guide.



  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 5 minute walk from the convention site, 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 information on how to get to the convention village area available here – 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. Parking is available at a variety of venues in Leeds City Centre – take a look here for parking options, or click here for Leeds park and ride – there is no parking provided at the convention venues, and, due to this being a city centre location, we strongly advise planning your journey and parking spot ahead of the convention dates;
  6. If you’re getting the bus into the city, then the convention area 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 directly adjacent to the convention site. The hotel is a 5 minute walk from the rail station, and close to central bus routes in the city.

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 area in Leeds City Centre in around 20 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), all of which are a short walk from the convention area, which also has a number of nearby bars and restaurants on the surrounding streets.


The convention – 10 important points:

  1. This year’s convention takes place on the weekend of September 23rd and 24th, with doors opening to the public at 10am and closing at 6pm on Saturday 23rd September and 10am until 5pm on Sunday 24th September;
  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 convention on the day/s for which it is valid (including panels and live events) – your wristband can be picked up from the ticket desks at the convention village on the day (just bring along your physical ticket to exchange, or the booking email if a physical ticket was not provided);
  3. Venue information for 2017’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 waterproof clothing, as Leeds’ weather can be changeable in September, and there are open spaces between the convention venues;
  5. All venues at the convention are wheelchair accessible, and baby changing facilities are available in Leeds Town Hall, Leeds City Museum and the Carriageworks Theatre;
  6. We’d recommend bringing a decent amount of cash (especially change) with you, as our supply is generally taken up with handling on-the-door ticket sales, but there are a number of free-to-use cashpoints in the area, which our volunteers will be happy to point you in the direction of – on a related note, exhibitors will love you if you can pay with exact change;
  7. While we don’t impose limits on the number of items people can bring to be signed, please be aware that, for the purposes of security, we may need to check your bags on entering convention venues, so kindly ask for your cooperation in this regard;
  8. If you have any issues during your visit, 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 – if you find yourself needing a quiet space during the convention at any time, then Bub’s Lounge in Leeds City Museum is free to enter for all attendees, and designed in partnership with Leeds Specialist Autism Services;
  9. A simple point, 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 are requested to please ask permission from the subject/s before doing so – information on our Cosplay policies can be found here.


A5 Flyer - 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 2017 – January Update! by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

We hope you’ve had a nice festive break, and an enjoyable start to the new year – we’ve been cracking on with planning for this year’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.

Our website has undergone its yearly regeneration, and you can probably spot part of our brand new festival image at the top of this very blog! 2017’s image has been created for us by the brilliant Jen Bartel, and is helping us spring into action after a short winter break. 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.

As mentioned last month, this year’s Thought Bubble is moving to Leeds city centre, and in the calendar to September, in order to give us more space to work with for our events, and a wider range of partners to help the festival grow.

We’re excited for this new incarnation of our convention, which will be taking place on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September, and we’ll be opening exhibitor table applications for the event on Monday 16th January. Exhibitor applications for the convention will be open for 2 weeks, until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 29th January, and we’ll be aiming to let people know if their application has been successful by mid-February.

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, as well as providing more information on the new convention village we’ll have in place this year. 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, following on from our exciting announcement that 2017’s first festival guest of honour will be Gerard Way, we’re delighted to present our next 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, Astronauts In Trouble)

Cecil Castellucci (Shade the Changing Girl, Soupy Leaves Home)

Jody Houser (Mother Panic, Rogue One)

Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer, Superman: American Alien)

James Stokoe (Orc Stain, Godzilla: The Half-Century War)

Marley Zarcone (Shade The Changing Girl, Effigy)

Thought Bubble 2017 – Festival Dates! by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

We hope you’re now fully recovered from last month’s Thought Bubble, and are gearing up for a nice winter break – we’d like to say another massive thank you to everyone who came out and made this year’s events such a huge success, and a special shout-out to our amazing (and ever-growing) army of red-shirt volunteers who helped make Thought Bubble 2016 possible.

Looking ahead, we’ve been hard at work this year planning for Thought Bubble’s future, as we enter our second decade (!!!) of putting on events to help promote the greatest story-telling medium in the known universe, and the creators who inhabit it.

After nine years of putting on our flagship convention at Leeds Dock, 2017 will see us heading back to the area of the city where Thought Bubble began, with the introduction of a brand-new, expanded festival village in the heart of Leeds City Centre. As well as this geographical move, next year’s Thought Bubble will also be moving in the calendar, taking place from 18th – 24th September 2017, with our convention falling on the weekend of 23rd and 24th September 2017.

While we’ve enjoyed our festivals being the de facto closer of the comics event calendar, a move to earlier in the year gives us more opportunities to work with local partners, and get the whole of Leeds involved in celebrating comics – helping Thought Bubble to grow as we look ahead to the festival’s future, and how we can bring our message to a wider audience.

The new multi-venue site in central Leeds will include a series of huge marquees that will take over popular outdoor spaces in the city including Millennium Square and Victoria Gardens in front of the art galleries. In addition, some of the city’s favourite venues will play host to events in the festival programme with Leeds Town Hall, Carriageworks Theatre and Leeds City Museum all involved, and many more to be confirmed. A map of this area of the city can be found here.

We’re very excited to also be celebrating the first anniversary of DC’s Young Animal comics imprint, by welcoming the line’s curator (and writer/co-creator of other hit comics such as Umbrella Academy and The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, as well as being former frontman of My Chemical Romance) – the amazing Gerard Way – as a guest of honour to 2017’s festival, with many more guests to be announced in the new year!

We’ll be bringing further 2017 festival details, including how to get involved with our convention, our new festival image, and more information on guests who’ll be attending 2017’s events, in the new year, and if you’d like to keep up-to-date with everything that’s planned, please subscribe to the blog, follow us on Twitter, or like our page on Facebook.

Thank you again to everyone who has supported Thought Bubble these past ten years, and helped the festival grow into such an exciting fixture in the comics’ calendar – we hope you’ll all join us on this next part of our adventure!