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!


TB 2018 – Exhibitor Registration by thoughtbubblefestival

Table registration for this year’s Thought Bubble convention is now open, and we wanted to put up some more information on the curation process, and how that will work for next year’s show, which takes place 22nd and 23rd September.

2018’s convention will be taking place in Leeds City Centre, and a map of the area of the city we’ll be taking over to share the world of comics with the UK can be seen below, with convention exhibition spaces marked on it. We’ve also got a google map of this area of the city, which can be found here.


Thought Bubble’s convention will have four exhibition spaces, as seen above: Leeds Town Hall’s Victoria Hall, and three custom-built venues on Victoria Square (in front of Leeds Town Hall), Millenium Square, and Cookridge Street (in front of Radisson Blu Hotel / The Light), with surrounding venues hosting panels and live events taking place across the weekend.

We remain committed to being as inclusive a show as possible, and it’s one of the core values that makes the convention, and the festival as a whole, what it is. While we’d like to be able to include everyone who may wish to exhibit at the show, Thought Bubble has now reached the stage where the demand for exhibition space exceeds the venue space available to us, and the convention is curated.

As with previous years, this involves a simple online registration form which is now live on the website, and will remain open for four weeks until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 7th January 2018. In order that this process remains as fair as possible, after this time we won’t be able to accept any more exhibitor applications (including to the reserves list).

The registration form contains full terms and conditions of exhibiting, so please take the time to read these fully before submitting your application, and if you have any queries during the process, just drop us an email. Remember that all applications received during the window will be considered in full, so there’s no need to rush your entry. Terms and conditions can also be found on a dedicated web-page by clicking here.

Following the close of the registration window, we’ll contact all those who applied by late-January to confirm whether we’ll be able to accommodate them this year, and also to take payment for the table – and any changes to this schedule will be communicated ahead of time. If your email address, or primary contact reference, changes at any point during this time, please let us know as soon as possible.

Because of this curation, and the nature of the festival as a forum to promote comics and those who make them, we need to give priority to comic book publishers and retailers, and comic book artists and writers (either independent or publisher-affiliated). If you have exhibited with us in the past and do not fit into this category, please do still fill in the online form once it goes live, as we would love you to come if we do have room in one of our exhibition spaces.

Every year, we also have a small number of people who book tables and are then unable to attend, and so we’ll form a reserves list of unsuccessful applicants who will be offered tables should they become available. As these offers are based on previously confirmed exhibitors cancelling, we are unable to advise on the date at which they will become available, but as soon as we receive a cancellation we’ll contact the next person/group on the reserves list with first refusal.

The decision on who we can accept to the convention will be made by the organisational team as a whole, to ensure the process remains as fair as possible, but due to the number of applications we receive, we’re unfortunately not able to give feedback to unsuccessful exhibitors, as we’re only a small team. However, to give an idea of what we’re looking for, we’d like to see:

  •  Examples of your work, ideally online versions (including webcomics)/e-shop listings of comics/graphic novels/prints/illustrations you’ll have for sale at the show;
  •  If the above is unavailable, then a portfolio website such as DeviantArt or Tumblr will also be suitable;
  •  If your work is mostly print, as opposed to online, then we’d also be able to view scanned versions of documents via dropbox links (or similar);
  •  If you’re a creator with no online examples of your work, then please link to/provide a bibliography/list of credits if none of the options above are possible;
  •  If you’re a retailer with no formal online presence, then please give as full an idea as possible as to the range of merchandise/titles you’d be bringing to the convention;
  • With regards to the above, please make sure your website link is correct, and that the website is currently live/active;
  •  If in doubt shout it out – tell us about what you think you can bring to Thought Bubble, even if it may seem obvious to you; if it’s not immediately apparent in the information you provide to us we may not know about it, and we don’t want anyone to miss out;
  • Similarly, if you’d like to table next to/near other specific exhibitors please let us know in your application – after curation closes and table plans are drafted it becomes very difficult to move people around, so please make sure to be specific if you’d like to be close to someone at the show;
  • Thought Bubble also loves sharing – we’re more than happy for exhibitors to share table space, so if you’d like to exhibit with friends or as a collective then please do send us a combined application, but remember to include relevant details (listed above) for all exhibitors who’d be utilising the table space;
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, when filling out the application form, take your time – you’ve got a month to complete the form, and all applications received in that window are considered fully after the close of the registration period before a final decision is made, so make sure to fill it in correctly and with as much detail as possible to the answers.

Full details as to pricing, along with full tabling terms and conditions, are live on the website now along with the registration form, and the terms and conditions will remain in place for reference until after this year’s events. Please do make sure to read these carefully, as they contain very important information about attending the convention, should your application be successful.

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who supports Thought Bubble, and we look forward to seeing many of you next 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!

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


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.

blog headerv1


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!


Friends of Thought Bubble by thoughtbubblefestival

Hey gang!

We’ll be coming at you later this week with a big post containing info on tickets for this year’s convention going on sale, but before that we just wanted to let you know about our new Friends of Thought Bubble programme, supporting our community outreach and educational events.


For the past decade, we’ve been growing as an organisation, coming up from our humble roots as a one-day convention, through to a fully-fledged not-for-profit comics festival, and one of the most fun and rewarding aspects of this has been our community outreach programme.

As well as our centrepiece convention each year, and our wider programme of signings and exhibitions, we run a number of free schools workshops, our book crossing programme that gives 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 use comics as a force for good, as well as bringing the medium into schools as a learning tool. 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’re launching 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.

We’d really appreciate your help spreading the word about this on social media, or to anyone you think would be interested, and we’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has helped support Thought Bubble in the past, and let us do some amazing work in our local community!

Thanks again, and we’ll be back soon with information on booking tickets for this year’s convention!