It’s that time of year again where comic fans in the north can finally unleash their feelings about their favourite heroes and villains in a big way – Thought Bubble is back in town and this year it’s even better. For those who don’t know Thought Bubble is a huge comic book festival that takes place in Yorkshire celebrating the craft, the characters and the joy of comics and everything related. Unlike regular comic cons which simply offer conventions over a weekend, this mammoth event brings hundreds of names from the industry into one place and serves to educate anyone angling for a career in the field as well as those on the fringes curious about the medium.
Like all good conventions Thought Bubble has a terrific line up of guests to meet with for signings, conduct talks and more. With the film Joker now causing chaos in movie theatres and beyond comic writer Brian Azzarello will be attending the show this year known for his own dark take on the clown prince of crime. Superstar artist Jock will also be in attendance, known for his incredible eye-popping covers as well as work in concept and character design for movies that include comic adaptation Dredd, Sci-fi thriller Ex Machina and the divisive Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But it isn’t all intense and brooding here; artists such as Canada’s Sweeney Boo known for her lovable ladies will also make an appearance as well as the creator of the maniacal cartoon alien Invader Zim, Jhonen Vasquez, is also in show this year. Other big names include Captain Marvel’s Jamie McKelvie, Co-creator of Judge Dredd himself John Wagner, Nailbiter’s Mike Henderson and many more.
You might be wondering why this festival requires a week while all others just a couple of days. Though bubble is a wide-ranging celebratory affair that includes the help of local businesses to put on events that coincide with the festival. From Monday to Friday all around Harrogate there will be trails of comic art around the town and events popping up all over the city. On Monday the art of Hilda comes to town while you can snack on discount comic book pizza. Tuesday will have you baking heroic cookies with Kim Joy, exploring LGBTQIA+ comics and competing in a drawing competition at a music hall in Leeds. Wednesday is full of learning with a character creation workshop, a look at the fundamentals of animation and a class in using drawing to think. All of these go on throughout the weekend when the con commences.
If you’ve ever been to a comic convention you will know what to expect this November at the Harrogate Convention Centre, a mass of tables full to overflowing with books, figures, clothes and other merchandise. Behind the tables are the many guests waiting to sign copies and shake hands, staring at tables are people in full cosplay breaking to take photos with admiring onlookers. There is plenty to see and do here and even more to purchase but Thought Bubble is more than just comics market, visit the events all week and you may just make your first steps in a career in the field.