Last weekend’s Thought Bubble event – Comics, cosplay and dancing….

Published On November 25, 2009 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Conventions and events

Thought Bubble banner

Oh, it was such a good plan; get up nice and early, bus and train to Leeds, spend day having a great time at the Leeds convention that I oh so enjoyed last year. Alas, waking up Saturday morning I was in no state to travel and spent most of the weekend lying down feeling sick. And like Jeremy Briggs kindly says over on Down The Tubes….

It also seems like the flu gods had it in for convention reviewers. downthetubes Matt Badham, after all the good work he had put into promoting not just Thought Bubble but all the other comics conventions this year, was rewarded with a severe dose of the lurgy and couldn’t make it. For that matter neither could Forbidden Planet International’s Richard Bruton as he had been similarly afflicted. With the A team incapacitated, welcome to Plan B

However, stomach bug/swine flu/whatever over and done with, I thought the least I could do was give you all a quick round-up of who’s been saying what about Thought Bubble.

From all of the pictures and all of the reports it really sounds like it was just as good as last year; packed with people, lots of variety in both customers and exhibitors and everyone seems to have had a very good time. It even made it onto regional news – and the report is on You Tube already.

Here’s a few quotes from those involved……

Kieron Gillen, whose report gives you the best rundown of the superstar DJ stuff going on at the aftershow:

“Now, it’s as big as any comics-specific con in the UK, without losing any of its positive traits – not least being organised with devastating effectiveness by the Thought Bubble staff. …… In short, Thought Bubble remains Britain’s premier comics convention. I’m fond of all of them. Caption is a micro-scene pleasure. Bristol has had a few rough years, but is still an institution. Birmingham is rock solid. MCM is enormous and splendid, but its comic section – while larger – is a side-event rather than the main thing. I could go on. But Thought Bubble is the best. To use the line you always use if you want to be easily quotable in marketing: if you only go to one UK convention a year, go to this one.”

Oliver East, (Trains Are … Mint) who, despite protestations of “It’s hard to write an in-depth report of a con when you spent the entirety of it behind one table, only popping out for a pee and a coffee.” does a nice piece….

“It’s a friendly and relaxed environment to sell comics in, not like two other big shows I’ve done, and even though alt. comics are outnumbered by Zombie Wombat Whatever and back issues probably 4-1, there are enough plaid kids with beards and excitingly beautiful women to flirt outrageously with to more than make it worth your while and hopefully I’ll be back next year.”

TB Blank Slate table

(The Blank Slate table at Thought Bubble, ably manned by Oliver (one pee, one coffee) East. Borrowed from East’s blog.)

Garen Ewing (Rainbow Orchid):

“This was my first time at Thought Bubble (now in its third year) and the furthest I’d travelled to attend a comics event, but I’d heard such good things about the Leeds-based festival that I didn’t want to miss it this time, and certainly wanted The Rainbow Orchid to have a presence there, if possible. Thought Bubble had a really nice vibe and a wonderful variety of attendees. I was really impressed with the friendliness and organisation that went into the festival – I can see why so many people have such good things to say about it”


(Garen Ewing’s Thought Bubble montage – featuring Garen, Sonia Leong, Graeme Neil Reid and Down The Tube’s Jeremy Briggs. Borrowed from Garen’s blog.)

Hugh (Shug) Raine:

“Thought Bubble 2009 was even better than last year. But that’s probably because I was prepared for the cosplayers this time around.”


(Hugh (Shug) Raine – “We were all coerced into being interviewed in one form or another and I don’t think I’m out of line in saying we all did it under duress. But the Leeds Film Festival ladies convinced me (can’t think why…)”.)

Jeremy Briggs (Down The Tubes) – proving he’s certainly no Plan B….

“The doors opened at 10am and half an hour later the hall was busy and it stayed that way for the majority of the day. Indeed even during the talks in the curtained area at the opposite corner from us, the hall remained busy and the queues for the big name guests turned the far end of the hall into a sea of bodies. Reports from those returning from the distant land of Far End suggested the queues were often an hour long and yet, despite the wait, everyone seemed extremely happy with what they came away with.”

One of the features of Thought Bubble is the enormous variety of cosplayers walking the halls. Slightly disturbing to the uninitiated and often slightly difficult to navigate around (the kids with the giant props must have been great in crowds) but absolutely brilliant that they put so much effort into it all:

TB Cosplay winners Leigh Gallagher (pic) TB Flash Leigh Gallagher (pics)

(David and Lee; Cosplay competition winners on the left, a happy FPI shopping Flash on the right. Pics by Leigh Gallagher)

TB Cosplay 2 Alexander Jno-Baptiste (pics) TB cosplay

(More Thought Bubble cosplay; from the extravagant to the “careful son, you could take someone’s eye outwith that”. From Alexander Jno-Baptiste‘s Facebook)

The aftershow seemed to be the really good time had by all. Lots of drinking, lots of dancing, DJ sets by the young and the beautiful of UK comicdom. And even a Take That appearance (see the video below).

TB in hell EV Anthony Johnson Ben Templesmith Andy Diggle

(Comic creators in hell…… Emma Vieceli, Anthony Johnson, Ben Templesmith, Andy Diggle. Via Andy Diggle’s Twitpic)

TB Take That Michael Molcher Al Ewing Kieron Gillen LG (pics)

(That Take That appearance…. oh, these comic types know how to close a night out. Michael Molcher, Al Ewing, Kieron Gillen and Matt Sheret make up the foursome.)

All in all, it sounds like I missed a really good show. Hopefully you didn’t. But I’ll be there next year for Thought Bubble 2010. I imagine you’ll want to be there as well?

The Thought Bubble blog’s 2009 report.
Down The Tubes Report.
Francesca Cassavetti.
Paul Cornell.
Oliver East (Trains Are … Mint/Blank Slate).
Garen Ewing / Rainbow Orchid.
Leigh Gallagher.
Kieren Gillen.
Hope For The Future.
Hugh (Shug) Raine.
Graeme Neil Reid.
Sci-Fi Pulse.
Emma Vieceli.

Pictures Only: (some of these are facebook pics and may require befriending/logging in to view)
Alexander Jno-Baptiste.
Francesca Cassavetti.
Rosemary Cheetham.
Staz Johnson.
Matthew Kitchen.
Lucky Target Comics.
Micheal Molcher.
Hugh (Shug) Raine.
Matt Sheret.

And finally…… this is what seasoned comic folks get up to at the end of a looooong night. Wait till the very end to see comics very own Take That in action. (Video from Matt Sheret’s flickr page.)

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

8 Responses to Last weekend’s Thought Bubble event – Comics, cosplay and dancing….

  1. Rod says:

    I have decided to give up cartooning and to become the agent for MolEwKierGillret.

    As for that Shug, well, I only hope Mrs Shug doesn’t see that leer!

  2. Pingback: David O'Connell | Thoughtbubble 09

  3. Richard says:

    Fury Bug (Julia) – inevitable?! Oh, you know us too well, never pass up the chance to see a bit of Brit comic supergroup action on the dancefloor!

  4. Ben says:

    I’ve just written my report on Thought Bubble and I agree with everything everyone else said about it. Great event.

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