Thinking about Thought Bubble
Thought Bubble (http://thoughtbubblefestival.com) the Leeds Comic Arts Festival lasts a whole week and is quite possibly now, the best Comic Convention in the UK and Ireland and their showcase convention is on in two weeks time. The weekend convention takes place in the newly named New Dock Hall and the Royal Armouries as well as other local venues.
Here is a quick round up of just some of the things, I am looking forward to. First, Many creators and publishers will be taking the opportunity to release their books at Thought Bubble.
Cine Book are releasing Francis Bergèse’s Buck Danny series, and the third is set in Bosnia. We follow Tuckson ‘The Texas Pirate’, pilot of an F-18 Hornet, who gets shot at over Sarajevo by Serbian Forces and reacts badly. Colonel Danny, USAF, is tasked with training him amongst others and leading a scratch-built squadron for a top secret mysterious mission in unmarked planes. But this Ghost Squadron is not the only unofficial fighting force in the area. The artwork is incredible, very realistic in this series and I am keen to see how this most recent of wars is dealt with.
Nate Bellegarde and Eric Stephensons new comic Nowhere Men, where ‘Science is the new RocknRoll’ from image comics is having a special limited edition Though Bubble varient cover released. This will be limited to 500 copies, but the subject, a Scientific super group, captures my imagination.
The Steampunk world of Clockwork Watch ( http://www.clockworkwatch.org/) sounds very interesting, and one of the tag lines is that you can take part yourself. I am wondering whether there is a Steve Jackson type of decide your own adventure, or if it goes online. Regardless, the The Arrival, created by Yomi Ayeni, adapted by Corey Brotherson and illustrated by Jennie Gyllblad sounds bloody good.
Doug Braithwaite is an incredible artist, and he is working with David Hine on Storm Dogs from Image Comics. This is tagged as ‘Crime noir meets science fiction meets hard-boiled western in a tale of intrigue, madness and murder, as a team of crime investigators arrives on a frontier planet to investigate a series of horrific deaths.’ and sounds very interesting. The outline of the characters ‘Cassandra is a super cop, Masika a diplomat, Jered a forensic scientist and Siam is an ex-military weapons expert.’ only adds this to my must get list.
Bryan Talbot will be launching his latest Grandville Bete Noir story, a Steampunk Anamorphic alternative history, staring Archibald “Archie” LeBrock, a Badger, Detective from Scotland Yard, in a Britain that lost the Napolionic wars. The launch is happening as part of Comica in London on the 9th of November in Foyles London (http://www.comicafestival.com/index.php/festival/festival_detail/talbots), Thought Bubble will be the first chance I get to see the new Graphic Novel and I am really looking forward to it.
At the convention itself, one of the many activities that I enjoy, is meeting Comic creators, and in the case of artists, getting a sketch. Many do this with no charge, and some, there is a nominal fee, but for an original sketch, it’s worth it. With over 70 creators attending, for me, Fiona Staples is the must see, her work on SAGA is brilliant. Others who I cannt wait to see are Sean Phillips, Charlie Adlard and David Aja.
During the weekend of the convention, while there are two halls, full of artists and dealers, an fantastic bargains and small press and any amount of wonderful things that, lets be honest, you’d only find at a convention like this, there are also talks.
Of especial interest to me will be the 2000 AD 36th anniversary Panel, hosted by SFX blogger Stacey Whittle and Iz McAuliffe and the Women in Comics panel hosted by Mel Gibson with Alison Bechdel, Kate Beaton, Simone Lia, Hannah Berry, Fiona Stephenson and Robin Furth will hopefully offer insight into what these people would recommend as good reading.
Also taking place will be the British Comic Awards (http://britishcomicawards.com/) which I hope will go well and I think may turn out to be a key point event at future Thought Bubble’s.
What is nice, I think is that Thought Bubble is stretching its wings, for instance, Gosh in London are hosting an event, while there are events taking place in York, Newcastle and Bradford.
There is a whole week long festival, with amazing stuff from Free comics for kids in Libraries to a Mondo Art exhibition, wonderful looking film posters.
Overall, it looks like a fantastic weekend.
I should say, that Leeds is not inaccessible, at time of writing, RyanAir have flights for around €70 if you wanted to arrive at Leeds Bradford at 9am on Saturday, and leave after 9pm on the same day, and about €60 if you wanted to make a weekend of it. A weekend pass is £20, while a day pass is £12.