Yesterday we were fortunate enough to attend the Leeds based Thought Bubble Comic Convention. This is an event that has grown in stature over the last few years to become one of the preeminent UK conventions.
This was shown in principal by the list of talent that attended the event. People like Matt Fraction, Ming Doyle, Jock, Olly Moss, Kevin Tong, Robert Lewellyn, Stephen Mooney, Fiona Staples, David Aja, Jordie Bellaire, Matt Ferguson….the list goes on…..and on. For those not familiar with the world of comic book and film artwork/writing these names may draw a blank, but if you take the time to google any one of them you will find men and women that are at the top of their game and have undoubtedly created something you love or been influenced by.
This year’s con took place over three large halls (and a couple of theatres) meaning that just to do a single lap of the place took a good hour, then of course there was the obligatory second, third and fourth lap as we wrestled with our wallets trying to keep from being bankrupted by the sheer amount of awesome material for sale.
One of my favourite things about conventions such as this, is the chance to meet the people responsible for your favourite work. The particularly great thing about comic book artists and creators is that they are probably the most amiable bunch of any creative discipline. More than just getting a quick hello and a handshake these guys are so passionate about their work, that they will talk at length, listen to your ideas and then do a personal, one off sketch for you! I myself was a recipient of a great impromptu drawing from Ming Doyle, who managed to sketch a great headshot whilst at the same time having an in-depth conversation about the merits of Shining documentary Room 237!!!
It was fantastic to see a return from Austin based film art producers Mondo. This was easily the most popular stall with a queue stretching back and back for the majority of the day. Given that they were selling new and exclusive works by Jock and Olly Moss, as well as having a great deal of incredible works by Kevin Tong (including a particularly brilliant pair of images for Metropolis and Pacific Rim) it’s easy to see why.
What I took away from the event (aside from a huge wad of books and business cards) was that Thought Bubble truly has the potential to grow more and more each year. The atmosphere, the organisation and the schedule is so stunning that in a few years I’m sure it will have outgrown its current quarters, instead needing to take over a large chunk of Leeds city centre…..that’s the hope anyway.