It’s probably fair to say that many of us have a few comics in our collections. Some of us may have walls covered in screenprints and the odd Olly Moss 5×5. Thought Bubble is the UK’s largest event celebrating what it calls “sequential art” in all its forms, a huge forum for comics as well as a growing stage for limited edition prints.
The entire festival, set in many venues across the city of Leeds (with its great pubs, cheap hotels and plentiful places to eat!) spans an entire week. I was there for its closing weekend, a Comic Con filling three exhibition spaces inside The Royal Armouries (well worth a visit in their own right). During this time I was lucky enough to meet up with a few friends of Nerdlocker, buy a few prints and meet people from Facebook’s thriving poster community.
Saturday began in the cold, queueing outside the marquee which housed the likes of Jason Edmiston, Olly Moss, Paul Shipper, Matt Taylor and Mondo. After an hour or so, my hopes of snagging one of the thirty remaining Matt Ferguson Guardians of the Galaxy APs were dashed as the guy in front of me got the last one! Still, for those of us in the print collecting game, disappointment is nothing new! Matt was kind enough to message me after the event, letting me know there’d be a sketch with my name on it though!
While I was queueing, Olly Moss opened his doors and promptly sold out of his own new Dark Link 5×5. You get the impression I’m a pro, right? First Thought Bubble, mistakes were made. Still, from here I visited a familiar face to Nerdlocker readers, Paul Shipper. Earlier in the week I was fortunate enough to fill one of twenty commission preorders, and the man himself was happy to chat while I gazed lovingly at my new District 9 portrait!
At his first Thought Bubble, Shipper expressed being a little in awe of sharing a space with his heroes such as Edmiston and Laurent Durieux. The commissions had been selling well, while his prints were also proving popular. Another artist happy to see Nerdlocker covering the weekend was Jason Edmiston, whom I managed to share a few words with while he priced up some prints in his portfolio. This was a rare quiet moment for Jason, having sold over 30% of his terrific Judge Dredd collaboration with Jock in just the first two hours of the show!
Off in another part of the tent, Mondo, Durieux, Moss and more shared a circle of tables while crowd control ushered the queuing masses in from the cold. While Moss sold out quickly, Mondo’s Matt Taylor Back to the Future print proved popular, making a hefty dent in its generous print run! Next door was Mr. Taylor himself, who pleased one fan by having a single Rocky II print hidden amongst his stack of goodies! I myself was happy to grab a Harley Quinn, while friends added Fargo, Back to the Future and more to their collections.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Comic Village at MCM Expo in London. Elsewhere at Thought Bubble felt like a much larger version of what has always been my favourite part of that event. Huge spaces were filled with independent artists, comic writers and studios showcasing and selling their talent.
It was in one of these areas that I, quite by chance, completed a personal crusade of mine! A few years ago I discovered the brilliant Philippa Rice at a Con in London. I bought three of her unique, charming clay figurines and they’ve had pride of place in my apartment ever since. I returned a year later only to be disappointed she wasn’t there. Yet, it was at Thought Bubble, two hundred miles from home I turned a corner and found her work again! Let’s just say a few more of these adorable critters are sat on my shelf:
One final surprise from Saturday was Bee and Puppycat/Adventure Time’s brilliant Natasha Allegri. Sat with her AT colleagues, a modest sign offering “Doodles for Tips” had her table, tucked away in the centre of the tent, surrounded by a queue that stretched along the perimeter and out through a fire door!
Sunday was a quieter day at Thought Bubble. There was still only a little less energy and certainly no fewer Cosplayers, and the mighty Jock joined Jason Edmiston to sign, and sell a few of his recent Batman prints (among others gems from his back catalogue). Making up for my missteps the day before, Olly Moss was sketching bespoke Garfields and was happy to draw this soon-to-be-framed little number below:
All in all, my first Thought Bubble was great. A real mix of established artists and talented comic creators from all around the world. As an opportunity to meet faces from online groups, the weekend served to further the sense of community us print collectors have grown to appreciate. I didn’t even manage to take in any of the Speech Bubble talks, or documentary screenings so next year, Thought Bubble could be even bigger and an even more varied place to spend a great weekend with friends old and new.
To find out more about the talented artists mentioned in this article, check them out here:
Laurent Durieux – http://www.laurentdurieux.com/
A few more photos from the weekend can be found below:
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