Thick crowds of people and rubber weaponry coupled with a plethora of personal preference meant Team HoB had to do the sensible thing and split into smaller groups for this years mighty Thought Bubble two-day comic con, which comes in as the Pièce de résistance of an entire week of awesome events related to sequential arts that are dotted around the city of Leeds. By now you’ve likely read about 0z and Tom’s adventure and the treasure they did find, and here’s some more.
One of the events started the ThoBubbs weekend for half the HoB on the Friday, as we headed down to the recently opened White Cloth Gallery for the beginning of the Mondo So Far exhibition, curated by the talented Olly Moss. Having being involved in doing some live drawing at last years ThoBubbs, i’d been invited by Best Joined Up to be one of a group of amazing artists who were to ply their trade at the opening of the exhibition. Of course I said yes to that, prepared a picture immediately and set to pooing myself.
The event was amazing, the art phenomenal and the general buzz was refreshing, with all visitors walking around excited about everything they laid their peepers on. Our live art was auctioned off for charity and we raised a fair few pennies which literally sent the Best Joined Up crew into fits of spontaneous song as we channeled ale in-between unsuccessful bouts of scouring the streets of Leeds for a late night Karaoke bar. Stay tuned for a little review of that.
As Saturdays at the Con are always the busier of the two days, we left queuing for signed brilliance until the Sunday and traversed the many isles slowly, this isn’t a task you can do quickly at Thought Bubble as almost every table has something totally unique. We’ve attended a good few Memorabilia’s in our time and experienced some MCM Expos and these Cons can suffer a large amount of very similar tables in their vast halls; usually rows and rows of comic peddlers with well-travelled CollectorLine boxes, trading card enthusiasts and packed tables of statuettes. I’m in no way complaining about this; i love these experiences and there are always pearls of utter joy to be found at a standard-con, i can usually pick up something as niche as a Gundam too (preferably from the kid who wears cat-ears, exclusively sells japanese kits and has a vast knowledge of Gundam he is pleased to share with you if you show interest). But Thought Bubble is a totally unique affair.
The clue is in ‘Sequential Arts Festival’, for a whole week, Leeds in invaded by anime screenings, workshops, comic-inspired plays, shop signings and creator talks at various spots around the city, it’s all about that perfect amalgamation of art and story and those people that create. The two day comic con chocked-full of panels, portfolio viewings, and signings that is the icing on the cake on the ending weekend always delivers with attendances from some of the best and most successful creators working today, (Becky Cloonan, David Peterson, Mark Millar, Alex Maleeve, Charlie Adlard, Mark Waid, Adi Granov, Jock, Phil Noto, Fiona Staples, Olly Moss… the guest list is alway first-class) but this isn’t just about the names we know and love already and paying tribute to what we already can’t get enough of, it’s also about finding something fresh to obsess over. Thought Bubble ensure that the more commercial affairs don’t overpower The Little Fellers; the barely known boys and girls who have also created something special that they are working hard to share with the world. As that is what House Of Betty love some of the most, we did all we could to stop from fainting with glee all weekend. oh my.
Here’s some more top-picks of the new things we did find that we filled our bags with.
Local Leeds lady Kristina Baczynski took up the most space in our swag-bag, this friendly gal has a vast amount of brilliant art to share with you. Rocking a perfect mix of old school and new school style with a brilliant eye for colour and clean lines, Kristina goes straight to the top of the list for a full HoB post. We were also lucky enough to bag a couple of her Power Packs; a treasure-trove of greetings cards, posters, mini comics, stickers and postcards for the bargain price of six pounds. Best loot of the show. Looking at her stuff will make you feel all happy, i can’t recommend her enough. http://www.kristyna.co.uk/
Tiny Kitten Teeth
Tiny Kitten Teeth is a web comic by talented duo Becky and Frank. We were blown away by Becky’s art, technically brilliant and reminds you of the beautifully illustrated storybooks and classic cartoons from a bygone age. I defy you to not like it, whatever your taste. I can’t stop looking at her daily sketch blog. More HoB ranting incoming on Tiny Kitten Teeth.
Felt Mistress is what happens when you get a trained Fashion Designer and Milliner to create brilliantly designed characters and art. Focusing on fabric toys but with a side-line in layered felt beetles in Shadowbox frames, (which are astounding) Louise Evans and Jonathan Edwards are expert creators. Again, We hope to HoB these dudes. Yum.
Army Of Cats
Army Of Cats is a Leeds-based studio of design, screen-printing and great art and design appreciation. (great tumblr blog) There’s great things coming out of Graham Pilling’s head; he’s the guy responsible for all this goodness. One we’ll be keeping an eye on, we’ll definitely be watching out for his screen printing workshops.
Loving the potential of the story and the style in this comic that draws you in with it’s Alphonse Mucha inspired cover. 0z covers this book and the fascinating new indie label it arises from wonderfully in her ThoBubbs post.
Anime Imports UK
We were at the table of these lovely Anime-art dealers for a very long time choosing which two colour Camilla D’Ericco prints we had to buy. Good to know we’ve got somewhere in the UK where we can feed our eyes while emptying our wallets for a little fix of our favorite. Pick up some gems for a steal.
What pleased us the most this year was the quality of the stuff being produced by the girls and the amount of them with tables at the con. Finally.
There is plenty more where that came from, we probably didn’t have time to find everything and really should plan it better, but we’ll have another go next year and the years after that. It’s great to know that when we finally get a great geek-con in the North of England, we do it so handsomely. Thanks for a great old time Thought Bubble. We salute you.