My last two Thought Bubbles, while good, left me feeling a bit underwhelmed for some reason. Maybe I've come to accept all the cosplay and merchandise because I had a much better time, this year. In fact, it was one of my favourite conventions yet. And I have
done over six.
Thursday night was the launch party. I met up with fellow Leeds Alternative Comics Fair
organiser, Steve Tillotson
, and we went along to Fab Café
for some drinks and balloons.
Here's Steve doing a quiz with organisers Lisa and Clark:
Also in attendance were con veterans Dr. Simpo, Graham Manning and Andy "Hexjibber" Sykes
Clark knew all the answers in this superhero-heavy quiz but didn't want to accept any of the prizes. So he dished them out to the rest of us and I got a copy of the anthology, Flinch.
On Saturday morning, I headed into Leeds, which isn't far for me, with a heavy suitcase and a red uke.
The space was even bigger this year. The panels had been moved out to another building, opening the Savile Hall up even more than usual. Small pressers were spread out among the bigger names, which, we concluded, is probably the best way to do it. To section off small and big press might mean we'd be ignored by some of the superhero fans.
I heeded my own warning and created that "positive barrier" between me and the browsing customer. I had more upright things on my table than usual and it attracted more attention than when I lay my things out flat.@shug_comics 9:55 All set up at Thought Bubble! See you... here! #TB10
Here's my table buddy, joedecie
. Ready to rock. We were missing Al Maceachern and his traditional convention banana but we remained strong!
While spread out, the organisers mostly seemed to put friends together. I don't know to what extent that was prompted but Steve and I didn't say anything and we were still immediate neighbours. Which was good.
Here's Steve with long-time collaborator, Gareth Brookes
Steve's new Banal Pig Showcase is excellent as usual. And extremely funny. Gareth's new project looks amazing, too. He gave a few of us a sneaky peek.
and Aaron Murphy, doin' the biz, and Oliver Lambden. Strength, Oliver. Strength.
I'm always sat opposite the good-looking table. I took this sneakily...
The place filled up rapidly and it got friggin' busy in there. That's a success in itself. The table cost is well worth it for such a well-organised event, with punters a-plenty. It was definitely safer behind the table, as I found when I tried to have a look around on several occasions...
And it was warm. In fact, it was pretty hot. But I was prepared:@shug_comics 10:24 I have Asda SURGE deodorant for any sweaty exhibitors! #TB10
@shug_comics 11:06 Just got an eyeful of arse from a rollerskating zombie.
@shug_comics 11:14 Steve Tillotson just caught me saying 'yes please! 50 pence please!' Much to his amusement.
@shug_comics 11:57 Thought Bubble's going well. Having fun. @joedecie says hi.
I usually only have comics valued less than three quid. My new collected mini, Find Comet, Hit Comet, Watch Comet, Sleep
was seven pounds, so selling just a few of those meant I was away!
There were rather a lot of crotches on display of all varieties. Very distracting. See if you can spot one here:@shug_comics 12:31 There are far too many crotches on display at Thought Bubble. #TB10
@kenkills There are never too many crotches RT @shug_comics There are far too many crotches on display here at Thought Bubble. #TB10
It was great to finally meet Richard Bruton, who missed last year's due to illness and missed our Leeds Alt Comics Fair due to being a dad! Molly said he was too concerned with paper stock.@shug_comics 13:39 @richardbruton in the Thought Bubble house! Nice to meet you and wee Molly! #TB10
Joe's family came for a visit. Here he is with his son. Joe made him a pirate hat. He didn't make one for me.
I finally got out and about after lunch and met Lando, of Decadence
fame. I really love Lando's work and the CD that came with one of his comics is fantastic.
Here's Sean Azzopardi
breathing in behind his Necessary Monsters comic:@shug_comics 14:11 @joedecie has just had his third spray of SURGE! Fun times at a warm Thought Bubble! #TB10
I had a proper look around later and properly met Philippa Rice
, who thankfully accepted my BFF application which she was handing out to potential pals.Lizz Lunney
and Chris Doherty
reluctantly posed for a photo. I didn't take the hint!
Here's Timothy Winchester
, who was having a hoot.
It was particularly nice to have a proper chat with Matthew Sheret of We Are Words + Pictures
. I'll admit I didn't catch the name of the lovely lady by his side but she gave me a quick interview about my submission to the recent Paper Science issue.(Edit: Matt fills me in and tells me it's Anne Holiday of The English Holiday Club! I'm such a twerp!)
I quickly chatted to stalwarts Adam Cadwell
and Marc Ellerby
. Marc's latest Chloe Noonan was meant to be available but printing problems prevented this. Shitty news.David O'Connell
was set up with Ellen Lindner
had made an ace Queen Mum statuette for David. Dale, who is the mascot of Joe, Al and I, didn't believe that Rick was there. He thinks I'm a big fat liar!
Good as always to see Sarah McIntyre, Gareth Northfield, Gary Bainbridge, Ben Clark, Cliodhna Lyons (was fun chatting about printers, Cliodhna, but I'm aware of how much of a saddo that makes me), Andy Waugh, Matt "keozen", Huw "Lem" Davies, Jared from OK Comics, Phillip Spence and great to meet Simon M., James of The Moogs fame, Howard Hardiman and Edward M. Ross... I won't remember everyone, sorry.
Shouts also to regular convention visitors Lisa Dolman, Stephanie Alexander and Jonas. Jonas had a really cool looking copy of his Notes music project. I'll give it a spin soon.
Comic big wigs like Paul Gravett and Alex "Panel Borders" Fitch were also wandering around doing their thang.@shug_comics 15:05 Just had a good snoop around the hall. Mixed views but mostly good! #TB10
Joe had promised egg nog. He finally produced three cartons of the stuff after three o'clock. It wasn't very good, but it was
long life!@shug_comics 15:31 We're drinking Joe's egg nog. IT'S KICKING OFF! #TB10
Dale wanted a mention:@shug_comics 16:06 @daleof is our table mascot. Fact.
There were an impressive amount of costumes on display.
'By 'eck! Yer a rebel and a bloody traitor, lass!'
Most impressive.@shug_comics 16:39 Darth Vader has a Yorkshire accent.
It might be crass to talk about money but I did very well. In fact, I made nearly three times more than last year. Thanks to everyone who bought my new comic. Or anything, really. I didn't have a great deal of merchandise so my Jenny's Weird Friend desktop calendars were a bit of a savior.@shug_comics Heading to the @ThoughtBubbleUK afterparty! If I dance, it means I've had too much to drink and should be immediately bundled into a taxi.
The after party was swinging, this year. It's just a shame that all those lovely earnings started to disappear behind the bar. A pint of John Smiths and a glass of white wine for eight quid is expensive by most of our standards, I think.
This is my wife:
This is my wife's review of the music:
'Good night. Too much Lady Gaga.'
The night descended into Robert De Niro faces and booze:
I did dance in the end. Badly. But then, so did most of us.@Lizzlizz @shug_comics I disagree!@cutebutsad @Lizzlizz @shug_comics I AGREE WITH LIZZ.@PeopleIKnow @shug_comics @Lizzlizz double disagree!
Of course, the question on everyone's lips was: Steve Tillotson and Lizz Lunney - will they or won't they?*
A big thanks to Lisa, Clark and Tamsin for all they do. And to the rest of the organisers, who I haven't yet met!
You're gonna want to be at the next one. Possibly a two day event!*A lie.
@shug_comics My favourite Thought Bubble yet! Amazing sales and jollities all round! #TB10