Thought Bubble Festival 2013: The Countdown Begins

Thought Bubble 2013

The countdown to this year’s Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds in November has begun!

From 17th – 24th November, in association with Leeds International Film Festival, and Allied London, the largest celebration of comics and animation in the UK will take over Yorkshire – a celebration of sequential art in all its forms, including everything from superhero comics to independent and small-press artists and writers.

The wider festival programme for this year’s Thought Bubble will feature free art and writing-based workshops for young people and adults, a two-day academic conference, talks and masterclasses led by industry professionals, and a programme of sequential art-related film screenings, all building up to a special two-day convention on 23rd – 24th November.

The Thought Bubble convention includes an incredible line-up of leading artists and writers, and over 400 tables, spread across three halls, showcasing the best sequential art has to offer. The weekend will also feature portfolio viewings and competitions, as well as a huge cosplay parade. This year’s convention will be the festival’s biggest ever following the opening of a new third hall, due to increased demand from both exhibitors and audience.

Tickets for the convention can be bought online here, with special discounts for cosplayers, and under-12s entering the venue for free with an accompanying ticket-holding parent/guardian. Special guests include Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Fantastic Four), Geof Darrow (The Shaolin Cowboy), Kelly Sue Deconnick (Captain Marvel), Fabio Ba and Gabriel Moon (Daytripper), and Fiona Staples (Saga) – with many more big names attending a UK show for the first time ever.

The full festival programme will be going live this autumn, but for a run down of events currently open (or coming soon) in the run up to the festival, highlights surely include the second British Comics Awards ceremony, which will take place on the 23rd November as part of this year’s Thought Bubble Festival, celebrating the best of the year’s stories told by writers, artists and illustrators in the UK.

As we reported earlier, the judging panel for this year’s event has just been announced and includes Gareth David (lyricist and singer in the band Los Campesinos!), Lenny Henry (actor, writer and comedian), Stephen L Holland (co-owner and manager of Page 45 comic shop), Jamillah Knowles (writer and broadcaster), Graham Linehan (comedy writer and director), Josie Long (comedian, writer and actress) and Sarah McIntyre (cartoonist and children’s book illustrator).

Nominations are currently open for the awards, and recommendations for shortlist entries are welcomed from members of the public and creators, including those for the Young People’s Comic Award – which is judged by children in schools and readers groups from around the UK.

Also at Thought Bubble: the fourth Thought Bubble Comic Art Competition, a prize open to artists and writers in the UK, will run as part of 2013’s Thought Bubble Sequential Arts Festival – and in association with Travelling Man, Image Comics, 2000AD, Marvel Comics, and Diamond Comics.

Split into two age groups with a category for young people aged 12 -17 and a second category for adults aged 18 and over, the competition seeks to discover new creative talent as well as new work from established writers and artists. Prizes include hundreds of pounds worth of comics, and all six winning entries will be featured in 2014’s Thought Bubble Charity Anthology.

Thought Bubble are looking for an A4, single page, landscape aspect story, featuring a minimum of six panels, in any comic style people can think of! Deadline for entry: 5.00pm, 7th October 2013.

Another highlight of the Festival is the 2000AD portfolio event. It’s Dragons’ Den meets the Nerve Centre as Tharg the Mighty’s minions slide top talent unearthed from the Thought Bubble Convention weekend’s portfolio sessions beneath the searing gaze of his top-name art-droids.

So, if you want to be the next great artist to draw Judge Dredd, get along to this year’s Thought Bubble, and take the opportunity to have your art seen by one of the world’s best known publishers by entering the 2000 AD portfolio challenge.

This year the Festival have the ultimate 2000AD prize for aspiring creators – the winner of the portfolio session will get the chance to illustrate a Future Shock in the weekly comic. Join the ranks of the biggest names in British comic books by getting a paid strip from Tharg the Mighty!

• Full details of the Festival can be found at and last year’s winning entry from Will Morris can currently be seen in Prog 1836 of The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic!

Buy tickets for Thought Bubble Festival 2013

• Full guest line-up:

Categories: 2000AD, Comics Competitions, Events, Featured News

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