It's coming baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The UK's best comic con returns to Harrogate in November. Here's why we're excited...
If you attended the 2019 event you already know what an astonishingly positive weekend the con is. I have never once experienced a more joyful, creative, welcoming atmosphere than at Thought Bubble.
The reason, I suppose, is simple. Everybody there, be they a vendor, and exhibitor, a guest or an attendee, is there pursuing something that they love. Everybody is in their happy place, and it shows. Besides, you're basically in a massive room with more than 10,000 other people who love comics, and for the most part, people who are into comics tend to be nice people...
Tickets are already on sale through the Thought Bubble website (click the link here to go to the tickets page) and we hope to be selling them through the shop in due course.
But you need more than just "it's an enjoyable weekend and you'll meet some nice peple" to be thinking of putting the date in your diary this far in advance. So let's take a look at some of the other attractions...
First up, let's check out the initial guest list - and remember this is just the start. Many, many more guests will be added in the weeks and months to come, but my goodness they're already off to an amazing start. Guests already include:
Hill isn't quite a household name like his dad Stephen King - at least not yet, but we reckon it's only a matter of time.
Like his dad, Hill is a novelist with titles like Horns, Hear-Shaped Box and NOS4A2 to his name. He's also the man most likely to win a Stephen King look-alike contest. Seriously. We're using this photo of him here becasue it's the only one we could find that wouldn't make you go "hang on, that's a young Stephen King!"
Much as we love his novels, however (and we really do - you might want to nip over to see our friends at Imagined Things and check them out) he's not coming to Thought Bubble because of his novels. He's coming because he's also an outrageously talented and award winning comics writer.
Hill is perhaps best known in the comics world for the interdimensional horror series Locke and Key - which is soon to be a Netflix show and which won British Fantasy Awards in 2009 and in 2012, and snagged an Eisner Award, the most prestigious award in comics, in 2012.
Currently Hill is also curating the pop up horror comics imprint "Hill House Comics" for DC - which is worth checking out if you're a horror fan, and writing the hard-boiled thriller Dying is Easy, featuring disgraced cop turned unsuccessful stand-up comedian Syd Holmes.
You are absolutely going to want to check out Hill's work if you haven't already - and you certainly want to check out Locke and Key before you watch it on Netflix.
Hill will be doing some signings over the weekend, and who knows, maybe giving a talk or something. (If he's giving a talk or hosting a panel, if we're lucky enough to get a table at the con, it will not be staffed while that's happening...)
Rafael Albuquerque is an artist and occasional writer from Brazil. He's worked on many comics and comics covers, but is probably best known for co-creating and illustrating the DC/Vertigo comics series American Vampire, a series which followed the conflict between a new strain of Vampire rising in the Americas and their older, European counterparts - and which in its early issues featured the first original comics work by a certain Stephen King. Small world, eh?
G. Willow Wilson
I've been a fan of Wilson since 2009, when I picked up issue #1 of Air, her brilliantly surreal series about, well, it starts with an acrophobic flight attendent being recruited into an anti-terrorist organisation, but it very quickly becomes strange. Neil Gaiman has compared it to the works of Salman Rushdie and it certainly has a magical realism tinge. All I know is that I absolutely loved it and I've been a fan ever since.
That's not why people know who she is though. Without a question of a shadow of a doubt, Wilson is best known for co-creating Kamala Khan, the sixteen year old Pakistani-American inhuman (if you don't know what Inhumans are, think of them as "like the X-Men, but different" and that'll do for now) who took the mantle of Ms Marvel from Carol Danvers when Danvers became Captain Marvel (which is probably the subject of a future waffle...)
Wilson wrote 38 issues of Ms Marvel - which is a pretty long run by modern standards - before handing the reins over to writer Saladin Ahmed and moving on to write Wonder Woman for DC Comics.
She's a multi award winning, Eisner Nominated creative power house, and I'm alrady a ball of fanboying excitement.
Nope. I have no idea what Chip is doing here either. I do know that Chip Zdarsky is a pseudonym, but that's the name he uses when he makes comics, so that's the only name I need.
In his time he's written Spider-Man, Daredevil, Howard the Duck and Invaders for Marvel Comics but he's probably best known for co-creating the series Sex Criminals with fellow writer Matt Fraction.
Sex Criminals isn't what you're thinking, incidentally - it's about a couple who discover that when they have sex they can stop time. They use this somewhat unexpected ability to commit an audacious crime - it's a witty, innovative and hugely entertaining read, although admittedly not particularly safe for work.
And that's just the first round of headliners! Add to that a whole bunch of independent writers, artists and other creatives who will be there with all manner of comics, posters, original art, and weird innovative stuff taht you have never seen before.
Thought Bubble. It's the absolute best.
As I write this, I've just completed by table application. Thought Bubble has never turned us down before, but it's an over-subscribed and tightly curated event, so we're not counting our chickens. We hope to be on the convention floor, but even if we're not we're working on a bigger, better art trail, we might be sorting out some window painting around town, and I'm keen to get back into some schools and libraries with my Comcis Creating Workshops - if you belong to a school/library/youth group/community group and would like me to come and run a workshop for you, let me know and we'll work something out. (I don't charge - at least not for the first one...)
So. Go and grab your diary and make sure you have that weekend free. You really don't want to miss this.