There’s three things that signal that the year is almost at an end – it’s dark in the mornings, the shops have Christmas decorations up and the Thought Bubble weekend. Our favourite wintry comic con that’s near the end of a long con season has come and gone – but not without a visit from comic fans, comic creators and Comics Anonymous!
The CA gang pride themselves on having attended most UK comic cons, and although we have varying tastes in comics, when it comes to conventions we all agree on one thing – Thought Bubble rules! No where else on the calendar do you see such an excellent mix of top talent and upcoming indie greats all muddle together in the same venue, sitting side by side. We never experienced the smaller 1-day TB event of yesteryears, and we’re kind of glad, because it’s size and length today is exactly what makes it a must attend weekend. It gets a great turnout too, with the ideal mix of crazed autograph hunters, indie fans looking for something new and cosplayers. It’s not long into the weekend before the courtyard between venues becomes a breeding ground for all sorts of interesting photo opportunities when the 3 groups mingle.
Last weekend marked something slightly different for Comics Anonymous when we reversed our roles as punters and jumped across to the other side of the table. If you were there, you hopefully got a chance to come past Table 88 in the Royal Armouries where we’d set up camp for the weekend and went between interviewing guests, holding our live Sketch-Offs and generally chatting with you the punters. It provided a very new and different point of view of a con weekend – normally we’d scurry between signings, panels and checking out the comics talent – but stationed at Table 88 greatly limited our view of what was going on elsewhere. If there’s one thing we learnt though, it’s not to underestimate Kate Beaton and Scott C’s popularity – there wasn’t a moment all weekend where the pair didn’t have a queue spanning the width of the hall.
Although we were there mostly for self promotion and not actually trying to sell anything, it was interesting to get a bit of an insight into what all those indie creators go through as people pass by their stalls. Not only is it hard to get people to stop and look at your product (with the hopes they’ll buy it) but there’s so much competition, it’s hard to convince people that this is the comic they want to buy out of the hundred others. These days most cons are extremely welcoming of the indie and self published crowds, and none more so than Thought Bubble – in fact this year its was much harder to find any comic vendors punting current/old published books or merchandise. This may have disappointed some of those in attendance, but it certainly didn’t stop both Saturday and Sunday from being crazy busy from open to close.
Part of that craziness has to be attributed to the big names guests on offer too – the weekend was full of stories like the Charlie Adlard queue being cut just 5 minutes after doors opened on the Sunday. But with most creators making themselves available for most of the weekend (outside of panels) usually patience paid off if you were looking for a quick sketch or something signed. Thought Bubble always has a much more relaxed atmosphere, so even if you are left queuing for a while to meet one of the guests, it never feels like the cattle herding you find at other events (Kapow I’m looking at you!).
Overall though the weekend was a huge success – made even better by the success of our Sketch-Offs and the money raised for the Aberglen Residential Home. Thanks to all who bought raffle tickets and submitted their ideas – we managed to raise £72 over the weekend. The rules were simple(ish!) – each raffle ticket purchased could be submitted as either a character or object/action suggestion, then for each Sketch-Off round, we’d pick one ticket from each category to make up what our artists would sketch – for example “Wolverine” + “Ballet Dancing” (sadly this combo didn’t come up!). If your ticket got pulled out then you won one of the final sketches. Even though there were plenty of tickets with “Batman” on them, the results were all extremely bizarre and proved an excellent challenge for our artists – check out the results below!
ROUND 1 – Darryl Cunningham VS Karrie Fransman – “Frodo Shaving”
ROUND 2 (AKA “The Three Way”) – Guillermo Ortego VS Dan Harris VS Gavin Mitchell – “John Constantine Playing Golf / Ballroom Dancing”
ROUND 3 – Gary Northfield VS Gibson Quarter – “Batman kicking Batman’s Ass”
ROUND 4 – Graeme Kennedy VS Nich Angell – “Batman on a 10m diving board”
ROUND 5 – Will Pickering VS Leigh Gallagher – “The Joker Cheerleading”
ROUND 6 – Al Davidson VS Martin Eden – “The Hulk drinking a cup of tea”
Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment