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Action-packed programme announced for Thought Bubble, the UK’s largest comic art festival

Thought Bubble Festival (c) Simon Dewhurst


Thought Bubble, the UK’s largest comic book festival, has announced a packed programme of events for the week-long event, as it enters its second decade and moves into the heart of Leeds city centre. From artists’ signings to cosplay masquerades, 89 events, many of which are free, will take place across seventeen venues. From 18-24 September, culminating in a weekend-long convention, Thought Bubble is expected to draw visitors, fans and leading industry figures from across the globe to Leeds.

Antony Johnston, the New York Times best-selling author whose graphic novel Atomic Blonde is now a major motion-picture starring Charlize Theron, will be appearing at Thought Bubble for ‘From Stands to Screen’ which explores the transition of comics from the page, to large and small screen.

Girls looking to break into the industry will be able to take notes from a number of leading female artists. Italian comic artist Sara Pichelli, who is currently illustrating Marvel's Spider-Man with writer Brian Michael Bendis, will be taking part in the ‘Sketching Spotlight’ live draw, as will Joelle Jones, an Eisner nominated artist who has provided the art for Supergirl: Being Super and Superman: American Alien.

For the first time, long-term fans of weekly British science fiction-orientated comic magazine 2000AD can revel in the beauty of 40 original posters specially created by 40 different 2000AD artists, on display at the Gallery at Munro House from Friday 1st September to Saturday 30th September, presented by Vice Press in celebration of the magazine’s fortieth anniversary.


Lisa Wood, Festival Director commented,

It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come in our first decade and that we’re now a major fixture in the comic calendar, attracting some of the biggest names in sequential art to Leeds. This year’s line-up is jam-packed, and whether you’re a comic art aficionado or a complete beginner, there’s something everyone can enjoy, especially as so many of the events are free. We’re taking over some of the major venues in the city centre and I can’t wait to open up our world to the general public. Expect to see an array of cosplayers flooding the streets of Leeds!”


Previously announced, international stars Gerard Way, former frontman of My Chemical Romance turned comic writer, and Brian K. Vaughan, award-winning writer of Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina and Saga, will be flying into Leeds to take part in comics in conversation, a chance to learn all about comic art from its masters. Gerard will be joined by fellow Young Animal collaborators Cecil Castellucci, Marley Zarcone, Jody Houser, Nick Derington and Tommy Lee Edwards in a specialist panel discussion about the new imprint of DC Comics.

Fans of The Walking Dead will have the chance to meet Charlie Adlard, the pencil illustrator for the comic series; Jason Latour, co-creator and artist of the Eisner & Harvey award-winning series Southern Bastards, will be attending the festival, as will London-based award-winning web-comic artist Alex Norris, creator of the popular Dorris McComics series.

World famous Texas-based Mondo will be launching a limited edition Thought Bubble poster, available only to festival attendees.

This year’s Thought Bubble aims to be the most open and inclusive event yet. Community Comics Power UK, a Leeds-based community-led organisation that teaches people how to tell their own stories through comic strips, will be hosting a free two-day workshop for refugees and asylum seekers. Attendees will learn how to use the medium of comic strips to create stories around themes of immigration and religious tolerance. Materials, travel costs and lunch will all be covered.

The Rainbow Age book club will be making a much-anticipated return to this year’s festival. The book club is a celebration of LGBTQ+ comic book authors; readers can bring along their favourite comics by LGBTQ+ authors and discover new comics, all of which are supplied by Leeds-based Travelling Man comics. After the event, Travelling Man donates all the comics to Leeds Libraries so that the whole city can enjoy them; a scheme which is the first of its kind in the country.

Cosplay is also set to make a big return to the 2017 festival, with an eclectic parade of cosplayers and a cosplay masquerade where there’ll be prizes for the best dressed.

Tickets for Thought Bubble are on sale now and are available at



Cosplay takes over Leeds central library (c) Simon Dewhurst