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Heroic programme of events comes to Leeds for Thought Bubble 2017, the UK’s largest comic book festival


Thought Bubble, the UK’s largest comic book festival which this year enters its second decade, is bringing some of the biggest global names in comic art to Leeds for the annual event. With funding from comiXology, Leeds BID and major support from Leeds City Council, 2017 is the first year that the festival will be taking place in the heart of the city centre, opening up to a wider audience. Iconic Leeds buildings and purpose-built marquees will come together to create a ‘festival village’ around Millennium Square, which will host the festival, a convention, specialist industry panels and public events between 18th – 24th September.

Making his first ever UK convention appearance at Thought Bubble will be Gerard Way, the former frontman of rock band My Chemical Romance who has since become notable for his comic book series The Umbrella Academy, and is currently working on Young Animal, an imprint of DC Comics. Fans will have the chance to put their questions to Gerard as he will take part in ‘Comics in Conversation’ and other panels and events throughout the convention weekend, and he 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.

From 18th to 22nd September visitors can take part in a whole host of free events across Leeds and Bradford, before the festival concludes with an industry convention on 23rd and 24th September. The convention includes an incredible line up of more than 400 leading artists and writers from all over the world, showcasing the best that sequential art has to offer. The weekend will also feature portfolio viewings and competitions, as well as a parade of hundreds of cosplayers. Big names from the comic art world appearing at the convention include Brian K. Vaughan, the award-winning writer of Saga, Y: The Last Man and The Private Eye, Kieron Gillen, a UK writer who is best known for his work on Phonogram and The Wicked + The Divine, and Charlie Adlard, the pencil illustrator for The Walking Dead 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 webcomic artist Alex Norris, creator of the popular Dorris McComics series.


This year’s Thought Bubble Festival aims to be the most open and inclusive event yet, with a dedicated autism-friendly quiet space, workshops with Syrian refugees, an LGBTQ+ book club and mental health workshops. Lisa Wood, festival director commented,

We wanted to make sure that there is something for everyone at this year’s festival; and we hope that this packed programme does just that. We’ve secured some fantastic artists, and it just goes to show that Leeds is a huge attraction to comic artists all over the world. It’s an exciting year for us as we’re moving from the Royal Armouries right into the city centre, so it’s a great opportunity for anyone who’s not visited the festival to come along and get stuck into the action.”

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at


Thought Bubble festival (c) Michael Bracewell