Thought Bubble 2012

Thought Bubble in Leeds was a barrel. I love seeing so many people excited about drawing and making things and getting dressed up and exuberant (we should all dress up all the time). Also exciting are the increasing number of awesome publishers  selling amazing things there. There was still a small bitter cluster of (mostly) middle-aged white men who are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and are drowned out by more colourful and excited people (though they still make up quite a lot of the panels … what’s up with that?).

I’d spent the night before putting together a weird little comic for the con. Following a few odd conversations with Ester Vanhoutte (check her out) about the odd nature of Tintin, we both got itchy drawing fingers and decided that comics about Tintin’s im/mortality were just the sort of introspection-on-an-icon Thought Bubble needed. A friend offered to find somewhere to display them for us, and shortly after arriving in Leeds our comics were stuck up in a tunnel between the station and the festival. Awesome!

If you want to read them, we’re printing them out in a free little booklet instead of putting it all online. If you’d like a copy, just send me an email – chris fairless, at the

Arriving at the festival itself we turned shy and took refuge at the Phoenix Comic‘s doodling table, while we built up the courage to go and speak to the comickerati present. This resulted in a irritable bee comic:

Then we went exploring. Big shout outs to Lani Irving and Bethan Mure who are the nicest new friends and extremely talented artists to boot!

In the evening things meandered from one place to another, and ended up with a request for a friend’s portrait in full Victorian garb, shooting our prime minister with a blunderbuss made from a trombone. These things happen and you have to roll with them.

6 thoughts on “Thought Bubble 2012

  1. Holy Rastapopolous, Chris! I didn’t know you were around at Thought Bubble and if you were hanging about on Saturday I’m sorry I didn’t see you. In brief, cool to see excellent comics action (especially period drama Prime Ministerial brass-assassinations) and that you met the most excellent Bethan Mure. I really want to know more about Tintin’s immortality as well. Hooray for the colour and excitement! :D

    1. Aargh! We should have planned ahead and met up! I didn’t spot you either, though clearly we were moving in similar circles! I’m excited you know Bethan’s stuff – I’ve only just got to know it and it’s wonderful.

      Just read your review of the con (for anyone else reading it gives better portrait than i do: … it looks like you saw all the best bits! I’m exactly the same when talking to (even minor) luminaries. If I’ve never seen your work before, we’ll become good mates pretty quickly (and I got to know some really cool people this way). But if I like your stuff I’m going to say a few awkward conversation starters, dry up, and wander off mumbling.

      (1) hey maybe we should think about some sort of group table for next year!
      (2) I’ll get tintin to you when it’s all printed!
      (3) I can’t believe we didn’t come up with the term brass-assassination!

    1. My main encounter with them was in the History of the Dandy session. It was full of angry nostalgia, with the consensus that the style and humour of the 60’s is timeless and every change to the comic since then has been awful. There was a 15-year-old kid there looking bored and unhappy, clearly thought he was going to hear about the colourful history of his favourite characters.

      I think this is the extreme end of the spectrum (in this country at least: awful outdated opinions from the US old guard periodically set the internet on fire), but there was a taste of middle-aged boys-club and mildew in that, and in the “draw for 2000AD” panel I went to.

        1. That’s very interesting- I had absolutely no idea that there was a ‘Dandy-Hardcore’ out there!

          I suppose if you turn over a stone you do find all sorts of squiggly little things wriggling away with furious intensity.

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