Leeds’ internationally acclaimed sequential art festival, Thought Bubble, is back!

Now in its twelfth year, this homegrown festival is animating the city centre this week (17-23rd September) with creators, publishers, retailers and fans turning Leeds into the comic capital.

The largest event of its kind in the UK, Thought Bubble 2018 boasts an incredible line-up of over 500 leading comic creators, international artists, illustrators, storytellers and guests from all over the world, attracting an international audience in excess of ten thousand people.


The festival is not just for die-hard fans – it’s the perfect place to dip your toes into the comics world for the first time. There is something for everyone; from internationally renowned leaders of the comic industry arriving in the city for talks, workshops and signings, to a packed week of interactive events and exhibitions, culminating in a giant 2-day comic convention. This celebration of comic art in all its forms will entice both long-time comic fans and newcomers to the heart of Leeds.


Thought Bubble celebrates the full breadth of sequential art as an important cultural art form - from comic art, illustration and storytelling to graphic novels, posters and animation. The festival champions the creators behind the work, bringing over 100 guests and 450 exhibitors to a huge village of festival venues across the city centre.


Providing a space for creative interaction between creators and fans, the festival allows people to get up close to the art and artists whose work shapes the comic cultural landscape; from the creators behind the latest superhero blockbusters to the diverse artists and writers behind the biggest, best and most innovative titles the comic arts world has to offer. Thought Bubble is unique amongst comic arts festivals, placing the creators at the heart of the festival programme.


Heading up the festival’s guest programme is internationally acclaimed, award-winning comic writer, novelist and screenwriter Warren Ellis. With novels adapted into films such as Red, X-Men and Fantastic Four, as well as the Netflix series Castlevania, Warren is a legend of the comic industry. He’ll be making a (very rare) appearance at Thought Bubble, giving a series of exclusive talks about his life and work.


Almost a hundred incredible artists are flying in from all over the world to complete the stellar line-up. Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman), Carey Pietch (Adventure Zone: Here Be Gerblins), Leslie Hung (Snotgirl) and Victoria Ying (Frozen, Moana) are just a small selection of the incredible names that make up the list.


Other festival events highlights include the Women World Builders event at Leeds Arts University, showcasing leading female artists who have built a successful career in this traditionally male-dominated environment, with talks and a panel debate. Thanks to major Arts Council England funding, Thought Bubble will launch their innovative new Augmented Reality project ‘Comics Are Alive’ at the weekend convention, creating a hidden trail of digital comic art pieces across the site. And marking the 10th anniversary of Nobrow’s magazine with ‘Studio Dreams’ is a celebratory exhibition featuring the work of 70 artists and illustrators and their portrayals of artist studios and creative spaces.


After all that comic art, don’t forget comiXology’s Mid-Con Party! held at Trinity Kitchen. This free party (with a weekend convention pass) offers drinks, music and special guest DJs till late, alongside a roster of great street food vendors, to help you let your hair down and celebrate Thought Bubble in style!


The festival doesn’t require the purchase of tickets (although some free events are ticketed) – but the convention does. Tickets are £16-£30 and group deals are available. Families and children are welcome, and under 12’s and over 65’s come free.


Martin Dickson, Head of Marketing at LeedsBID (Leeds Business Improvement District), said: “Being able to support and help Thought Bubble, the best comic convention in the world according to Forbidden Planet, is both a delight and privilege and we know it will, once again, bring a wonderfully colourful, memorable and successful festival to the city centre, showcasing Leeds as a fabulous, diverse global city.”


Keep up to date with latest announcements and tickets details at thoughtbubblefestival.com

Buy tickets for the comic con weekend’s events: https://www.thoughtbubblefestival.com/ticket