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Comic Conventions, 2011

This year I did something I never did before, not once, but twice. I went to a comic convention. This may come as a surprise to some of you, as you know I happen to be a massive nerd. But it’s something that had never really appealed, I like comics but waving my comic-fan-boy flag around seemed a little redundant.
That was until I found out about Thought Bubble and Canny Comic Con.

Thought Bubble has a steadily growing reputation of being the number one indie comics festival1, and I can see why. The sheer amount of creative talent, split across two halls, is incredible. In addition to the not terribly long queues of people waiting to get things signed by comic-book super stars the place was jam-packed with talented people from every level of the industry. I spent a chunk of time chatting away with indie creators such as Jess Bradley, Chris Webb and Huw Davies , and got a chance to grill more established types such as Graham McNeil1 and Andy Diggle.

Darth Vader, a Stormtrooper and the littlest bounty hunter at ThoughtBubble 2011

In addition to wandering the stalls, talking to cool people and spending my entire income on very pretty pictures, there were panels and cosplayers. The panels I found fascinating, and wished I had time to take in more. The cosplayers? Not as much of a distraction as I thought they might be, and I was incredibly impressed by the sheer level of detail involved in some of the costumes.
All in all a warm, friendly experience, dripping with talent and cool things. I’m definitely doing ThoughtBubble in 2012, hopefully for both days, though my bank account may not thank me for it.

My other convention was Canny Comic Con , a small, but perfectly formed event. In contrast to the festival at Leeds, this small, North East England based convention was all about encouraging the local talent, something that the region has by the truck-load. There was a strong focus of getting people into comics here; though it was aimed at the comics nerds, there was plenty to do for all the family and there was even a chap dressed as a Mega City Judge handing out old copies of 2000AD.

The focus seemed very much about raising awareness and encouraging local talent, and this is a good thing, there’s much more to Geordie comic-book creators than Viz and Bryan Talbot, though it was lovely to see both of those there. I really do hope to see it grow in size and popularity next year.

1: If San Diego Comic Con is the Cannes of Comic Books, Thought Bubble is steadily becoming the SunDance Festival, apparently.
2: Who’s a very nice chap, and was very tolerant of me being a raving fanboy.

Categories: Geek
  1. December 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Like you I have not been to any cons like this before. Mainly due to lack of finances. Closest I came was the Birmingham Memorabilia fair which is sort of a comic con. Well, its a place to buy and sell comics as well as other comic related stuff which has some celebs turn up to. I remember it being basically a large hall full of stalls and stalls of comic boxes…

    I did once send a text message to Tony Lee when he was attending a proper comic con in Birmingham telling him to bring all his geek friends to Goth soc when I was DJing and he turned up 30 minutes later with a load of indie writers and artists in tow 🙂

  2. Carrie R-L
    December 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    We’ve been twice to NorWesCon, which is perhaps one of the most disjointed and all-inclusive cons out there. I’ve attended talks on rectangular construction from an SCA lady, while Ash has fanboyed at Bruce Cordell, and then we’ve met up for a talk about real science advancements.

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