Hello! I’m Martha, Festival Manager of Thought Bubble
. You’ve caught me in the most exciting week of our entire year, with the festival kicking off on 9th November, building up to our huge comic con down at Leeds Dock
on 14th and 15th November.
Image: Thought Bubble Comic Convention / Michael Bracewell
We’re a really small team. There’s me, Director Lisa, Assistant Director Clark, and Festival Co-ordinator Biz. But then there’s a whole other bunch of beautiful people who jump on board once the festival itself rolls around - Steve and Mikey our Convention Managers and Pete our Volunteer Co-ordinator. We couldn’t do any of it without Nabil, the owner of Travelling Man stores
, and all of his incredible team: Simon, Rick, Matt B, Matt T, and everyone else! Not forgetting the hordes of amazing volunteers who join us for the convention weekend. Travelling Man are generous enough to give us their office space, which means we’re constantly surrounded by comics and games and all sorts of exciting Dungeons & Dragons events and the like!
Image: Travelling Man in Leeds / Martha Julian
For me, it’s a year-round job. As soon as one festival ends I’m thinking about the next. There’s not much time for the dust to settle before we’re inviting guests and opening up applications for exhibitors. Then it’s onto editing our Thought Bubble Anthology - as far as we know we’re the only comic festival to have our own comic book, published by Image Comics, full of amazing pieces donated by guests and the winning entries from our yearly art competition too.
Image: Thought Bubble Anthology / Martha Julian
Thought Bubble is in its 9th year now, although I’ve only been around for four of those, and it’s been incredible to watch it grow into such an established and well-loved event. I’m super proud of the amazing stuff we’ve got going on this year - our LGBTQ* mixer event at Leeds Central Library, a talk on Mental Health issues in comics, an exhibition of the works of Joan Cornellà at The Gallery at Munro House, Leeds Inspired-funded ‘Get Into Comics’ (huge comic book frames that you can climb into), Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC running our schools workshops, and just absolutely TONS more. We’re really starting to take over the city, which has always been the aim.
Image: Get Into Comics Photo Booth 2015 / Tom Egglington
2016 is going to be an exciting year . We can hardly believe it’ll be our ten year anniversary - it’s absolutely flown by. We have big plans! For now though, there’s this year’s festival to think about. We would love to see you.