Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The Leeds Comic Con (Thought Bubble)

I could only attend the convention on the Saturday so my thoughts below are based on that one days attendance, and as always any opinions are purely my own.

The Leeds comic con has always been a good one to visit, how I describe the convention to people who asked is it a big convention is no it’s a small convention but its our convention, living local to Leeds that’s how I felt about it. Well this year all that changed our small local convention has grown up, not only did it run over 2 days it now covered 2 main convention halls.
Talks and workshops took place in a third area near the casino a place I approached with trepidation, as I still haven’t got over loosing $60 in the Luxor casino on our resent trip to Vegas, and as a Yorkshire man I have to admit that thoughts of that night still haunt me. The attendance of some major players in the comic world also played a part in the elevation of this years convention, in the past the con has always been well supported by the majority of the UK based writers and artists from all the main and independent publishers. The part they have all played, and I believe will continue to play in the ongoing success of the convention, cannot ever be underestimated and long may they continue to do so for many years to come. In the past the convention has always had someone who was given the title guest of honour, a stand out person who usually came from one of the big 2, this year the guest of honour was Tim Sale.  However, the big difference for me this time round was it could have been any of the following people who were all in attendance: Gail Simone, Jeff Lemire, Adam Hughes, Jock, Charlie Allard, Brian Talbot and Andi Granov the list just goes on.

The first thing I noticed was how much room there seemed to be in the main hall compared to previous years, but on reflection this was probably due to the convention been split over two rooms.
Security was been ran by the local roller derby girls, some of who you just wouldn’t argue with and the Heroes Alliance UK were set up in the main entrance charging for photos, with all proceeds going to the make a wish foundation.
As usual 200AD were there in force along with a good showing from the independents and various traders selling anything from horror masks, toys, statues, figures and as you would expect comics. The top two comic shops in Leeds were also there, Travelling Man and OK Comics, I didn't see Forbidden Planet but if I am wrong I apologise.

The first person I went to see was Gail Simone who was in the second hall across the forecourt, the forecourt is a great place to see a lot of the coz players as they tend to congregate in this area, and this year was no exception. Once into the hall I joined the line to see Gail holding my trades of Welcome to Tranquillity and Batgirl #1, when my turn came around I eagerly shoved forward my copy of Batgirl saying can you sign this please Gail. I could hear myself mumbling something about how much I had enjoyed it and was loving the series, I then handed over my copies of Tranquillity to which she said ‘I have not seen any of these so far today’. It was at this point that I mentioned I had bought the books after hearing a review of them on Raging Bullets, and that it was every bit as good as they said it would be. We then had a brief conversation on how much we both enjoyed the show (Raging Bullets), with Gail adding that it was the enthusiasm and positivity shown by Shaun & Jim (Show hosts) that she loved. After handing my signed books back to me Gail wished me a good day, I left her table with my signed comics a happy man.

After a short walk around and the taking of several photos I wondered over to the main hall and joined the queue for Adam Hughes, who happily signed my copy of Batgirl #1 as I told him how I loved his cover work. I shock his hand and told him it was a pleasure to meet him and he answered likewise, again I’m a happy man. I decided it was time for a quick beer as there is always someone to talk to in the bar, and I managed to get my photo taken with a rather convincing Batman in the forecourt on the way over to the bar.

After lunch it was off to see Jeff Lemire to get my copies of Frankenstein Agent of Shade signed, Jeff was also kind enough to draw me a cool sketch of the big man himself.

I then hit the queues for Jock and Tim Sale who both signed the comics I handed them, and were happy to chat although I was conscious of not taking up too much time as the lines were very long.

Brian Talbot was next on my list as I am a big fan of his work dating back to his Luther Arkwright books, I had a copy of Luther Arkwright for him to sign and I bought his book Alice in Sunderland. The great man not only signed it, but also added a very nice sketch of the Mad Hatter on the inside cover as well, as before I was one happy man.

On my rounds as I walked around and randomly chatted with people or asked for photos if they were in costume, I also picked up a few very nice prints from one of the traders I was talking too. I feel I must point out that I attend these conventions on my own, as my wife although never questioning my passion for comics has no interest in joining me.
I have tried to get her to come with me but she will not change her stance, saying that she would end up in a line holding a place for me while I went off on my own looking at other stuff. To be honest she makes a point that I cannot argue with, and after 35 years together she knows me better than I know myself. However back to the prints, one was Star Wars showing Luke, Vader and the Emperor the other one was Batman above Arkham both were a bargain at £14 for the pair.

Time was ticking along and my day was drawing to a close so I went for one last walk around the second hall where I managed to get a photo with Gail Simone, who told me she had had a wonderful time and enjoyed been in the UK. I then managed to pick up two fantastic prints of Starman and the Shade from Tony Harris before making my way out of the hall and back home to Wakefield.


  1. Hello! I am one of the people in the picture of the steampunk couple from ThoughtBubble. I was wondering if I could use that picture on my own blog and facebook as sadly we forgot to take a picture of ourselves :( All the best, -Elizabeth

    1. Not a problem Elizabeth and thanks for the photo, I hope you enjoyed the day.

    2. Hi Elizabeth could you send me a link to your blog please, as I would be intrested to read it.

  2. Hello, Rob! I'm the other person in the picture of the Steampunks. I'd also be very grateful if I could include the picture on my blog too. I'll link back to your post as well if it is ok. Thank you for taking the picture - it was my fault we didn't have a camera, as I left it at home.

    It looks like you had a great time at Thoughtbubble, and even got to chat to Gail Simone! I missed her, but did manage to see Dave Gibbons and Tim Sale over the course of the weekend. Had a great time!

  3. As I said to Elizabeth its not a problem. I am not over precious when it comws to photos on my blog, I am a beliver that if its out there for all to see then its there to be shared. It is however very kind of you to ask,would you send me a link to your blog as well please as I would be intrested to read it.

  4. Sure thing! My blog can be found at http://nabag.blogspot.com/

  5. Oops! Sorry, forgot to check back and see if there was a reply to my comment! sorry! Here is a link to my blog: http://achronicleextraordinaire.blogspot.com/
    And thank you for letting my use the picture!