November 29th, 2012
The Beast Must Die: So frazzled, bedraggled and maybe even bedazzled we all arrived safely back from this year’s Thought Bubble 2012 comics festival in Leeds, which once again proved itself to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone. It gets the tone just right – an even balance between mainstream and fringe, with the small press rubbing shoulders with industry pros. Girls, boys, seasoned fans, neophytes, kids, pensioners, cosplayers and the just plain weird, the TB crowd is diverse, good natured and one of the best aspects of the whole affair.
Attending something like Thought Bubble also reminds you first and foremost why you love the artform, a welcome shot of 4-colour adrenaline to enliven even the most message board weary fan.
The Mindless Ones were there in pretty full effect, with Andrew Hickey, Gary Lactus and myself joined by Legendary Weapons Bobsy & Illogical Volume, as well as Mindless Cadet, Mister Attack and the living juggernaut that is Plok. We were positioned on the right hand side of the newly christened New Dock Hall. Andrew was selling his arsenal of wonderful music and comics books, as well as a new volume of his short stories. Lactus had the collected full colour beauty of The Amusing Bros and Andrew & Steven in Knights Of The Realm, and I was touting Cindy & Biscuit, including the brand new 56 page issue no.3. Mr Attack had his comic Everyone’s Felt Like This Once for sale, and Bobsy brought along a free comic featuring both the current PM and Lord Horror no less. Together we formed like Bruticus and set about ensnaring the public.
On a personal level I don’t think I could have had a better time of it. The reception that Cindy & Biscuit received was heartening, and I sold almost everything I took with me. What was especially gratifying was the breadth of customers I had – I sold a lot to kids this year, which was ace. It’s great to think of them reading mys stuff at home, and I just hope they were all appropriately thrilled, amused or spooked by Cindy & Biscuit. Lots of nice people said lots of nice things about it too, from comics pro’s to fans who bought earlier issues the previous year. All in all I was pretty damn chuffed.
It was great chatting to friend of SILENCE!, Al Ewing, whose gift to us was surely the best comic con exclusive that has ever been. He and his lovely friends were all most accommodating to our frazzled selves in the hotel bar on Sunday evening. It was as nice to see Kieron Gillen as ever, and I enjoyed talking to ace 2000AD scribe Rob Williams about Low Life. I was too nervous to speak to John Wagner, and certainly too nervous to ask him to say ‘I AM THE LAW’ in his stentorian Hibernian brogue. We happened to be on the table next to British comics catalyst Paul Gravett, along with comics artist and scholar John Miers and his lovely partner Megan, who co-runs the Comica Festival with Paul. Paul was his usual enthusiastic self, and did the circuits with his usual charm and aplomb. John and Megan were also excellent company, and truly sympathetic hangover buddies on Sunday. John’s comics are here and info about Comica is here.
Add to that the thrills of our ongoing experiment in listener alienation with our SILENCE! Thought Bubble special, the epic drinkery at the post TB Saturday night bash at the Leeds Corn Exchange, and you have a pretty full weekend. As I stated earlier, the atmosphere at Thought Bubble is open, friendly and enthusiastic. I can’t rate it high enough, and will certainly back next year.
But really, I hear you pretty much scream, FOR THE LOVE OF AQUAMAN, WHAT ABOUT THE COMICS???????!
November 16th, 2012
Last year’s convention was generally agreed to be one of the best comics related gatherings that Team Mindless had ever attended, so we’re coming team handed this year.
September 10th, 2012
Way back in March, Cartoon County played host to two speakers. They were nice and good. There names were Karrie Fransman and Ian Hague.
Karrie Fransman has created comics for The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The New Statesman and Psychologies Magazine and published a graphic novel The House That Groaned with Random House’s Square Peg. This is what it sounds like when she speaks:
Ian Hague is the director of Comics Foruma website and annual event which aims to increase the visibility and accessibility of comics scholarship. When he opens his mouth, this happens:
Cartoon County is an association of over 100 cartoonists and comic artists in the Sussex area. Our regular meetings are usually on the last Monday of every month at The Cricketers, Black Lion St, Brighton, from 6 til late. If you’re a cartoonist or a comic artist, or use those particular styles of drawing in your work as an illustrator, animator or storyboard artist, you are very welcome to join us.
November 29th, 2011
As previously mentioned, the Mindless dream team of The Beast Must Die, Illogical Volume and Andrew “Mandrew” Hickey made it down to Leeds for this year’s Thought Bubble comics convention. These are their recollections of the event, as distorted by the passing of time, sleep-deprivation, alcohol consumption, and the brain-scrambling dazzle of a white lounge suit:
November 17th, 2011
The Mindless Ones will be exhibiting their tawdry wares at this weekend’s Thought Bubble Comics Convention in Leeds.
I shall be selling copies of all my comics
Terminus vols 1-3
Zip City Comics 1
Cindy and Biscuit 1
and the first print copies of Cindy & Biscuit: What We Did At the Weekend, as featured right here.
Illogical Volume: Since I’m a lazy, easily distracted bastard, I don’t have any books or comics for you to buy, and contrary to what some people have suggested, I probably won’t be selling sexual favours either. Probably.
I will also be helping Dan and Andrew (aka the man-mashed master criminal Dandrew) sell copies of their excellent books and comics, because they are excellent, and you should buy them, because did I mention that they are excellent?
Hnh. There is a reason I never became a salesman.
Anyway, if you’re going, please stop by so we can indulge in some mutual headtouching!
Andrew Hickey: And I, meanwhile, will be selling copies of my books Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! (about Darkseid, Doctor Who, Mister Miracle, the Liberal Democrats and fanfiction, amongst other things) and An Incomprehensible Condition, about Seven Soldiers.
(I’ll also have a small number of copies of my other books on hand, in case anyone has mistaken the comic convention for a 60s pop convention).
My books aren’t as good as Dan’s, because they don’t have many pictures in (and I didn’t even draw the pictures that are in them myself). But on the upside, they are more expensive.
I will also be available for head-touching, although you’re really better off not doing. I’m contagious.
There’s also other stuff to do there, if you don’t fancy spending two days just hanging around three comics bloggers and touching parts of their anatomy. You could, for example, stalk Bryan Talbot, as I did in 2009, or you could go and watch Mel Gibson talk about being a woman in comics. Or get Cameron Stewart or Paul Cornell to scribble their names on things. The possibilities are limitless.
The point is, Thought Bubble is great, and we’re great, so this is a winning combination, and you should come along and give us money.