Thought Bubble Returns

The UK’s largest comic art festival is back as a physical event this year, rounding out the week with the Convention taking place at Harrogate Convention Centre on 13 and 14 November.

Special guests who are some of the most exciting names in comics will join hundreds of independent comic creators and artists who are there to showcase and sell their work. The convention will host two full days of panels, workshops and screenings.

Guests include acclaimed US comic book artist Joëlle Jones (Wonder Woman, Batman, Lady Killer), iconic British artist Jock (2000 AD, The Wytches, Wolverine),  Jordanian-American artist, illustrator and creative director Sara Alfageeh (Squire)  and multi-award winning artist, Christian Ward (Invisible Kingdom, Superman: Red and Blue, Thor).

The panel and workshop programme includes: ComiXology Originals presents: CONversations with Tula Lotay and Jock as well as Rewriting Extinction – Comics to Save the World, YA Got It! – Young Adult Comic Spotlight and Strip Panel Naked – where creators JamesTynion IV, Charlot Kristensen break down pages from their work and discuss how they created the writing, art, colours and lettering, and how those choices end up affecting the reader.

The festival week begins on 8 November and offers exhibitions and installations from the students of Leeds Arts University, schools workshops with JAKe and Kim-Joy (Great British Bake Off), drawing socials, a huge comics giveaway in libraries all across Yorkshire, and an exclusive Northern launch of Cecil Castellucci and Charlotte Marlow’s opera, The Language of Flowers.

Some of Thought Bubble’s featured guests will now be appearing digitally because of travel constraints, with iconic American creators including Scott Snyder and Chuck Palahniuk amongst those videoing in to the Harrogate event. 

Thought Bubble remains committed to delivering their event with sensible and careful policies in place to combat the spread of covid-19. All those over the age of 18 will need proof of full vaccination or proof of a negative test within the last 48 hours to gain entrance to the Convention and, unless medically exempt, masks must be worn by everyone over the age of 12 while on-site.  The organisers have also increased the space to reduce congestion and make moving around easier. Fun and relaxation remain a priority alongside creating safe spaces.

Tickets for Thought Bubble Comic Convention are on sale now with tickets for under 12s, carers and over 65s totally free. Tickets give access to all events within the comic convention – panels, workshops, guest signings, as well as the three huge halls of comic creating exhibitors, publishers and more. 

Chloe Green, Thought Bubble Festival Manager: “Now we are on the home straight, I want to say a huge thank you to every single ticket holder, exhibitor and guest who has put their faith in us over the last 18 months. It really feels like the community has pulled together, more than it has done before, and we cannot wait to show you what Thought Bubble 2021 has for you!”

Gemma Rio, Head of Destination Management for Harrogate:  “The whole town really got behind Thought Bubble in 2019, and it was heart-breaking that a return in 2020 wasn’t possible, so we’re all absolutely thrilled that we can now, finally, give the thousands of comic fans and artists a warm Harrogate ‘welcome back!‘. She continued: ‘We are extremely proud that the Festival has made its home in Harrogate; the event’s creativity, values, and energy have become a fantastic asset in the district’s cultural programme.

For the full programme, guests and events please visit:

Photography (pre-COVID) by Andrew Benge.

Adam Kershaw

Adam combines his interest in Leeds with a flair for writing discovered back in school days. He says he'll tackle any topic as long as it's Leeds.

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