TBF2022: Thought Bubble Festival announces dates, first wave of Special Guests – Simone, Willow Wilson, Aja and more

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UK comic fans – and let’s be fair, comic fans from across the globe, such is the draw for the show nowadays – have been waiting anxiously for updates for the Thought Bubble Sequential Art Festival (or TBubs, as it is more colloquially known), including exactly when it is ahead of securing those essential hotel rooms in Harrogate.

Well, yesterday, the team (headed by directors Martha (MAAAARTHA!!) Julian, Amy Bellwood and Chloe Green) rolled out all sorts of exciting information, from confirming the festival’s return to the Harrogate Convention Centre, to the dates of the show – Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th November – to the new stunning official artwork from Russian illustrator Yec Yourz that will feature throughout, to the first wave of Special Guests that will grace the halls this year.

Seven incredible names were presented, all of them top-flight talents which it will be fantastic to have returning to our shores after the ‘extended break’ we’ve all been persevering through. The names are:

  • GAIL SIMONE
  • G. WILLOW WILSON
  • CHRISTIAN WARD
  • DAVID AJA
  • MAGDALENE VISAGGIO
  • RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE

Yes, there’s six there, the eagle-eyed of you will have noticed – this is due to the most unfortunate of timings and the darkest of clouds to cast over what should have been the fanfare of TBubs announcements. UK comics legend and previous Guest Of Honour for the past four years, Ian Kennedy, was presented on the initial list but literally within an hour of that news dropping, the word of Kennedy’s passing at the age of 89 reached friends and fans. Our deepest sympathies and best wishes to Ian’s family at this very sad time.

Let’s try and focus on the bright news, however: it’s great to have the aforementioned heading back to Thought Bubble, each and all have very loyal and dedicated fans which will make sure that their tables will be incredibly busy from doors open to doors shut. David Aja‘s stock is on a particular high at the moment, with the HAWKEYE Disney+ shining a light on his stylistic contribution (pay the man, Disney!!); Rafael Albuquerque and Christian Ward are art gods, much missed from UK shows over the past two years; and, no doubt Mags and Gail will be tweeting and Instagramming the holy hell out their respective weekends. Please let me see the faces on the Betties Tea Shop staff when Gail asks for her microwaved cuppa, that will be worth price of admission alone.

And, to top it all off, the Exhibitors Application window was opened which will be in much demand and desired, as Thought Bubble has one of the hottest table listing curations in the game. The deadline is Midnight GMT, Monday 7th March, so if you’re an artist, illustrator, writer, publisher, small press company or anyone comics-aligned that wants to get their wares in front of a crowd that really knows and appreciates their shit, now’s the time – apply here, http://thoughtbubblefestival.com/exhibit.

We’ll be at Thought Bubble this year, of course (watch this space, we’ll be trying to organise something a bit special for one of the evenings of the weekend) so follow us for all the TBubs updates – tickets are on sale right now at https://www.thoughtbubblefestival.com/tickets and there will also be news coming about presentations hosted over the Festival week, prior to the convention. Going to be an exciting ride till Nov.

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