My first ever Thought Bubble visit may have been a flying one, but it was also thoroughly satisfying. It turns out the festival is pitched perfectly at my interest in comics. I don’t much care about movie or TV adaptations, or about the wider idea of “geek culture.” I care about the floppy books, trade paperbacks, and hardcover collections that contain sequential art. I care about the people who make them and the people who read them. The medium is as valid a way to tell stories as any other, and should always be treated as such, not as a jumping off point to promote other media. I’m not going to pretend that I wouldn’t have a great time at the likes of San Diego Comic Con, but its focus has become much too broad for my liking.
It wouldn’t be going out on too much of a limb to say that the folk who organise Thought Bubble feel the same way. The convention halls, exhibitions, and panels are overwhelmingly focused on comicbooks. Marvel, DC, and Image all had a presence at the festival, but the majority of space was given over to emerging creators and small press publishers. Spread across three buildings was a cornucopia of offerings covering just about every style and genre you could hope for. I came away with a great haul, and yet I could’ve happily spent four times as much. Still, not bad for a few hour’s work!:
I’ll definitely be back in 2014. Having dipped my toes into the delights Thought Bubble has to offer, chances are I’ll make a weekend of it next time. Now if you’ll excuse me, you’ll probably have noticed I need to vacuum the living room rug. And after that, I’ve got some reading to do.
Thought Bubble 2013: The Pretty Much Almost Full Report
Thought Bubble 2013 coverage at Comic Book Resources
Thought Bubble Comic Con 2013: A Report
thought bubble comics festival 2013
Thought Bubble 2013: A Reading List in Review!
Thought Bubble 2013: How to Retain Your Soul