Post Thought Bubble waffle.

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TB 2018 train of thought post, so apologies if I miss anything significant or indeed get stuff backwards.

This year it was just myself (hello) running the table. Richmond wasn’t able to make it and Owen was fresh back from a holiday- not exactly a situation that lends itself to attending Thought Bubble. However, as Nano-Bolt was volunteering again as a Redshirt we needed to make a weekend of it so we went up on the Friday.

We had a cracking burger in ‘Almost Famous’ which was just across from the convention area and then retired for an early night. The redshirts had to be on shift for 7am on the Saturday.
FQP were in the originals marquee this year, not the big comiXology one. After a few concerns about being in a different part of the show I just got on with setting up and seeing who was nearby.

I was delighted to be next to Conor & Liz off of Disconnected press. Conor had a pile of Hookjaw pages with him and it was a delight to see such a talented artist working. It was fantastic to spend time with Conor & Liz- long time friends that I rarely get to spend much time with.

It really makes a difference when you know the exhibitors in your area. Thought Bubble is such a massive gig these days that it must be a nightmare trying to balance the types of exhibitors with guests in any area. I knew a few other folk nearby, which gives another idea of the scale of things. I’ve exhibited every years since either 2008 or 2009 (back when TB was a one-day gig in the armories and didn’t fill the venue!) so I was taken aback to meet folk who had been around just as long and we had never met before.

Anyway- the doors opened and the day began. The way the marquee was designed meant that my table was the first to be seen by all the visitors, so it was with a cheery ‘welcome to Thought Bubble’ that I started my day.

I got to see three of the sets of pages for the art comp this year- and the artists of two of which were definitely good enough to get SP work from me. The ultimate winner was, from my memory, not an artist I’ve met- so I’ve lost my run of successful droid conversions. It was a grand script though. At first glance quite straightforward, but there was some tricky storytelling required.

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I was chuffed to bits to get to meet the winner of the pitchfest- especially as he’s got a strip in the latest Something Wicked (though he was first published in the Psychedelic Journal- grand work Owen) and he’s made the trip all the way over from Florida in the USA and was in the grip of jetlag!

Unfortunately there were far too many friends that didn’t make it- though it was grand to catch up with folk and to meet up again with so many contributors that my feeble mind can no longer individualise them.

I did manage brief chats with Nigel dobbyn, D’israeli and Frazer Irving, all lovely gentlemen.

Both days were grand, with the Sunday being considerably busier than I expected and as usual I never got to explore the event anything like as much as I would. There was some superb cosplay on show, from a cardboard Thanos to Delores Umbridge.

I was asked to provide art on a sketch cover for a Punisher comic- which was daunting- as anyone who’s seen me work knows I’m used to being able to redraw as much as I like- having a single chance to get this right was a bit of and EEK! There is a photo of the finished piece on my Instagram- that you can see on the right somewhere…

Two surprises came right at the end of the Sunday; both of which were due to Nano-Bolt being on team Redshirt. The first was getting to see American artist Brian Stelfreeze stay for almost an hour after closing to complete a commission for a visitor. A stunning, full colour rendition of Dagger, from Cloak and…, was the work in question and Brian was happy to work to the crowd. The second came after helping team redshirt with the incredible task of cleaning up ready for the marquee’s being dismantled… I was given a redshirt of my own and invited to join them for the team meal.

As an exhibitor who has long admired the team of volunteers who give up their weekend to look after us all, this was a real moment.

If anyone reading this has not been to Thought Bubble- fix that next year. It really is the best gig in the country.

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