We're a little bit late with this report, so please accept or apologies- but here we go!
Your trusty Hi-Ex organisers may have gained some extra time by cancelling Hi-Ex 2011, but we’re by no means skiving on our comic duties. We travelled to Leeds to attend the Thought Bubble festival of sequential Arts for the first time.
Thought Bubble is a long festival with many events across multiple venues, culminating in a one day convention with all the usual madness of costumes and the strange crowds of people you’d expect to see at a comic convention.
Thought Bubble distinguishes itself from other events in a few ways. Like Hi-Ex, it is family friendly and there was a brilliant mix of boys and girls, men and women, stormtroopers and catwomen. It is also a very welcoming and friendly event. They combine fun children’s activities, zombie walks, after show parties with lectures, talks, masterclasses, art happenings and academic discussions.
The guest list was more than impressive, with John Romita Jnr ( Kick-Ass and Spider-man artist ), Tony Harris ( Iron Man ), Adi Granov ( Ironman artist ), Barry Kitson , Bryan Talbot and, as the saying goes, many many more. There was something for every fan, many queued for hours to get sketches or signings off these comic greats.
There was much talk about Hi-Ex too. It’s pretty sad for us that we’ll have to wait so long to put on another one, but talking to the Leeds organisers as well as other events organisers from across the UK and Ireland, we are not alone in the struggle for funding. Things will get tougher too as the cut-backs bite in over the next few years. But seeing the fun everyone was having at Thought Bubble has definitely boosted our determination to keep Hi-Ex going, whether we can go back to an annual event or stay bi-annual we don’t know, but we will start work soon to try and organise some things for 2011 and fundraising ideas, both to fund the event and to support Children 1st as we’d hate to let them down. Thought Bubble has got us all enthusiastic again!
One of the things which had previously put us off attending was also the travel from the North of Scotland, but via train it is actually pretty easy to get to and not that expensive if you book ahead. We will definitely go next year.