Team Hi-Ex! headed off to the Leeds Thought Bubble sequential arts festival again this year. It was well worth the two days travelling each way to catch up with friends, Hi-Ex! guests and exhibitors past and future as well as our own comics projects collaborators. Rich does a few comics that were on sale there, Vicky had drawn a strip appearing in a comic called Something Wicked ( by FutureQuake publications ) and we both had worked on strips for a book being launched ' Tales of the Fallen ' part of Barry Nugent's Unseen Shadows trans media project.
We'd volunteered to help the organisers as its important to us that we support other comic events across the UK. After all, we are all trying to do the same thing in promoting comics, bringing fans and creators together and introducing a new generation, a new audience to the massive variety and potential of comics. We had brilliant fun - all the running about without the responsibility! There is a great atmosphere there and masses of people came for the weekend convention which was a cumilation of a weeks events, workshops, talks, conference, competition, film screenings and happenings. We were on guest liaison detail and queue wrangling with the loads of other brilliant friendly and professional volunteers in our coveted red Thought Bubble t-shirts.
Manga cosplayers were out in force, some great costumes, and some...brave ...costumes given the rather cold Leeds fog, brrrr!
2000AD themed canvases were getting painted by a selection of artists throughout the weekend.
Friday night there was a pre con reception, which was a great chance to get together and meet collaborators old and new. Above is Sarah McIntyre and Gillian Rogerson. They have a fabby new book out 'You can't scare a princess' and Sarah's children activity area was pirate themed this year.
Sarah was kind enough to take and send us a rare exclusive photograph of team Hi-Ex! together captured in the wild.
Saturday night at the after show party we got grumpy that the music was too loud to allow conversation, but just prior to leaving thought we might as well join in, so discoed the night away with the young folks. It was great fun! Comics people throwing shapes, a very surreal sight to behold!
blurry pic across one of the two halls.
There was a panel to launch our anthology book ' Tales of the Fallen'- Rich hosted it, on the right, Barry Nugent in the middle with the hat on is the editor/ original creator/ boss , to his left writer Cy Dethan ( who Vicky coloured ' Slaughtermans Creed' for last year)
Left writer Dan Thomson who wrote the story ' Band of Butchers' that Vicky coloured, Martin Conoghan ( whom she has drawn a strip with for in the book 'Spirit of Hope'), and writer Peter Pogers. Also there were artists Steve Penfold and Rob Carey .
The 'women in comics' panel. It was a rather positive up beat discussion, perhaps the days of male dominance can slowly start to be behind us? Although there are still plenty of publications which are boys only cliques... we'll work on it ! Some of speakers on this panel were brilliantly inspiring!
The canvas artwork progresses.
The hall clearing away was exhausting! Thought Bubble is massive compared to Hi-Ex!, but manages to maintain that family and friendly vibe. Then we were done- a billion chairs stacked, tables folded, boxes lugged, stressed exhibitors packed up, rubbish cleared!
Hurrah for the Red Army of helpers, with the lovely Lisa organiser (in denim).Thanks to all for making it so much fun.
Its given us a great boost to start prepping for Hi-Ex! Loads of new guests want to come along, and lots of fantastic people to run comics workshops... but of course a lot depends, as ever on whether we can get funding. watch this space !