Here at Consequential dot net, Thought Bubble is our absolute favourite festival occurring between Halloween and the Beaujolais Nouveau.
Seriously though, it's probably the best comics event in the UK, and it's a great time to:
- discover some amazing new comics.
- dance like several hundred people are watching, but are all just too lovely and welcoming to even form an opinion about that thing you're doing with your hands.
We love the ol' T'Bubz, and here's a selection of things we're looking out for, including some old favourites and interesting debuts.
- Our annual shout-out to Improper Books
We love these folks. You know we love these folks. This year, they're back with more Mulp (Think: Indiana Jones in a mouse-based future after the demise of man), and a preview of the new volume of Porcelain, their gothic fairytale about haunted china automata, and the hideous consequences of misusing haunted china automata. Find them, buy their books.
- Transrealities - Abigail Brady & Steven Horry
Abigail and Steve were showing around some previews of Transrealities at last year's show, and this year they're launching. They describe it as "Gender, time-travel, punching nightmares in the face", and we like the sound of that.
Last we saw, it's universe-hopping superhero action with a lot of emotional heft, and the art is lovely.
- Laudanum - Horrere Comics
Macabre Victoriana? Where do we sign? A short family tale about demonic possession, in fidgety-creepy black and white inks, from the Horrere anthology stable. It's a festival one-shot, and a steal at two quid.
- Limbo & Dark Souls - Caspar Wijngaard & Dan Watters
Another little fan-wobble from us. We talked about Limbo pretty much all year. It's the eighties-pop-noir-neon-voodoo-swamp comic the world deserves. Myth and memory, light and colour, lizard on a stick.
They're also working on Dark Souls for Titan, and are just lovely chaps.
- Baggywrinkles - Lucy Bellwood
Great at boats. Baggywrinkles does maritime history with just the most affectionate and approachable style. History of scurvy, knots and sailors' tattoos, Admiral Capybara Nelson, nautical terms that sound dirty but probably aren't - all informed by sailing modern tall ships, and lashings of enthusiasm.
- Where is Momentum - Richard Amos
Last year we enjoyed Richard's short piece How We Grow Old, a set of vignettes on ageing.
This year he has a brief graphic novel about anxiety. It's an interesting combination of quite sparse and oddly warm in style, and as people who are - by and large - anxious all the time we'll probably be grabbing a copy.
- Cowboys and Insects - David Hine & Shaky Kane
So what if, right, all-American 1950s suburbia were full of giant atomic monster bugs, and you set a Daniel Clowes story in it. Kind of.
Really, you want more than the creeping horror of the uncanny in the 'burbs, with giant insects? What's wrong with you?
Also, check out the funky-lurid style.
- The Return of the Honey Buzzard - Aimée de Jongh
A dejected bookshop owner, guilt and memory, taut sketchwork. Recently launched, this is de Jongh's debut graphic novel, with what looks like a superficial air of breezy cartoonishness that breaks into something more acute as it navigates past trauma. Super promising.
- The Changes - Tom Eglington
Eglington's an illustrator with a solid 2000AD pedigree, and a flourish for the sickly/intricate biological. The Changes is a new piece about technology gone awry that looks like it'll give him plenty of space to exercise that. Preview images look like a fun blend of black and white linework with slimy organic curves, with splashes of invasive colour.
- The Nameless City - Faith Erin Hicks & Jordie Bellaire
Damn this looks good. Floating World with a splash of watercolour Tintin, and a premise from China Mieville. Only less wretched than the "It's X meets Y" pattern makes everything sound.
Two kids negotiate a serially-invaded city, sprawling, mashing up cultures, given a new name by each occupying force. Did I mention it's beautiful, too?
- For the Love of God, Marie! - Jade Sarson
Nascent sexuality from the 60s to the 90s, with an innocence and lightness of touch that have this already on many people's lists for pick of 2016. A slight manga influence, with a great colour palette.
- The Foldings - Faye Simms
Historically, we've... not been kind to steampunk, let's say. But this looks derpy-delightful. A sort of morning cartoon vibe in a city of implausible aeronautics. And the one guy whose immunity to magic makes him unable to fly. Charming as balls.
- The Potato Hater - Pete Hindle
Apparently it's a humorous history of potatoes. No, we have no idea either, but let's be honest - that sounds pretty great. And his zine about expensive jumpers was cool.
There's a also going to be a ton of great guests (we'll try and stop Dave licking Mike Mignola), and this would run crazy-long if we picked out everyone we liked who's exhibiting.
But you can find a pretty thorough list of book debuts on the Thought Bubble site.
We'll be podcasting from the con, and if you see us tottering about and looking confused, do say hi!