Thought Bubble is widely known as one of the best comics festival worldwide, and it’s just getting better for 2017 as it moves to September dates and a festival village set in Leeds City Centre. The show will be held September 18-25, 2017 with the comics convention held September 23-24. Gerard Way the first announced guest. (That’s the week AFTER SPX, for you indiecomic globetrotters.)

Up until now, Thought Bubble has been held in November at various spots around Leeds that had a waterfrontish sound, including Leeds Dock. The move comes with the cooperation of  the Leed City Council, and represents a significant upwards move for the festival, which involves a week of comics centered events capped off by a 2-day comics convention. Attendance in 2016 was around 60,000. The first event was held in a basement and drew 500 people.

And the move sounds pretty grand:

 The new multi-venue site in central Leeds will include a series of huge marquees that will take over popular outdoor spaces in the city including Millennium Square and Victoria Gardens. In addition, some of the city’s favourite venues will play host to the festival programme with Leeds Town Hall, Carriageworks Theatre and Leeds City Museum all involved. 

Lisa Wood, Festival Director said: ‘Thought Bubble has been at the forefront of comic book culture in the UK for ten years and over this time the festival has become THE premier destination for thousands of comic book fans, artists, writers and industry representatives. After our first event which was presented in the basement of Leeds Town Hall and attracted an audience of 500 it seems fitting that we’ll be returning to the city centre with a huge festival village that will enable more people than ever before to experience the wonderful world of comic books and graphic novels. The move wouldn’t be possible without Leeds City Council and we thank them for their invaluable support which will help us remain true to our reputation as one of the most important places in the world for comic art.’ 

Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said: ‘We are delighted to be working with Thought Bubble as the festival makes this exciting move into the city centre. After ten years, Thought Bubble has grown into the most successful event of its kind in the UK and has provided a huge range of creative opportunities for people living and working in the city. Leeds City Council’s support of the event reflects our wider investment in the arts as we recognise the positive impact it can make on people’s lives. Thought Bubble complements a huge range of unique and innovative festivals and events taking place across Leeds throughout the year.’

 We’ve never been to Thought Bubble – something we hope to change in 2017 – but it’s reputation has risen quickly as a kind of comics nirvana. Thought Bubble also moves beyond small presses to showcase mainstream creators, such as 2016’s big guest, Mike Mignola, and many from the Image roster. It’s a celebration of all that’s best in our comics culture and now it’s got partnered up with the city of Leeds.