So this weekend was the wonderful Thoughtbubble convention. It takes place in Harrogate and is a marvellous event with hundreds of comics creators, and a friendly, upbeat atmosphere. It’s also v welcoming if you know sod all about comics (I don’t anymore! I def know a little bit! But when I first went this was not the case.)

This was also my first convention since Gallifrey 2020, and so there were also sorts of feelings. Both before, during and after. Most very positive, some a little flargh. I definitely was a little more overwhelmed by the number of people more so than in the before-times, and while wandering round the halls talked to a lot less strangers. But it was amazing to see so many friends in real life, and to meet cool new people.

I spent most of the show helping at Paul Cornell’s table, where he got to enjoy a moment of utter horror as I accidently allowed a sticker to (very briefly!) attach itself to a comic book. And I shall indulge in a moment of actual sincerity here: it was wonderful to see how many people loved his work, and how it wasn’t confined to any particular media or story, it was everything from Timewyrm Revelation to Captain Britain (which I really have to read, so much appreciation for his run…I think that’s the comic he kills me in though, very rude) to the Shadow Police and his latest (and most brilliant) comics, I Walk With Monsters and The Modern Frankenstein.

Phew. Glad that’s over with.

For me, particular highlights of the con were Cecil Castellucci’s opera, where I went from “I hate opera, but I am here to support” to “bloody hell! Opera is amazing!”. Apparently what I needed was it to be 30 mins long, in English (I hate reading the surtitles and I can’t just chill and let the music and emotion sweep over me or such) and for it to tell the story of a mostly forgotten woman who was the heart of so much cultural change in 19th century Europe. (The subject of forgotten women of history being very close to my heart.) The singers were magnificent, the direction so elegant, and there was a swordfight duel with ribbons, which was just magical. I went in a bit worn out, I came out practically bouncing down the street with joy.

Also delightful to randomly meet Neil Bushnell, not only another Big Finish writer, but one in the very exclusive club of having written Bayban the Butcher for Big Finish. And was awesome to randomly meet (lots of wonderful random meetings as these things) Tyler Button, who just happened to have written several graphic novels super relevant to my interests: one on Joan of Arc, another on the creation of the Bayeux tapestry. And, for the second time at this con, the art I was most in love with was at a table right next to where we were: Anna Hollindrake’s work is utterly beautiful; cosy and uplifting fantasy creations, and it was so very hard to decide what to buy.

I’m very bad at remembering to take pictures at these things), but please enjoy this beautiful teapot from a cafe near the convention centre. It was filled with very lovely Yorkshire tea.

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