The Thought Bubble Comic Art Competition 2013

I have some actual news!


On Sunday at Thought Bubble, the winners of the Festival’s 2013 Comic Art Competition were announced. I was honoured and delighted to be awarded second place in the adults category!

The finalists were:
(Under 18 Category)
1st Place Lizzy Mikietyn ‘The World of Oliver’
2nd Place Zoom Rockman ‘Viking the Worrier’
3rd Place Charlotte Tuffrey ‘Odie the Superdog’
(Eighteen and Over Category)
1st Place Ulises Lopez ‘Have a Nice Day’
2nd Place Simon Gurr ‘Lac in Black’
3rd Place Ross Macintosh ‘The Television Science Documentary’

The competition brief was to produce a one-page comic, A4 size and landscape orientation, on any subject suitable for kids. Because the winning entries will be published in next year’s Thought Bubble Anthology I don’t want to reproduce mine in its entirety at full size, but here is a small overview of the page.


The wide-open brief was an interesting challenge which allowed me to develop an idea I’d had for a while; making a comic which depicts objects at their actual size. I knew a 7″ record was about the same height as an A4 landscape page so that formed the centrepiece of the artwork and starting point of the story.
The crossover between comics and music has always interested me and I thought it would be fun to make something about shellac, the insect product which is found in old 78rpm discs but is also in the staple ingredient of classic comics – Indian Ink.

I am grateful to the organisers of the competition in a general sense – because its existence gave me the incentive to make a new personal comic (something I have difficulty finding time for these days) – but also in a more specific way because competition co-ordinator Alan Smith happily and helpfully answered all the numerous technical questions I bombarded him with.

The ceremony was understandably quiet, being the first event on the morning after the Saturday night, but I really enjoyed it. There was a slideshow of the competition entries, a good conversation between audience and organisers about how the competition could be made even better next year, and I got to see Zoom Rockman accept his award. Zoom is, I think, The Beano‘s youngest artist and was described in Vogue as “the future of comics”.

I’m proud that our comics are currently on display in the centre of Leeds and very excited about appearing alongside the huge international talents who regularly fill the Thought Bubble Anthology. Congratulations to the other finalists, but also to everyone who entered on their achievement. You can see all the entries

Of course, there would be no Thought Bubble Comic Art Competition without the Thought Bubble Comic Art Festival. Last weekend was my first time attending the convention section of the festival and the experience confirmed my growing suspicion that Thought Bubble is the beating heart of the UK comics community. I have never come away from a convention feeling so uplifted, galvanised and overwhelmingly positive about comics and the people who make and read them. So thank you not just to the competition organisers, but to everyone involved in putting Thought Bubble together, it has given my comics year a real focus and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

2 thoughts on “The Thought Bubble Comic Art Competition 2013

  1. Oh how super your enthusiasm is, I felt exactly the same after the nathusius pipistrelle conference. Congratulations on your prize.

    • Thank you Jane, when’s the next nathusius pipistrelle conference then? (I’m counting down the days to TB14)

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