“a reflection of…” — thought bubble festival & joan cornellàBack
“Thought Bubble is a reflection of what I love, and of what everyone who works on the festival loves,” Lisa Wood, founder of Thought Bubble Festival told us last year.
So when we went to see Lisa, festival manager Martha Julian, and Travelling Man’s Nabil Homsi, to find out about plans for Thought Bubble 2015 this November, we naturally asked what they were excited about this year.
There was a moment’s pause before Martha slapped Lisa’s arm with the back of her hand. Lisa understood immediately and the two almost simultaneously cried out together, “Jooooooan!”
Nabil just started laughing. “Oh god,” he said. “Oh of course. Joan.” Five minutes later we were all passing around mobile phones, squinting at Joan Cornellà’s comics, and we were laughing too. Although we couldn’t work out why, which has been the experience since: We start to laugh. We pull out our phone and open Instagram. We show it to a friend. “Am I missing something, or why is that funny?” they ask. “We don’t know,” we say, “But you’re laughing, aren’t you?” “No,” they say, laughing. Then, “Let me just see that again.”
We can’t explain why we love Joan Cornellà’s six panel bursts of fixie-grin comic brutality, and even trying to describe them might take us in conversational directions we don’t want to go. But we’re excited that, as part of Thought Bubble, The Gallery at Munro House will be showing the first UK exhibition of the Barcelona based artist’s work, from 9th November.
If you only go looking for superheroes at Thought Bubble, then you might be surprised when someone like Joan Cornellà takes centre stage, but that is one of Thought Bubble’s strengths, and one of the reasons why 7,000 people come to Leeds every year and fill its halls and marquees to bursting. Thought Bubble goes beneath the surface of big name comics, delves among the best independent sequential art, and brings it to Leeds from all over the world.
We’ve selected work here by two more artists, contributors to the new Thought Bubble Anthology, which will be published to coincide with the Festival. Marguerite Van Cook is from Portsmouth but has lived and worked in New York’s East Village since arriving there in the late 1970s with her punk band, The Innocents; she has collaborated throughout with James Romberger.
Abigail Harding is from York, the old one, and is 21; her work is made with collaborators Sam Read and Colin Bell.
Thought Bubble Festival takes place in Leeds from 9th-15th November, with events around the city throughout the week and the convention on the weekend of 14th-15th. We love it, and love that we can’t always explain why.
Originally published in The City Talking: Leeds, issue 29