Tag Archive: thoughtbubble

We went, we sold, we survived

Who knew Thought Bubble would have been so tiring? Nervous excitement I guess. Photos from our trip to Thought Bubble can be seen on Flickr if you’re interested. We had a good day, we met some nice people, we bought some comics and a surprising number of people bought our stuff (yay!). The Ostragoth website now has a fully functioning shop, where you can get hold of Boys Don’t Cry or some of Mark’s prints.

More about Thought Bubble later, but for now – to the teapot!


And instead of being at the ‘pre-con drinks reception’ I’m at home writing a blog post. Doesn’t that just tell you everything you need to know? Still, the launch of Boys Don’t Cry has finally arrived, the long-awaited (and at times, seemingly mythical) day is upon us (or will be in a few hours), I think everything’s ready and it’s all most exciting.

Should any of you happen to be there at Thought Bubble tomorrow, do drop by and say hello. I’m aiming to take lots of photos and put them on Flickr, so even if you don’t go, you can enjoy the experience second-hand.

Two and a half days left

Less than two and a half days really – today’s almost over, which leaves Thursday and Friday, then on Saturday morning we’ll be on an early train to Leeds for Thought Bubble. At last. And after a couple of nail-biting weeks our debut graphic novel Boys Don’t Cry arrived from the printers this morning.

Graphic novel and postcards

Graphic novel and postcards

Prints and postcards

Prints and postcards











We have a tablecloth, business cards, some change, and A4 envelopes to put prints in. We know which train we need, we’ve arranged a time to meet, and I have a list of things we need to remember to take with us on the day (I do like lists).

At today’s final Ostragoth meeting before Thought Bubble, we were discussing Mark’s different styles, and the conversation got round to the caricature of me that he did not long after we met (the caricature which stayed on my office door for about 2 years, just so people knew who was in there), so I’ll leave you with that…

The artist's impression of the writer

Did we draw it big enough?

So, our banner for Thought Bubble arrived.

Our new banner for Thought Bubble

OneMonkey dwarfed by the banner

A good selection of Mark’s art (and the colours came out well), but it’s huge! Thankfully it rolls up into a case, currently tucked out of the way (so I hope we don’t forget it on the day). I guess the idea was to be noticed, and I think this is going to be hard to miss.

Ostragoth+tea+bourbons=decision-making. Yes, we can make decisions if pressed. We have business card designs, a list of Mark’s paintings to order as prints and postcards, a list of bits and pieces to buy for Thought Bubble (table cloth, paper bags etc) and a vague idea where to get them, a selling price for Boys Don’t Cry, and a tentative title for the next comic (I’m guessing we’ll change our minds on that one).

The proof copy of Boys Don’t Cry is expected through the letterbox soon, so the final printing should happen just in time for Thought Bubble. This is what the finished book (graphic novella?) will look like if you open it out (i.e. back cover, spine, front cover):


Cover and spine art for Boys Don't Cry

Boys Don't Cry, the cover and spine


Leeds alternative comics fair

I meant to write a post earlier this week flagging the forthcoming Leeds alternative comics fair, but the week ran away with me somewhat, and by the time I finish writing this, it’ll be about finished. Still, OneMonkey and I did manage to go along for a browse and a chat, and a most genial gathering it was. I don’t generally carry cash but I had enough on me to dip into the world of Fetishman, and indulge my vague Newcastle homesickness (I only lived there 4 years but I do miss it sometimes) with Gary Bainbridge‘s Grainger St, a brief journey in pen and ink from Central Station to Grey’s Monument.

I met Geof Banyard of Physics World fame (oh, and he does Fetishman these days), and chatted with a pleasant bearded chap (who may well have been Andrew Waugh, but I didn’t actually ask him) who was happy to advise us on first-time Thought Bubble. He asked what Boys Don’t Cry was about, and I waffled for a couple of minutes without enlightening him at all – a friend of mine suggested last week that all 3 of Ostragoth memorise the back-cover blurb, because at least 2 of us are likely to fall apart at that point, and I’m guessing it’ll become a regular question.

It’s September already?

Scary realisation this afternoon, over tea and custard creams (oh the hedonistic extremes of Ostragoth get-togethers) that November isn’t actually that far away. In fact ideally we want to be printed and done by the end of next month – how suddenly near does that sound? We have our first pre-order (yes it’s from a friend, but it still counts) and the lettering isn’t done yet. And we can’t agree on the cover art (OK we had one proper discussion a few weeks ago and it was left as a To Be Continued…). But we will get this done in time and it will be one of the most exciting moments of our lives (yes, it really will), and then, as one of us said this afternoon, we’d better get our act together a bit quicker for the next one.

Further perusal of the wall of exhibitors’ logos at the Thought Bubble site (I so want Thoughtbubble to be one word, compound nouns are so satisfying but since it’s actually the name of someone’s venture I’ll behave and write it properly) has turned up another comic that OneMonkey particularly likes – 100 Planets. Simple and pleasing style, neat concept, but does the name mean it’s of a limited life and will end after 100? I hope not (unless of course he’s pretty much used up all the good ideas by then).

The one I noticed was Neptune Factory, I remember seeing her there last year, and in fact Vampire Free Style issue 1 was about the only thing I bought that day. I love her style! Micia the cat was what attracted me over to the table in the first place (for the importance of cute animals in attracting vaguely gothy women to your table, see also Gothy Beans).

Anyway, that was just to share the excitement that we’ll be there in November alongside people like this.


A brief illustration of the respective relationships of the writer and the artist to the world of comics: Mark looked at the Thought Bubble exhibitors, saw Dr Geof and said I see the Fetishman guy will be there again this year. I was none the wiser until I saw Dr Geof’s page and said ah, he did those cartoons I used to like in Physics World, how exciting. Good job I’m not in charge of this graphic novel…

The Ostragoth table at Thoughtbubble is booked and confirmed. Lettering styles have been discussed and a draft of the Boys Don’t Cry cover is under consideration. It’s exciting, but at the same time a lot of this graphic novel business is just that – business. A trio of socially inept thirty-somethings with physics degrees now has to confront the alien concepts of marketing and presentation. Not to mention decision-making (certainly not one of my strong points). We have an Ostragoth logo courtesy of OneMonkey, but we need an image for the Thoughtbubble website, a final cover design, and a shortlist of Mark’s paintings to get as prints. It’s exhausting! All this and I’m expected to find time to write the follow-up?