Biggest year ever for Thought Bubble, really. They’re talking about numbers like 8k, which isn’t much for an American EnormoCon, is really quite different the thing for Leeds. That did mean that this year had a few things that felt like Growing Pains, as organisation was strained, but the staff strived and in the end it remains the best way to spend a comics weekend. Here’s something about the size – this was the first year where people I would naturally expect to see and have a chance to hang out with simply didn’t happen. There’s good friends who got no more than a wave. BUSBUSYBUSY!
As I said in an interview about TB’s history over at CBR, Thought Bubble ends up feeling like Jamie and my home turf. We were busier than ever, constantly, and from the time talking to the queue at our table, to a room packed full of people who love young Avengers to looking out to the dancefloor as it goes properly crazy when I drop Pull-shapes, I’m highly aware these people are our people.
High fives all around.
I was on four panels this year, the most ever. The SILENCE LIVE Mindless One panel was frankly one of the more gloriously disturbing things I’ve experienced this year. They understood they weren’t allowed to swear, and instead projected pun horrors on the backdroped and dressed like this. The podcast is up here, if you want to listen. Man! It includes photos, if you want to admire the magnificitude. I was relatively quiet in this one, but it did set me up for basically going full bore delirious for the rest of the weekend. Which I did.
Second panel was DECOMPRESSED live, basically where we talked about the process of doing the Young Avengers party. Everyone was there bar Emma V, who we made a tiny paper replica Emma to wave around. Talking about a book that isn’t out yet, and we don’t want to spoil the story that’s ongoing, proved tricky. I’ll be sticking up the full recording after the issues are out, which will be in the new year, but until then, here’s a write up over at Bleeding Cool. RESPECT THE PINKY SWEAR.
Honestly, the whole thing, with its concrete bunker setting, security-turning-people-away crowd, projections on the wall and me running around with the microphone made it feel a little like some kind of cult meeting. We should have started a revolution or something.
Third panel was the Writing Panel, where I primarily insulted Jamie McKelvie.
The Fourth Panel, which was on Sunday, was the Marvel panel were I primarily insulted Jamie McKelvie.
Even I was starting to feel bad at that joke by this point.
And then there’s the party, where one again, once again we Djed and once again geeks threw down with worrying abandon. Normally I’d do a playlist, but I didn’t actually do any preparation other than throwing any Young Avengers related track onto a playlist. My sets were based around playing the first thing that came to mind, so I only have the vaguest idea what was playing. Next year I’ll upgrade my Djing software to the new version which has a history function, so we’ll be able to a complete list of everything. As we’ve so many people, we basically do half hour sets each, and then go freeform when everyone had a go of short sets. In the end, I was on the Ipad Turntables four times. I think.
First set was a quick 20 minutes before 9am. We abstractly started at 8, though due to Who, it was clearly wasn’t going to be dancing hours. In which case, I grasped the rare opportunity to play stuff which would have cleared the dancefloor at other time. Specifically, I tickled my sort of indie urges and play songs that I’ve never played in a club before (or, in some case, heard in a club). The three I recall were the Antarcisists by the PeeChees, Buzzcocks’ Love You More and Born On The Floor by the Make-up. That was certainly the vibe, anyway.
The second set was my real one, at 11:30, so prime dancefloor time. My plan was basically to drop Young Avengers records. However, certain tracks had already been played (I LOVE IT) so I sort of had to improvise. And when I improvise, with a crowd, I fall back on the basic tactic of playing the best pop songs I think of. I can’t be sure of what I played 100%, but I certainly remember the peaks.
I started with Be My Baby, just to make sure everyone knew I was there. I followed that with And Then He Kissed Me. Then… maybe Young Hearts Run Free? From there I think it was Street Life. Then… We’re Never Getting Back Together? Call Me Maybe. Milkshake. 212. Hot in Herre. Did I drop Ignition? I may have dropped Dirty Dancer in as well at some point. Oh! Don’t Stop The Music. That may have been it. By the time we’d got to Taylor Swift, it was getting gloriously messy.
The next set was five or six songs at (er) about 1? 1:30? Something like that. It was following Antony Johnston who was doing 70s funk and soul, and I was planning on continuing in a similar theme. In the end, reading the dancefloor, I felt they may have been funked out, in which case, with about 20 seconds to go before I would have played Chic, I changed my mind and turned to a Phonogram set with a big burst of Atomic followed by Pull Shapes. And (er) some more records. Maybe it was Overload at this point? TRICKSY.
The fourth set was about 2:30 or so, and I was in a “I want to play something my wife wants to hear, but I also want to play dumb blokey stuff.” So I did both, opening with Teenagers by MCR (Gratifying amount of shouting), followed by what was meant to be the Beastie Boys Fight For Your Right, but was actually a mislabelled DMX’s X Gonna Give It To Ya. Still worked, and lead to dancefloor perennial Umar leaving the venue when he refused to put his shirt back on. I think it was here I finally slid in a I LOVE IT, leading into A Date With The Night and, finally, Sleater Kinney’s One More Hour.
And then we went to the hotel lobby, defying R Kelly by staying around 5 before clearing the lobby and going upstairs to sleep.
Great weekend. Hopefully see you at the next one.