So I wanted to write a few words about Thought Bubble.
The weekend has just finished, the stock has returned home and needs putting away and the biggest comics’ event of my year has finished until next autumn. It’s always fun, but it’s also… a lot more than that to me. Thought Bubble was when I first decided to try and do comics again back in 2010. It’s where I first did a show. It’s always the one big event I do because, frankly, dragging all my stuff from Todmorden to Leeds is exhausting enough without adding my fear of, say, London into the mix.
It’s always a hard work weekend for me, not just because of how busy it is and how many people come by my table. I’m not a sociable person you see. It’s not just that I’m shy, although I am, I also have Asperger’s syndrome and as such gauging customer interest, doing chit chat and promoting myself comes with all manner of extra stresses: am I boring this person? Am I hard or soft selling? Should I eye contact? Am I over sharing? Is this person just being polite? All these are concerns I have on a day to day basis, let alone at a show like Thought Bubble. They are just amplified on a stage like this show.
This year I’ve had the added stress of anxiety at high levels. My cat was shot a few weeks ago, and although she’s doing fine, I’m not always doing so well especially as she stars in a couple of my comics which kind of hammers home how horrible a thing the shooting was. My wife came with me this year to support me, but she has MS so she found it exhausting as well. It’s been a tiring weekend.
But… but… I’m so glad I made and make the effort. Thought Bubble can be bloody hard work but it’s also the only show where that hard work is worth it because of the huge range of people who come in and show off their stuff and those who come in to buy it. It’s a broad, beautiful church and it’s one that made me think that I may have something to say and a way to say it. It fills me with enthusiasm and ideas and possibilities. I’d love to be able to do this stuff for a living, but that’s a long way off… but every time I do Thought Bubble I feel I get better , I make more connections (seriously, the amount of people who came in to thank me for Grey Fug would have made me cry on a normal day which, thankfully, Thought Bubble very much isn’t) and feel a little closer to my goal.
So yeah. It’s been a weekend and a half (at least) but by God it’s been worth it.