The Brisbane arts scene has had some great additions in the past year. The landscape is changing, and I think many Brisbane creatives are feeling it; Junky Comics is a perfect example of this.
Perched on Vulture Street in West End, Junky Comics holds an amazing array of alternative comics and zines. Three weeks after the opening, Vlada, who founded the store, is finally settled in.
“The weeks leading up to [the opening] were crazy. But I’m finally able to like it now; I can actually spend time in here working on projects,” she says.
There are books everywhere, and one of those couches you sit down in and never want to get back up from. For someone who hasn’t necessarily had much experience with comic books it’s got a welcoming vibe, something she expresses the comic scene has been missing.
“There’s this weird culture that says you need to know what you want before you walk in the door, and I hate that so much. Because it’s okay to not know; I don’t know anything.”
It’s easy to doubt that though, when she’s talking about what she loves. “A few years ago,” she says, “I got really into alternative comics. And then I went to the states and there were so many comic book stores that were dedicated to art books and zines. It was amazing.
“So I started an online store and I noticed that a lot of people were interested in it, so I thought I might give it ago.”
She talks passionately about the Brisbane arts community and the plans she has for the store. “I’m going to start a women’s comic book club.”
The idea came from a woman Vlada met while she was in Melbourne last weekend, “She said, ‘you should come to our meeting on Wednesday’, and I was like ‘I live in Brisbane, but I own a comic book store’.” So why not create a multi-state comic book community? We need more of it, really.
She continues, “It was really interesting because many of the people who make zines in Brisbane aren’t into comics.
“They kind of come out of nowhere and bring all these really amazing zines, filled with poetry and prose and illustrations and photographs, but they’re don’t really read many comics or they don’t know much about comics. I really always just thought those two things go hand in hand.”
This Saturday Junky Comics is having a free zine day. There will be sales in store, a zine making workshop, and as the title suggests, a bunch of free zines.
“It will be a good time for Brisbane creatives to meet and hang out and chat about stuff. The kids from ZICS- they’re an initiative in Brisbane who do a big zine gathering every six months at the state library- will be there and they’re all about bringing the creatives in Brisbane together, which is I think what Brisbane really needs.”
So head over to Junky Comics this Saturday (2nd) for some free zines, some good chats, and a really sweet collection of alternative comic books, zines, and artwork.