Junky Comics: a hub for the comic book community

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on RachelKhoo.com and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

To those on the fringe, the comic book community can feel a like a bit of an exclusive club — a creative league whose knowledge of the genre seems unattainable. And yet, when we look beyond such stereotypes, we discover people like Vlada — the force behind Junky Comics in Brisbane, Australia, who’s welcoming newcomers to the comic book gang with open arms. We asked her all about it, and she kindly answered our niggling questions:

Tell us about Junky Comics. When did it open and how did it come about?

I opened the store in April of 2015, but had an online store for about six months prior to that! I wanted to start a place that could house local work and particularly work from women and smaller publishers. Brisbane has such an excellent arts scene; so now my walls are bursting with local work, which is wonderful!

Are there many comic book stores in Brisbane?

There are a few! Each of them specialise in their own thing. A new comic book store opened up in the city about six months after I opened and they have a lot of single issues but also specialise in games. They also run an LGBTI gaming group, which is cool! There are others that specialise in manga and that get lots of Marvel and DC stuff. Everyone has their own little pocket of stuff, so it works well in Brisbane.

Have you always had an interest in comic books?

Yes! I read a lot when I was a kid. I grew up in a small town so there wasn’t a comic book store around, but there was a library. The library had a pretty sweet collection, so I would just bury my head in those! Ah the days before the internet…

If you had to name a favourite comic book series, which would it be?

I don’t get a heap of time to read when I’m actually in the store unfortunately; so I try to steer clear from series, so I don’t get too addicted, ha! But if I had to name one it would be the Hip Hop Family Trees series by Ed Piskor. It’s basically a history of hip-hop starting in the ’60s. It’s very cool!

Junky Comics

Could you name your favourite illustrator/comic book creator?

Probably Charles Burns. He’s both a writer and an illustrator. His most famous work is ‘Black Hole,’ which is about a school in the ’70s where the kids are passing around an STD that makes them grow tails, have strange growths on their faces… essentially it mutates them. It’s black and white and it has a ’70s pulp-horror vibe. His work is quite eerie but his storytelling is so on point!

If you’re new to the comic book world, which is the best series or book to start with?

I’d say the Saga series. It’s still being released and its written by Brian K Vaughan. He’s quite an established writer, won a few Eisners and is definitely one of the ‘big dogs’ of the comic book world. His work is very easy to get into, it has supernatural elements but not in a way that can isolate a reader who hasn’t read many comics. His work almost plays out like a very good TV show! My personal favourite by him is called the Y: The Last Man Series

What do you like most about the comic book community?

It’s a very safe and accepting community. Not just the comic book community but the arts community in general. I’ve made so many friends, met like-minded people and even started a girl gang! Ha!

Where are your go-to places for coffee, drinks and food in Brisbane?

I eat a lot in West End because that’s where my shop is. So, in West End, I’d say for food and coffee try West End Coffee House, Wrapture for wraps (duh) and The Swiss Deli for delicious sandwiches.

For out-of-West-End eats, Lucky Egg Fried Chicken in the Valley [Fortitude Valley] is my favourite burger place for sure! They do a delicious eggplant burger too. And, head to Cafe O Mai in Annerley for the best Bahn Mi of your life.

What’s coming up for Junky Comics?

We are going to Melbourne next month to do a pop-up shop! It’ll be in Collingwood at Magic Johnston. That is pretty exciting. Aside from that we are going to keep doing exhibitions, launches and hopefully more trivia nights, because they are fun as hell!

What comic books do you recommend? Let us know, below…

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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