West End-born business Junky Comics is fast approaching its second birthday, celebrating two years of promoting local talent and creativity. With shelves brimming with glossy zines and books from both international and Australian authors, Junky Comics has fast become a hub for Brisbane’s quirkiest minds to come together and collaborate.

But like any niche business relying on the arts, the comic store has recently found itself struggling to make ends meet.

“I realized early this year that things were a little dire financially and was hit with the realization that this very well could be the year that I might have to shut Junky’s doors,” says owner, Vlada Edirippulige.

She’s holding a fundraiser to help keep Junky Comics open on Sunday, 19 February, with the help of local cafe Betty’s Espresso and Bar lending their venue, and Young Henry’s providing guests with beverages. Vlada hopes, with enough community generosity and support, the event will raise the funds to bring the store back to its feet.

A shop filled with artistic material from the people of West End, for the people of West End, Junky Comics has always thrived off the artistic spirit surrounding it.

“In the last two years we have housed some incredible exhibitions by extremely talented local artists, our zine rack has gone from being a small flip through rack to being a huge shelf and bursting at the seams with wonderful work.”

Like its name would suggest, the store’s dominant focus is on graphic novels and zines, however the store by no means limits itself to comic-related paraphernalia. Those who wander through Junky’s door can also grab a snack to eat, sip a coffee, chat about books and browse through artsy knick-knacks, like jewellery and greeting cards.

“We have had the honour of putting on gigs in store, having some of our favourite artists travel from interstate to do signings and launches. We’ve also had local artists put on their first ever shows and launch their first ever books and zines!

“I feel extremely proud to be living in Brisbane, I think we have some really good stuff going on here and I believe so much in this city. I feel stoked that in whatever small way, I’ve been able to help artists get their work onto the shelves and into people’s homes and hearts!”

Despite her current financial situation, Vlada is still optimistic about Junky’s future.

“I really don’t want the closure to happen, I want to stick around for a little while longer and keep putting on fun events and hanging out with all of you lovely folk and reading your gorgeous comics and books and putting on exhibitions and stocking local work!”

The fundraiser will be held at Betty’s Espresso and Bar on Sunday, 19 February, from 12pm onwards. For those who can’t make it, Vlada has launched a GoFundMe page for donations.



Banner image: Vlada Edirippulige in Junky Comics