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Cherry Bomb Comics

Fri 20 Oct 2006 In: Community View at NDHA

Melissa Steiner and Tui Gordon were talking one day about what they'd like to do with their lives, and both had the same idea – a comic book shop. That was over two years ago, and since July 2004, Cherry Bomb Comics, on Auckland's New North Road, has celebrated and supported comics and ‘zines you wouldn't normally hear about. Melissa tells both her and Tui loved comics, but couldn't find anything that had good depictions of women, or with gay or lesbian protagonists, or even people of colour. “There wasn't anything outside of the mainstream,” she explains. “It was interesting to see that most people that sell comics really don't sell those kinds of titles. They don't seem to sell comics made by women. So we wanted a shop like that. “When we started getting our stock in, we found there was actually heaps of stuff that fulfilled what we were interested in. So it was good to see that stuff was actually out there.” Even though there aren't many kiwi women making comics at the moment, Cherry Bomb still stocks a lot of locally produced stuff. “We stock mainly NZ 'zines, and locally-made accessories. I've also heard of an all-girl comic anthology coming out soon.” All of Cherry Bomb's comics are hand-picked – “just because we're aware that a lot of comics are homophobic or sexist,” says Melissa. “And we don't want to get a whole bunch of comics in and find out they're all crap. So we have quite a laborious process of going on the internet and finding out who these authors are and what's in the comic before we order it in. Most of the stuff comes from the States, so it can take ages and be expensive.” The store's owners enjoy planning their special events like poetry nights, parties, and a mix tape ‘swaparamas', but people are always free to wander in, sit and be inspired by the free reading library. ‘Stitch and Bitch' craft evenings are part of Cherry Bomb's ‘manifesta' to support DIY in all its shapes and forms. As Melissa says, “the idea started in the States – people come along and make things. Not necessarily knitting, all sorts of things. Some come along and make their 'zines. We're open to anything really.” Currently available items in-store are Michelle Tea's ‘Rent Girl', a graphic novel telling the story of a young woman's years as a prostitute; Diane DiMassa's ‘Hothead Paisan' - a homicidal lesbian terrorist, local 'zine ‘Revolutionary Women' by Tui Gordon, Radical Youth's ‘If You Are Not Outraged, You're Not Paying Attention!' and lesbian alternative porn magazine ‘Slit'. Cherry Bomb Comics is open Wednesdays to Saturdays at 41 New North Road, Eden Terrace, Auckland.     Matt Akersten - 20th October 2006

Credit: Matt Akersten

First published: Friday, 20th October 2006 - 12:00pm

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