Comic book retail has a long history of being a hard business. You don’t go into it to make money, you do it for the love of the medium. For 24 years Graphic Action Comics in Newcastle, NSW, Australia had been fighting the good fight. At the start of this month the store closed its doors for the final time.
Due to a number of factors such as redevelopments in the area the shop is located resulting in it becoming less accessible among others James Morris, the store’s owner, has made the hard decision to close the store.
It’s a devastating blow for myself as it was the first comic store I shopped at regularly – for ten years in all – and where I grew into the geek I am today. I consider James and the rest of the staff friends that I will always greatly value. It’s also a great shame in regards to Graphic Action being one of the last, if not the last, comic store situated outside a major Australian city.
Below I’ve re-posed a thank-you note to James and the store for the amazing times I had there, along with an interview James did after the closure announcement with Kia Handley of radio station 2NC.
For ten years Graphic Action Comics was my favorite place in the world. No matter how bad a day I had or how down I was feeling I could always visit the store and walk out with a huge smile on my face thanks to James, Dylan and the wonderful people who were regulars.
Growing up in a small town were hardly anyone read comics let alone were as completely invested in their world as I was created some sense of isolation. However, discovering GA was like finding the secret headquarters of those who shared my passion for the sequential arts.
While the responsibilities of life and growing up (something I’m still trying rather hard not to do too much of) forced me to take a step away from the store I still consider those ten years spent within the walls of that comic book mecca as some of the happiest, most influential and important of my thus-far 33 years on this planet.
So to everyone who made the Graphic Action family what it is – what it always will be – I can not thank you enough!