Comicstreet 2023 – The Return!

Key art illustrated by Mamath

Feels a little weird to include an event on the project blog but I guess running an event is a pretty big project, actually! It was as much work and stress as any other project in any case, and I’m both pleased and proud to have been able to pull it all together.

Comicstreet 2023 is the fifth year of Comicstreet! Originally, 2020 was going to be the fifth year but like everything else on the planet it was cut down by Covid restrictions. A huge bummer because 2020 was going to be our big fifth anniversary year with panels at the library, international comics guests, the whole shebang! It’s a bit difficult to imagine now to be honest. I was all about it at the time but now I’m older and more tired than ever.

Art for the flyers handed out at Gold Coast Supanova and around town! I’m not sure what possessed me to draw a car of all things for our announcement/recruitment flyers

Anyway, like most things that went on Covid hiatus I think most people assumed Comicstreet was dead until proven otherwise. Come 2023 and I still worry about Covid outbreaks but after taking pretty much all of 2022 as a run up, I decided it was time to just do it. It’s the most standard version of Comicstreet – a one day market that can be run entirely by one dedicated showrunner plus two on-the-day volunteers.

2023 is the year I feel like I finally got a handle on the Comicstreet branding. It has been really random up to this point but I actually love the “comic in progress” framing of this year’s key art:

This key art was used for the posters and on-the-day event signage! Yellow and blue are THE Brisbane colours (that’s why our public transport is all this combo etc) so we’re using a variation going forwards

I’ll definitely be doing something like this for 2024’s poster art too. I’m not so sure the kid mascot will stick around – the problem with mascots is they imply things. Is the mascot a boy? Are we saying comics are for boys? etc. The pigeons, the comic-making tools and the colours are the only things that really need to stick around. And perhaps the street sign.

Table map for 2023 showing all the artists 🙂

I was glad to see many artists return to Comicstreet after the break, as well as a couple of new folks. I had hoped that there would be people quietly continuing to make comics over the pandemic! I think in future we might be able to add another island of tables on the other side of the stage.

I felt the turnout for 2023 was really good. 🙂 THE hardest part of event running is getting the word out, in my opinion, but lots of old faces turned up! Traffic stayed pretty consistent all day, too, and not only due to the open thoroughfare nature of Queen Street Mall.

Everyone seemed excited to be there and the vibes were very good! I’m grateful that this little community of people who spend their time shackled to their drawing tables is nevertheless so friendly and open.

As the singular event runner, I do pretty much everything in the lead up to the day. Getting the website up and running, all the art, all the social media, answering emails, soliciting artist applications, sorting those applications and sending invoices, booking space and insurance, pulling all the tables out of storage to give them a wash… So many bits and pieces that have to be taken care of! It tallies up to a lot more hours than I’m willing to count haha. Let me live in ignorance.

A happy Mamath on event day!

However, ON the day I generally have a couple of volunteers to help me physically get it all up and running so let me take a moment to acknowledge them, too:


Mei of MJL Anime kindly comes over to my place with her van early in the morning to load up all our extra tables and other supplies and transport them to the venue so that we can get set up by the time artists arrive to do their set up. Mei has done this for several years and is even nice enough to then hang about all day minding the mini library etc and then helps with pack up/transport at the end of the day! Thanks, Mei. ;3; You’re the best. If anyone finds themselves in need of anime goods some time, consider supporting our selfless volunteer’s own anime shop.

For 2023, Cassie ( also helped out by meeting us at Queen St early. Those extra hands to transport everything down the mall and in position is so vital!! If anyone ever needs a web dev, I hear she knows some shit.

And finally, Churba ( has also been helping for years. He’s taken a lot of the photos that you see on the Comicstreet website, as well as been there to haul stuff and put signs up higher than my stubby frame can reach. A couple of years it was his van that got those tables to the CBD. If you see him around, buy him a beer or a sandwich or something. If you need a writer, he does writing!!

I usually use my Comicstreet earnings to buy the vollies dinner but they deserve a lot more than that.

I’m not sure what else to say. It’s a good day – and a lot of work. Dear reader, you can find more photos and info about Comicstreet at the Comicstreet dedicated website if you so wish. I’m looking forward to 2024. I have plans for it but who knows what will actually pan out!

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