Comic book cafe to open in Wollongong Central

Collectors: Shane Mason, with his daughter Letia, is opening a comic shop inside Wollongong Central.Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Collectors: Shane Mason, with his daughter Letia, is opening a comic shop inside Wollongong Central.Picture: GREG TOTMAN

A new Wollongong cafe is set to turn the page on buying comic books in the city.

The Comic Cafe will open inside Wollongong Central next month and when it does, Berkeley man Shane Mason will add a new chapter to his story - "to open a comic book shop in Wollongong because there isn't one".

"It's a passion of mine and it's what I've wanted to do for quite some time," Mr Mason said.

"At the moment the only thing you can do is actually go online and buy comic books ... or you drive up to Sydney.

"For a lot of people, they're waiting, they're paying postage, they're paying for petrol to drive up there. I just wanted to be able to do something locally ... so I can fulfil that need in the Illawarra.

"I went to Comic Gong [convention] last year ... and to see over 3000 people turning up in the town hall made me realise there is definitely a market here for it."

The 42-year-old had enough money to make the cafe a reality but with limited stock, so he has launched a crowdfunding drive to boost the products on offer and ensure it caters for a wide audience.

"In order to give the Illawarra a comic book shop, I need the support from those Illawarra comic book fans," he said.

"I want to cultivate the culture in the Illawarra."

The crowdfunding target is $10,000, which Mr Mason said banks refused to lend him because there were no other such businesses in the Illawarra for comparison.

As an extra incentive, the public call to action comes with a "perks" system that gives the dollar amount people pledge back as an in-store credit.

Mr Mason plans to open the store in mid-May.

Prior to the opening, a pop-up kiosk will be set up on Level 2 of the mall outside Myer for two weeks from Saturday.

The cafe will initially sell comic books and merchandise, with plans to see it become a themed sit-down cafe serving coffee.

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