When I heard that a new comic book shop was opening at 218 Grant Street, I thought that it was a great fit. Then, after talking to owner TJ Veith, and learning that it was also going to be a gallery dedicated to pop culture, I knew that we were in store for something great.
Up until this point, Veith has been selling comic books online, but after living on the West Side for the last 19 years (all of his adult life), he decided that it was time to open a brick and mortar. Not only would this give him a chance to make some money, it would also open a door to a group of artists that might not be getting recognized the way they should. In the end, Veith wants Flippin’ Comics to be dedicated to the types of things that tend to steer the pop culture market, from action figures to comedians, current and past.
Veith wants to showcase the works of local and international artists, his illustrator friends, and underground artists. He will carry graphic novels, collectibles, and original works of art. “I want the shop to be a flagship for the network of artists that I’ve been part of,” he explained. “I also want to feature the content creation aspect. This will give artists some legitimacy outside of the internet. I feel that there is a loss when there is no connection to the physical world. A lot of the artist that I will be featuring are making some great headway with their work – they are doing pieces for big names in the industry. I’m part of the Comedy Content Collective, and there are some big names attached to that group. Currently, I’m working on a piece for comedian Ari Shaffir. One of my friends is doing content work for comedian and actor Andrew Santino. I believe that the gallery aspect will help to get more artists featured and recognized.”
Flippin’ Comics is one of a number of new businesses opening on Grant Street. Veith told me that he’s seen a lot since living on the street for 19 years, and he’s happy to be part of the upward momentum. Like many areas of the West Side, Grant Street is, once again, on the rise. At the same time, there are some building owners that could use a little shaking, to rouse them out of their deep slumbers. The momentum is upon us… it’s time to strike while the iron is hot.
Veith and his crew are currently building out the space, while also building a website. Veith’s own work can be found at illustrated_skillz on Instagram in the meantime.