Shoestring Melbourne: NGV and Free Comic Book Day

I was somewhat remiss to mention, way back in week two, that the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square is a satellite of the main National Gallery of Victoria, which is down by the Arts Centre, across the river. Head south on Swanston Street, past Fed Square and across the bridge, and it’s on your right as you walk past the Tram Bar.

Unlike the primarily contemporary, experimental nature of the Ian Potter collection the NGV is more of an art museum, housing a substantial collection of art from past periods, especially ancient Asian pieces.

I’d recommend following the building’s layout for the best experience: Start on level two among the ancient Asian exhibitions and work your way up through the Renaissance European collections in to the modern work on the top floor.

There’s a lot to take in, across a wide range of media, and there are a couple of temporary exhibitions in there at the moment.

Everything currently in there is free, but if you’ve got some money to burn and an itch to see Monet’s Garden in the flesh, you can buy a ticket to get in to see it when it’s here in May.

Now, if you’re not nerdy or nerd-curious in the slightest, you can probably tune out for the rest of the article, because I’m going to talk about Free Comic Book Day. It’s this coming Saturday May 4, which is somewhat auspicious (it’s a Star Wars thing).

The premise, for those unfamiliar with it, is that a wide range of comic titles release issues that are distributed around the world, for free, for a single day.

It’s a big thing and is a great way to give a range of comics a try without having to sink money in to issues on the off chance they’re worth reading.

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Now, I’m going to be a little biased here for the sake of space and recommend you check out All-Star Comics on Lonsdale St. These guys are my favorite comic store in Melbourne, primarily because it’s a classy and welcoming store staffed by friendly guys and as proof, they were nominated for a Will Eisner Retailer of the Year award last weekend.

Again, just take my word for it, it’s a big deal.

Here are the details of how they’re running the day and what titles will be there and there will be a number of comic artists in attendance selling prints and doing free sketches if you feel like picking one up.

The other stores in town have events on too, but if you’re not already ‘in to’ comics, I can’t push you enough to give All Star a chance this Saturday.

Just be prepared for crowds, nerds love their freebies.

Alastair Collins


Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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