Our January bookstore of the month is Ballard’s own Push/Pull Art & Illustration Studio & Gallery, a cooperative space that launched out of a successful Kickstarter campaign last summer. Push/Pull is a gallery space devoted to art and comics and it’s also an underground comics store, with roughly 60 titles, and many more on the way. (You can see a small collection of the zines and comics, including one titled Those Fucking Dinosaurs, on their retail site.)
Push/Pull was launched by curator Maxx Follis and members including excellent Seattle cartoonist Seth Goodkind. According to their website, their mission is to:
Promote underground art and comics
Foster community between those creating and viewing art
Encourage emerging artists, illustrators and cartoonists
Innovate the way art is consumed by presenting it in a unique environment and with nontraditional events
The idea of an art gallery/comic shop isn’t anything new — head south of the city to the Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery if you don’t believe me — but it is an idea that we should encourage. As the arts continue to suffer through the atrophying of nonprofits, we’re seeing disciplinary lines blur in nontraditional spaces, and interesting things are happening.
If you’d like to visit Push/Pull yourself, it’s open every day from 10am to 6pm, but this Saturday it’ll be open late for the Ballard Art Walk, which happens every second Saturday. That’s an optimal way to appreciate the space — when it’s full of people drunk on free (mostly bad) wine, talking about art. In the weeks to come, we’ll be talking with Follis and her Push/Pull compatriots about the challenges and joys of launching a bookstore — in fact Seattle’s newest bookstore, if I’m not mistaken — in the middle of a gallery.