The Fortitude Valley weekend markets have been a Brisbane institution for a very long time. The Brunswick Street Mall has recently undergone a renovation and with that there was a re-launch of the Valley markets to celebrate. The organizers have decided to hold monthly themed markets and this month’s theme was Pop Culture. The House of Fandom Markets had previously operated venues at King George Square and Brisbane Square; this was their first event at Fortitude Valley.
Furry friends at the House of Fandom Markets
When I arrived the markets were in full swing. First thing, the markets were way bigger than expected. Pop Culture had overrun the regular market stalls and they had been moved into the Chinatown Mall. Secondly, a lot more people had turned out for the event than expected. The Brunswick Street Mall was filled with cosplayers, people celebrating geek culture with t-shirts and hats, confused (but delighted) tourists and members of the public. Even the local police couldn’t resist getting out their cameras and asking Deadpool and Spidey for a selfie.
While there were many stalls, the artist vendor stalls really stood out. Many local artists were present at the Fandom Markets. They were selling everything from handmade jewellery, unique prints, and geeky-themed fabric items (including adorable baby clothes). I was able to have a chat to many of the artists and they were all very nice and approachable. My favourite artist vendor would have to be Fangirl Stitches – an artist who sells nerdy cross-stitch patterns and kits.
As well as artist vendors, there were many stalls selling wares that would suit all pop culture tastes. The stalls were divided into two groups; private collectors selling pre-loved collectables and regular stalls selling themed goods. There were many bargains at the pre-loved collectibles stall including 10c comics, a rare Vanguard deck for $4, and limited edition Star Trek items from the 1970s. After having a browse of the regular stalls, the general sentiment was that the items were ‘found everywhere’ and ‘overpriced’. The stalls didn’t offer anything that could have been purchased from EB Games or Zing (at a better price), so many members of the public were ditching them for items sold by the private collectors. However, unique among the vendors was comic book artist Adam Nichols. Adam is a writer and illustrator that lives in Brisbane. He has done artwork for many games, novels and comic book titles. He was very nice and approachable, happy to pose for photos and hang around for a chat.
Comic book artist Adam Nichols
The highlight of the Fandom Markets was everyone in Cosplay. There were many more cosplayers than expected and the costumes were outstanding! The Cosplay events were co-ordinated by veteran cosplayer Deadpool does Cosplay. There were many cosplayers present including Adam West Batman, Lady Riddler in a ball gown, Rick and Morty, and Iron Man in a functional Iron Man suit. There was also a small group of Furries from Brisbane Fur that were graciously posing for photos and giving out free hugs. Skye Wolf has uploaded an excellent video log of the day; you can find it here. The best part of the day was finding a good vantage point (and an excellent Vietnamese iced coffee) and watching the Cosplay parade walk past.
In summary: it was a wonderful day out in the sunshine surrounded by geeky culture. The artist vendors and the private collector stalls were more popular than the ‘regular’ geek stores, however next time they might have some bigger exhibitors like Pop Culcha or Game Traders. It was an excellent event to re-launch the Fortitude Valley Markets and I hope this becomes a regular event in Brisbane.
A mysterious Jedi Master!
Here is a list of links from the Vendor Artists at House of Fandom Markets:
Lavaliere Crypt: https://www.facebook.com/LavaliereCrypt
Pirate Dragon: https://www.facebook.com/piratedragon
LarissaKathryn Design and Art: https://www.facebook.com/LarissaKathrynArt
Fractured Lace: https://www.facebook.com/fractured.lace
Missy Goes Meow: https://www.facebook.com/MissyGoesMeow
Fangirl Stitches: https://www.facebook.com/fangirlstitches/
Kareki Art: www.karekiart.com
Accident Art: email@example.com
Maiden Belle: https://www.facebook.com/MaidenBelleShop/