Mekanik is one of the biggest, and one of the most important comicshops and comic related art galleries in Europe.
Since 1983 Mekanik has carried every European and American comic on the market. Special interest goes to all aspects of the medium, including comics, (art)books, paraphernalia such as statues, graphic novels, dvd, Japanese manga and anime... Basically everything comic-related is part of our ever growing assortment.
In 1994 Mekanik Strip branched out and opened the first comic art gallery in Antwerp: Comic Art and Warehouse. It was conceived as a space to exhibit original comic art, paintings, prints, sculptures, and everything related to sequential art. The gallery has a permanent collection featuring works from the most important artists in the comic book industry. Quickly the gallery gained name and fame; and is now one of the leading venues for exhibiting comic art in Belgium. John Bolton, Dave McKean, Neil Gaiman, Charles Burns, Loustal, Ted McKeever, Bernie Wrightson, Liberatore and Milo Manara are just a few names of our past guests.
Aside from inviting national and internationally acclaimed creators, the gallery focuses once a year on local new talent with the "What's Your Excuse?!" event. What started 7 years ago as an expo of 4 young artists has grown to a national talent exhibition with more than 100 different artists each year. Every year Mekanik invites these young artists to work around a specific theme.The What's Your Excuse events always garner a lot of press attention, and is an excellent platform for young budding artists in Belgium to show their talent to a large audience and, in some cases leads to work. In 2000 the theme for WyE was "Love Stories". As an extra initiative Mekanik published a small press comic last year highlighting 15 of the best entries of that year. The 2001 WyE edition focused on "The City". 15 artists were selected and featured in the second publication with the same name in 2002. "I Had A Dream" was the theme for the 2002 expo, and the 15 selected artworks are in the third book, published in 2003. In 2003 the contest subject was "Building Bridges", and the 15 winners will be featured in the third and last in the series of "What's your Excuse?!"-portfolios, coming out in September 2004, when the contest will evolve around "Shop for Sale".