A SHETLANDER is set to become quite possibly Scotland’s only female comic book shop owner this weekend.
Jenny Heubeck, who originally hails from Dunrossness, is opening Ahoy Comics on Dundee’s Victoria Road on Saturday.
The 22 year old left the isles in 2010 to study fine art at the city’s Duncan of Jordanstone college, but over a year after graduating, Heubeck is now turning to comics.
It’s the first time she has owned a business, and Heubeck – who says it is her “dream job” – is planning to staff the shop herself six days a week.
The idea of Ahoy Comics came after some postgrad soul-searching during a time when Heubeck was working in a pub, unsure of her future.
“While there were so many new shops and restaurants and hotels opening, I found it increasingly strange that I was still having to outsource comics and graphic novels,” she said.
“Dundee, the city of DC Thomson, didn’t have a dedicated comic book shop. And so I found out then where I fit in.”
Ahoy Comics will sell “all things geeky” – from books to collectibles, games, figurines, soft toys and t-shirts.
The venture ties in with a growing popularity for the sub-culture, with Comic-Con fan events now taking place across the world.
Heubeck’s shop, located near the busy Wellgate shopping centre, has been weeks in the making – and social media interest has already created a buzz.
It is believed that she is set to become Scotland’s only female comic book shop owner – and one of just a handful in the UK.
While the Shetlander concedes the venture is somewhat alien to her, Heubeck is hopeful for big things.
“I’ve no previous business experience, have never worked in retail before, and every single report card I’ve had home from school has had the word ‘unorganised’ on it at least once,” she admits.
“Combine that with the fact that I’m 22, and at the time of applying for funding I had pink hair, sometimes getting people to take you seriously is a bit of a challenge.
“But if you have an idea that you really care about and have confidence in, the learning curve doesn’t seem quite so steep.
“Eventually with the right balance of blind enthusiasm and Excel spreadsheets you find other people who get excited about it too, and are willing to give you a chance.”
Ahead of this weekend’s launch, Heubeck acknowledges the daunting task of running her own business in the middle of one of Scotland’s biggest cities.
Any nerves, however, are overshadowed by the excitement that comes with finally landing her dream job.
“I am equal parts terrified and excited about opening the doors,” she said. “It’s completely surreal, I’m imagining it’s akin to getting married.
“99.9 per cent sure it’s going to be the best thing that ever happened to me, 0.01 per cent desperately hoping I haven’t dug myself a really big hole.”
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