A Man without a Smiling Face must never open a Shop

As I remember it Nic was running a shop in Street Two-and-a-Half in Battambang, Northern Cambodia when he had the idea of putting Headache Comix together. It was a Chinese style shop-house, open to the street. It sold a mix of things - low-level antiques (old Zippo lighters, cigarette boxes, Khmer film posters), a few of his own drawings and paintings by other artists, dirt cheap cigarettes, anarchist pamphlets and hippie clothes from India.

The stock wasn’t flying off the shelves - but it ticked over and was a hang-out for local Cambodian arty types and people passing through.

It was nice at night. Like a fairy-grotto. I’d drink Samurai energy drinks and smoke Double Happiness cigarettes. There was usually something interesting to look at, and a lost soul dropping in to browse.

No one really bought anything.

Nic didn’t help. Sat at a table at the back of the shop, drawing.

Hiding from the customers.

Headache is like the shop. The anarchist stuff, the comix, prose pieces, art, photography, interviews.  Some of the contributors are famous, some of them used to be half-famous, some of them have never written or drawn anything before. Hard to say what they have in common. 

Something, though.

The quality is good. I always read the whole thing. I like the freedom of expression in it. I like that there’s plenty in it - takes a couple of weeks to read.

I like the freedom.

James Farley