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Store introducing gallery for comic book art, artists
Jungle Jakes Lee kids 0122
The Lee children get silly while showing off comics and collectibles in the new Jungle Jake’s space. Clockwise from top: Logan, 11, Hannah, 6, Autumn, 9, and Tony, 4. - photo by Photo by Jen Alexander McCall
Contest rules
Jungle Jake’s Superhero/Comic Art Contest begins on opening day, Jan. 30. Entries can be turned in beginning Jan. 29 and the contest ends Feb. 5. Entry forms can be found at, and winners will be announced Feb. 6.
There are four age categories: 5 and younger, 6-8, 13-18 and 19 and older
First and second place and two honorable mentions will be awarded in each category. Prizes include cash and collectibles. All entries will be exhibited. Original artwork is preferred. For questions or to submit an entry before Jan. 30, call Lee at 492-0740 or send an e-mail to
If visions of superheroes and supervillains dance in your head, Jungle Jake’s could be the place for you to express your graphic novel-inspired creativity. Jason Lee, owner of the secondhand bookstore that was later reinvented as a comic-book and collectibles store, is tweaking his focus one more time to suit the unique interests of Jungle Jake’s clientele.
Starting Jan. 30, graphic-novel enthusiasts can explore their artistic sides and hunker down for a good read in Jungle Jake’s new downtown space, an upstairs art studio-slash-retail operation just a couple steps down from the previous location.
The new space is larger, with room for reading comics as well as painting and drawing — and displaying — customers’ original works of art. Store hours will be Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with plans to extend hours in March, Lee said.
“Most of my customer base is made of people who are into comic art, so I wanted to set up a studio where they could come and draw,” Lee said. “I also want a place for serious comic collectors so I’m still going to have some retail, but it will only be a small part of it. I want to have [items like] the museum-quality bust of the Green Lantern, if that’s what customers want.”
Lee himself is not just a fan of the classic superheroes but also maintains a bit of an artist’s streak. As a science teacher in Long County, Lee uses illustrations to help students latch onto lessons. He also takes them on a field trip to the sidewalk arts festival each year in Savannah.
Lee said though his original plan for the store — selling used books — drew limited interest, when he turned to comics, fans and fanatics came out of the woodwork.
“People of all ages really get into comic art. We were always packed on the weekends,” he said.
Customer Jack Graves said the store is a popular place with friends who appreciate the visual aspect of graphic novels.
“I have friends who love art and they would come and use [the studio], knowing there’s something like it here,” he said.
Graves himself used to dabble in drawing and said he may take up the offer to use Jungle Jake’s studio space as well.
Lee said the store is also a learning experience for children and their families.
“My students have come to help, and when parents come in with them, they get to learn how business works,” he said.
To kick off the opening
he’s hosting a comic-art contest. Winners will receive prizes and all participants will have the opportunity to see their entries displayed in the store or at various downtown locations and the public library.
Lee said when he pitched the idea at a recent downtown development meeting, other officials were receptive and the library also requested he teach some science lessons there.
“We have kept this shop going because it’s what people wanted,” Lee said. “My goal was never to make a bunch of money but mainly to keep it sustained.”
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