A new addition to the commercial strip along Scarborough Beach Road in Mount Hawthorne, Diabolik is a cool as hell repository of the cult, the cool and, occasionally, the kitsch. We caught up with the proprietor, Scott Jones.
What’s the Diabolik story?
Diabolik Books And Records is a new retail venture created by a team of managers and buyers with a love of books, music and pop culture. We were previously a part of another retail business but we have struck out on our own to create our ideal space. The retail sector has had its ups and downs over the last few years, but we see that people still enjoy the experience of browsing and we want to present the best of books and music to our customers.
Diabolik is a bit of a cult reference. Does that reflect your range/focus?
Diabolik is an Italian pop-culture icon that originated in comic form in the early sixties. He is subversive, rebellious, and embodies the stylishly cool 60s Euro-chic. The 1968 film Danger: Diabolik was referenced in the Beastie Boys video for Body Movin, so we’ve always thought he was a cool figure. My wife, Monica, who is also a member of the Diabolik team, is Italian so that seemed to bring it all home. The Diabolik logo, which we call Book Ninja was design by Tee Ken Ng, an installation artist and graphic designer who is a net-legend for his hugely popular vines.
Diabolik represents our love for counter-culture, which reflects the contrasts in our shop range. We take pride in our tattoo, graffiti and science fiction as much as arts, architecture and general literature. Our vinyl collection is a dynamic and evolving mix of classics and new releases.
What else do you carry?
The children’s book section is one of the first things you see when you step into the store. It sits beneath our large Hayao Miyazaki murals which is our favourite store feature. We also stock video game art, graphic novels, contemporary illustration and modern art, as well as fiction, non-fiction, travel, cooking and biographies. It’s as important to us to be the safe and welcoming bookshop on the street as it is to be a shop of wicked and alternative discoveries. You can find a chair or stool near the back and just indulge in the books you expect from a good bookshop. We also sell gifts, stationery, cushions, plush toys, tote bags and t-shirts.
Who’s the ideal Diabolik customer?
We don’t really think of ourselves as having a target demographic, we prefer to think of ourselves as ready for anything. We have a broad knowledge base after years in the industry so we are ready for any enquiry that crosses the counter. We relish the challenge of a hard-to-find vinyl or book! In general we cater to customers who are after the latest releases and the popular reads and listens, as well as those who are looking for something a bit different, or want to explore new genres. This is the place to discover the works of Hunter S. Thompson outside of Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, to find bootleg live recordings on vinyl, and to find that very inappropriate birthday card for your elderly relatives.
Anything else to add?
None of this would be possible or even worthwhile without the enthusiastic support of culture loving community in Perth who are our customers. They don’t just embolden us to express our love of culture, weird and wonderful, but they teach us how to keep improving through knowledge and enthusiasm.