Skip to content
CityLab
Culture

Bumming Indie Artwork From Retro Cigarette Machines

In Montreal and beyond, vintage dispensers get locals hooked on zines and cassettes.
relates to Bumming Indie Artwork From Retro Cigarette Machines
Alanah Heffez/Flickr

A few nights ago, as my friends dodged elbows at a sticky bar top in Montreal, I crouched and fed quarters into a rejiggered vending machine humming, fluorescent, in the corner.

I was hoping to fish out a booklet with a constellation freckled across its cover. The machine used to spit out cigarettes; now, it dispenses pocket-sized works of art—everything from comic books to cassettes—for $2 apiece.