Our work gets out into the world thanks to a small but fierce network of badass shops and collectives.
This week we’re checking out Outsider Comics & Geek Boutique, a women-run indie comic book store and boutique in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.
Email interview with assistant manager Aydin Kwan
Who are you?
We are Outsider Comics and Geek Boutique, located in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, WA.
In addition to selling comics and games, we carry apparel, patches, pins, stickers, tarot decks, and more.
Tell us a bit about your shop!
Outsider opened in November of 2016.
Our emphasis is on inclusion; we want people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, orientations, and levels of comics familiarity to feel welcome in our store.
We offer comics starter bundles for new readers, and we have dedicated sections for local/small press and for LGBTQ comics.
Our event calendar is always busy with tabletop RPG oneshots, open board game nights, our monthly book club, and more.
What’s your origin story with indie comics?
Supporting indie creators has always been important to us because the thriving of indie arts makes for a healthier and more interesting community by amplifying voices traditionally unheard and putting money in the hands of the people who do the work.
When we were first starting out, our customer base made clear that it was important to them too.
Image Comics and Boom! Studios quickly became our best-selling publishers, so we decided to push small press and local artists’ work, with great success.
We have found that our customers are always hungry for comics beyond what is available from major publishers and distributors.
What makes your shop special?
The most obvious difference between us and other comic book stores is that we are a boutique!
The Fremont neighborhood receives a lot of traffic from tourists as well as locals, and many of them are drawn into our store by our patterned dresses and cat-themed shirts.
They may never have picked up a comic book before, and in many cases, they’ll leave with something from our local/small press section that defied their expectations of what comics can be!
We are also increasingly offering products that are not available anywhere else; we have just introduced our original pronoun pins, designed by Seattle artist Cora Lee.
How has your audience been responding to Silver Sprocket’s catalog?
Our customers LOVE Silver Sprocket!
“I Want All of the Cats to Love Me the Best” is our single most popular sticker, and we have a lot of stickers.
Catboy and Your Black Friend are also among our most popular books.
For our one-year anniversary, one of our regulars drew the characters from her favorite comics we had introduced her to celebrating, and Catboy‘s Henry was partying alongside Batwoman and Mockingbird. It’s hanging behind our register. 🙂
Painting by Marley Goldman
Any (non-Silver Sprocket) comics you’d recommend that our fans should check out?
We like to make sure Silver Sprocket fans check out another San Francisco-based indie publisher, Youth in Decline, especially their monograph series Frontier.
Some issues are short comics while others are artbooks, each by a different artist.
In particular, fans of Jenn Woodall will want to check out Frontier #2 by Hellen Jo, a collection of illustrations of badass teenage girls.
Readers who like Siren School‘s funny and sarcastic response to condescending men will probably love the graphic novel The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg, which combines humor and tragedy to tell fairytales about women and the power of storytelling in male-dominated society.
And Catboy lovers, if you’re in it for cute friendship and fashion, pick up Zodiac Starforce from Dark Horse Comics, about a magical girl team that has to reunite after a disastrous falling out, or Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat! from Marvel Comics, about the titular superhero facing job and housing troubles in her twenties.
If you’re in it for the cats, try Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, in which the cartoonist, known for his horror work, humorously depicts his relationship with his two cats in his usual horror style.