Our comics get out into the world through a network of fresh-to-death indie comic shops.
Let us tell you about them!
This is week we’re talking to Katie Proctor, owner of Books with Pictures in Portland, OR.
Katie’s been running her aggressively inclusive shop & repping our wares since June 2016.
Tell us a bit about your shop
Our tagline is Comics for Everyone: we strive to be inclusive and welcoming.
We work hard to keep our shelves stocked with comics that show diverse protagonists and come from diverse creators: we love queer stories, stories with black protagonists and Latinx protagonists and Native American and Asian protagonists, comics about people who are neurodiverse and comics where little girls save the day.
We welcome every person who steps through our doors and run all sorts of events — lots of them.
Who are you?
My resume is the sort only an entrepreneur can love: I’ve done tours in academia, publishing, tech consulting, and of course, book and comics retail.
But I’ve always had a passion for amplifying marginalized voices and hidden stories, helping people connect with art that feeds them and bringing communities together.
My first comics, after Doonesbury and Calvin & Hobbes, were Sandman, Transmetropolitan, and Small Favors; I didn’t become a serious superhero reader until my 30s.
These days, I’m just a voracious reader across the board: I love mini-comics that perfectly express one jewel of an idea, sprawling serial epics that take 200 issues to tell, and fat graphic novels that span protagonists’ lifetimes.
What makes your shop interesting?
The shop is unusually bright and tidy; I work hard to find a balance between carrying a diverse line and tightly curating what is here.
All of our floor shelves are on wheels, so the shop is easy to re-configure: we can totally change up the layout for art nights, concerts, sales, and other events. The shop is basically a transformer. I love that part.
How has your audience been responding to Silver Sprocket’s catalogue?
A Your Black Friend story: One of our customers, a barber, had bought the shop and put it in his waiting area. His client found it one day after a rough couple of weeks dealing with micro-aggressions from her co-workers. She had been addressing the issue with her boss but they were at a loss for what to do, when she mentioned the comic to her boss, he says he will buy a couple for their break room. So she asks the barber where to find it, and the barber sends her to us, and we send her off with all four copies that we have in stock.
Have any non-Silver Sprocket titles our fans should check out?
I am over the moon about Assassinistas (Tini Howard, Gilbert Hernandez, Rob Davis, Sanford Greene), from IDW’s Black Crown. Queer, funny, absurd, action-packed, violent, thoughtful, and GORGEOUS, it is everything we love in a comic.
In a completely different mood but also perfect is Moonstruck (Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle, Kate Leth), from Image, a candy-sweet comic about a group of gender-diverse magical creatures who work in a coffee shop, date, and deal with both magical and mundane problems.