Check out Quimby’s Bookstore, a Chicago mainstay indie bookstore and hub for comics and zines since 1991! With a goal of carrying “the unusual, the aberrant, the saucy and the lowbrow”, there’s a lot to love about this small-press institution. Learn more from our interview below with Quimby’s store manager Liz Mason!
Interview conducted with Liz Mason, manager of Quimby’s Bookstore over email.
Tell us a bit about your shop!
We [Quimby’s] specialize in independently published books, comics, and zines. We’ve been around since 1991 and I’ve worked here since 2001. In addition to stuff from Silver Sprocket and other indie publishers like D&Q and Fantagraphics, we also sell zines, mini-comics and chapbooks consigned from people all over the world. We are always interested in seeing what new and interesting things zinesters, comics artists, and small press publishers are putting out in the world!
What’s your origin story with indie comics?
Me personally or the store? Me personally, I always liked comics but got my real education with alternative comics by working here. When I started working at Quimby’s, I expanded our zines and mini-comics selections by sending consignment forms in the mail from publishers and artists I’d read about in other zines like Zine Guide, Maximum Rocknroll, and more.
What makes your shop (and/or crew) unique/special/interesting?
We are able to sell many of the artist-made periodicals because people are willing to consign them with us, a different business model than wholesaling buying stuff up front. Consignment is a labor-intensive project but it does allow us to carry the stuff like zines and mini-comics that other stores don’t want to mess with because they are unwilling to handle the paperwork that goes with the process.
Any (non-Silver Sprocket) comics you’d recommend that our fans should check out?
I’m partial to stuff by Carrie McNinch, who does You Don’t Get There From Here. And Josh Simmons’ new series of minis called Ghouls is hilarious.