We’ve got an awesome highlight here for Michigan’s own Vault of Midnight! Vault was opened by two childhood friends — Curtis Sullivan and Steve Fodale — in 1996 with a love for Golden Age comics and emphasis on independent comics because they’re factually the best kinds of comics. (we’re biased lol) For more, check out our interview with VoM co-founder Curtis Sullivan, hope you enjoy!

The outside storefront of Vault of Midnight with it's deep blue awning and big white block letters over the entrance. Blue and white accents square accents surround tall store windows with comics and superhero logos covering them. On the right side, you can see the door with the text Vault of Midnight and the skull logo printed on the glass.

Interview conducted over email.

Hi there! Can you introduce yourself?
Curtis Sullivan — co-owner and co-founder of Vault of Midnight! Lifelong comic book fiend and Conan the Barbarian superfan.

Tell us a bit about your shop!
Founded in 1996 by Steve Fodale and Curtis Sullivan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Awarded a Will Eisner “Spirit of Comics Retailer” Award in 2010, we’ve opened shops in Detroit and Grand Rapids Michigan.

What’s your origin story with indie comics?
We started as an indie only store! Our first location was pretty small so we made the decision to stock ONLY small press / indie comic books. No Marvel or DC for the first few years, all indie on every shelf. We’ve still more than half of our comic book space dedicated to small and indie publishers.

What makes your shop (and/or crew) unique/special/interesting?
Vault of Midnight works to create a space where everyone feels welcome, whether you’re a comic book veteran, or someone who has never read a comic in their life! Our crew is diverse and friendly and we all have different and unique passions and ‘specialities,’ so no matter what you’re into you’ll always find someone to talk to who can help you find your new favorite thing.

A photo of Vault of Midnight centering Silver Sprocket books on a raised display in a crowd of other assorted comics.

How has your audience been responding to Silver Sprocket’s catalog?
Silver Sprocket books are always a huge hit among our team and the folks who shop here. Some of the most popular Silver Sprocket titles we carry are Magical Beatdown, Gnartoons, The Paradox of Getting Better, The Chromatic Fantasy, Grog the Frog, and Let’s Get Burgers. We love having so many Silver Sprocket titles to offer because they publish such a diverse and unique array of stories, especially queer stories that are difficult to find elsewhere.

Any (non-Silver Sprocket) comics you’d recommend that our fans should check out?
There are several independent publishers and artists we love to order from, whom we would love to give shoutouts to and encourage folks to check out as well: Tiny Splendor (our current favorite from them that we just got in is Blue Drawings!), Frog Farm (our favorite from them is Business Insider!), Secret Room Press (our favorite from them is Live Rock!), and of course the semi-retired PEOW, where you can still buy wonderful books like the exquisite A Frog in the Fall.

A smiling Vault of Midnight bookseller with hands clasped under their face, sitting in front of two large shelves of small press comics.

All three of Vault of Midnight’s shops in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Detroit are open from 11AM-8PM Sunday-Thursday, and 11 AM-10PM on Fridays and Saturdays.  Check out what’s new with VoM on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! Thanks for chatting with us, Vault of Midnight crew!