This 57 year old indie bookstore is the star of our next retailer feature, it’s Bookshop Santa Cruz! Bookshop Santa Cruz is a multi-generational family business filling over 20,000 square feet with so, so, many books and that includes a huge supply of comics. We’re so glad to have Silver Sprocket be a part of this Santa Cruz institution and have a great interview with BSC’s head of Graphic Novels Mo for you to enjoy!

Outside storefront for Bookshop Santa Cruz. Assorted plants cover the left side with the open doors centered to show a glimpse at the inside of the shop.

Interview conducted over e-mail.

Hi there! Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Mo (they/them), and I am the head of the Graphic Novels section at Bookshop Santa Cruz! I’ve worked at Bookshop for about a year and a half, and have never felt more at home than I do when I’m recommending books to my community. My favorite genres are horror, queer romance, and speculative fiction, all of which are genres that truly come alive when translated into a visual medium like comics.

2. Tell us a bit about your shop!

Bookshop Santa Cruz opened its doors in 1966, and has been family-owned since 1973. Located in downtown Santa Cruz, our store spans over 20,000 square feet, filled with both new and used books. We have a large, carefully curated children’s section, a popular events program, and a deep connection with the local community.

Mo smiling, standing to the right of their Silver Sprocket comic display and in front of a larger comic and graphic novel section.

3. What’s your personal origin story with indie comics?

My entrance into the world of indie comics began with Silver Sprocket! My partner introduced me to the store on one of our first dates, and I was completely entranced by all of the art, zines, and of course, the comics! I picked up MANY options on my first visit that I never would have known about otherwise, like the brilliant One Million Tiny Fires by Ashley Robin Franklin. I took over the Graphic Novels section a few months later, and was overjoyed to know I had the power to promote Silver Sprocket within my own section. It’s been a match made in heaven ever since.

4. What makes your shop and crew unique/special/interesting?

I think my store is special due to its position as a staple of Santa Cruz culture. We have persevered throughout both economic and natural disaster, and we’re not going anywhere any time soon. We’re very lucky to have loyal customers who have been shopping with us since before I was even born. Our community keeps us around, because they trust us to find the exact recommendation for what they’re looking for. That’s a big responsibility, and everyone on our team is so passionate and dedicated to being able to live up to the challenge.

5. How has your community been responding to Silver Sprocket’s comics?

Fabulously! My best friend suggested I read Prokaryote Season by Leo Fox, and once I did I knew I had to feature it as much as possible. I included it in my October display, and ever since then it’s become one of the bestsellers of my section.

A featured section with Silver Sprocket books displayed prominently. Text on the top-left flyer reads: Featured publisher! Silver Sprocket is an independent comic/graphic novel publisher and comic shop located in San Francisco, focused on uplifting queer artists and artists of color! Check out their newest releases!

6. Any (non-Silver Sprocket) comics you’d recommend that our fans should check out?

One of the first comics that ever shook me to my core was On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden. The limited color palette and the effortless worldbuilding are just as integral to telling the story as the dialogue and plot is, and I still think about it years after reading it for the first time. Also, I feel so drawn to Emily Carroll’s work, and both her collection Through the Woods and her adult debut A Guest in the House were some of my favorite reads of 2023. No one’s doing queer horror quite like Emily!

Four graphic novels recommended by Mo on a wooden table display.

Bookshop Santa Cruz is open 9 AM to 9 PM every day at 1520 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA. 95060 and you can find on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as Thanks so much for chatting with us, Mo and BSC crew!