This week’s retailer’s feature is one of the largest and oldest feminist bookstores still running to this day, it’s Women & Children First! This 45-year old stronghold of queer literature in Chicago has stood the test of time and is likely one of the places you think of if you have a picture of a feminist bookstore in your head, as well as a social hub for examining how intersectional, trans-inclusive feminism is practiced. We’re so excited to be featuring them here with an interview from W&CF’s H. Melt included below:

Outside storefront of Women & Children First with snow on the left awning and surrounding sidewalk.

Interview conducted over e-mail.

Hi there! Can you introduce yourself? I’m H. Melt and I’m officially the Poetry Coordinator, but have worked at the store since 2015 in a variety of roles. One of them includes ordering from small independent artists, writers, distributors and publishers like Silver Sprocket.

Tell us a bit about your shop! Women & Children First is a feminist bookstore in Chicago and we’re celebrating our 45th anniversary this year. We are not the only feminist or queer bookstore in the city, nor were we the first. We’d like to acknowledge People Like Us, Unabridged, and Semicolon, to name a few others.

What’s your personal origin story with indie comics? I actually wanted to be a cartoonist growing up! I used to make and read comics as a kid. I turned away from them as a young adult, but fell back in love with comics through queer zines and minicomics I found at Chicago Zine Fest, Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, and Quimby’s Bookstore. Our LGBT library and archive Gerber/Hart also has some great vintage comics you can checkout and bring home.

What makes your shop (and/or crew) unique/special/interesting? We believe that books are tools for liberation and recognize that feminism is an ongoing practice. The store is committed to evolving the ways that feminism is practiced not just in terms of book curation, but how W&CF operates internally.


A Silver Sprocket themed shelf featuring "Comics For Choice", "You're Funny For A...", "The Secret History of Black Punk", "That Full Moon Feeling", and "LSBN".


How has your community been responding to Silver Sprocket’s comics? Our staff and customers alike are huge fans of Silver Sprocket! Silver Sprocket zines are especially popular with our customers. We love Ashley Robin Franklin, have sold many of Cristy C. Road’s Next World Tarot Decks (she designed one of our old logos), and my coworker Quen had The Chromatic Fantasy as one of her favorite books of the year. We both enjoyed Emma Jayne’s LSBN and the Comics for Choice anthology is always on the store shelves.


Bookseller Quen standing in front of a Staff Picks section, holding The Chromatic Fantasy in front of her.


Any (non-Silver Sprocket) comics you’d recommend that our fans should check out? I think Silver Sprocket fans would really like The Wolf Suit by Sid Sharp. A little bit creepy, a little sweet, a spin on a classic narrative, and beautifully illustrated. It’s one of the few books I’ve read multiple times and it appeals to all ages. Quen & I both love Night & Dana by Chicagoan Anya Davidson, which is about teenagers who are into special effects makeup and horror movies!


The books "Night and Dana" by Anya Davidson and "The Wolf Suit" by Sid Sharp, facing out on a wooden shelf filled with other comics.

Women & Children First is open from 11 AM – 6 PM Tuesday-Sunday at 5233 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640, and you can follow them online on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well as via Thanks so much for chatting with us, W&CF crew!