Source Comics and Games in Minnesota
I want to submit Source again, I can’t recommend them higher. I started going as a young girl when manga was hitting its heyday, and they had an extremely thorough stock of titles. Even though they carried every type of superhero comic, they made the place feel very safe for me, and didn’t display over-sexualized images prominently. They held Pokemon and card game tournaments and were really welcoming to kids. They listened when I asked to order things from Diamond and took any recommendation I had, even as a child. I was never judged for what I bought, they were up for pleasant conversations and answered any questions I had. They had good recommendations for me and helped my tastes expand ten-fold.
On top of that, and most amazingly, they always willingly bought comic zines I made in middle school and high school. They were very, very supportive to local creators. They bought everything I brought in. They stocked my work and displayed it nicely, even if I look back at it now thinking it was pretty bad, haha!
As a professional comic artist now I feel extremely lucky that this was the comic shop I grew up with. They have since moved, and are so much bigger than ever before. I’ve recently visited the new store and their stock is extremely eclectic and non-judgmental (so many queer comics!). The support they gave me in my formative years really made me the cartoonist I am today, I can’t thank or gush about them enough.
I wrote a cheesy post about the comic shop I grew up with for haterfreewednesdays, a tumblr for fans to talk about comic shops that are safe spaces. I wrote it after reading Noelle’s comic about bad experiences in a comic shop. It made me reflect and be extremely thankful for the supportive shop I had growing up. Oh no I’m getting teary again!