PORTLAND, Ore. — The best comic book shop in the world is right here in Portland. "Books with Pictures" just got that top honor at last weekend's Comic-Con. Owner Katie Pryde thinks the diverse content in her store played a role in her win.
Six years ago Pryde combined her love for stories and comics to open Books with Pictures in Southeast Portland.
"Creating a space for people who traditionally haven't had a space in comics — like women, like queer folks, people of color — and kind of create a space for those nontraditional geeks," said Pryde.
The focus at the shop is to not only to carry the best books, but also the best with diverse content.
"If creators of color are publishing, we carry it, if queer creators are publishing, we carry," Pryde explained.
That approach got the store among five finalists for the "Will Eisner Spirit of Retail Award." It is the top award given to comic book stores at Comic-Con in San Diego and Books with Pictures won it this year.
"It means we're recognized as the best comic book shop in the world," said Pryde.
In the past 10 years, only four retailer Eisner award winners have been in the United States.
"I think I won because of that vision for the future because we are really looking to do something different in the industry not just perfecting the formula that's been a success," said Pryde.
Several other Portlanders cleaned up at the event. That includes author Douglas Wolk who won the 2022 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book with his book "All of the Marvels."
"Winning an Eisner means that my peers recognized what I've done and like it," said Wolk, "and it's incredibly flattering and honoring."
"Winning this award is really validating in feeling like my vision for what comics can be is a vision that is shared even more broadly than I thought it was," said Pryde.