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San Francisco gets its first lesbian-owned comic book store in the Mission District

San Francisco gets its first lesbian-owned comic book store in the Mission District
(Photo: Sour Cherry Comics)
By Marie Edinger - Published on March 17, 2022.

Sour Cherry Comics (3187 16th St.) is a brand-new bookstore run by and geared towards the LGBTQ+ community. Overall, though, the store is meant to be cute and welcoming to everyone — not the same design as the typical comic-book store geared towards men.

Sour Cherry operated online for a while and would occasionally hold pop-ups at other shops, but just celebrated the grand opening of its first brick-and-mortar store this month. A grant that came along with an LGBT entrepreneurship program helped get the business up and running.

The owner of the store, Leah Morrett, says she “couldn’t be more pleased with the space” and is looking to increase her inventory and feature local artists’ work in the shop as well. She also wants to host movie nights, meetings for book and writing clubs, and events centered around children.

Morett tells BrokeAss Stuart that she chose the name Sour Cherry Comics to be “a little subversive, a little cutesy, and a little edgy.” As she puts it, “Sour cherries are not sweet, and that’s the point.”

At Sour Cherry Comics, you won’t just find magazines and graphic novels; the store also features records, tapes, stuffed animals, VHS movies, small gifts, collectibles, and of course, regular books. Morrett says she chooses books that resonate with her as a gay woman, and that she often focuses on Young Adult novels, political memoirs, and biographies while selecting what to feature.

Despite the store’s name, Morrett herself seems quite the people-person, telling interviewer Lydia Sviatoslavsky that before she opened up her store, she worked briefly in a dentist’s office. In that account, she explains, “The best part of the job was interacting with people. That’s why I liked retail. But I’m a very things-oriented person, so that’s the other reason I love retail — I get to engage with products. With clothing, it’s fun, but I’ve always loved books and comics.”

The storefront sits at the corner of 16th and Guerrero Streets in the Mission District, near a few restaurants, a smoke shop, and a hotel. It is open Wednesday-Sunday, from noon to 8:00 p.m. Shoppers are currently asked to wear masks inside.

If you’re an artist based out of the Bay Area, Morrett wants you to reach out if you have any interest in getting your work featured at her store. You can email [email protected] to do so.