Location: 3244 N Clark in Lakeview
Public Transit: Nearest buses are the Clark (22); Nearest train is the Belmont Red/Brown/Purple line stop.
I can still remember my first trip to Chicago Comics when I was a teenager visiting from the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio. This was not your small town comic book store. I was blown away by the many remarkable items on display; kitschy collectibles adorned with pulp pin ups, patches and pins, art books I'd never seen before, comics I'd never heard of at that point. My wonderment was soon accompanied by considerable feelings of inadequacy. I was 16, reading far too many X-Men titles, and surrounded by a whole world of comics I had not known to exist. I'd like to think I'm a little more informed about comic books nowadays thanks in part to stores like Chicago Comics, but my awe and intimidation still exist when I visit this store.
|You'll find most of the small press books in the back of the store near the back issues.|
It's obvious that Chicago Comics doesn't do much in small quantities. They have an abundance of toys, t-shirts (for men and women, thank you), magazines, mangas, kid's books, and even hard to find specialty DVD's. The back issues may be easy to miss, but only because they are stored in attractive black drawers in the back of the store rather than your usual tattered cardboard boxes. If you happen to come into the store on a slow Wednesday, it's dangerously easy to find other items to replace your comic book budget. The Star Trek flask was particularly tempting during my visit. No matter when you come into the store, expect the shopping experience to be a self guided tour. The staff here is not particularly warm, but for shoppers that like to avoid small-talk at all costs, it can be a blessing. The check out counter is raised just a foot above ground level, but it's enough to create a disconnect with the employees. In all of my visits throughout the years I have never seen an employee on the floor of the store (unless they have an automated restocking system, then they have to come out from behind that counter eventually). My interactions with employees have always been polite, but I feel like I'm usually doing most of the talking. Raphael, one of the store employees I spoke with on Wednesday, was happy enough to answer my questions and he even posed for a photo next to his recommended title, Morning Glories. This encounter was probably the longest I have ever spoken to anyone at Chicago Comics.
|Raphael poses with his recommended book, along with his review posted in the store.|
|Alex Ross's print seen left (exclusive to Chicago Comics) does the store mascot justice.|