Location: 2641 N Kedzie in Logan Square
Public Transit: Nearest buses are the Diversey (76) and Milwaukee (56); Nearest train is the Blue line Logan Square stop.
G-Mart Comic Books has flown under my radar for several years, and I suspect that may be the case for many Chicago comic book fans. Geographically, it is not easy to get to for a Northsider like myself. Located in Logan Square, it took a good hour to reach, and even when I was in the neighborhood, I still managed to miss it despite being across the street. After wondering too far down Kedzie, I stopped at a local 7-11 and asked the employees if they knew where the comic book store G-Mart was located. Befuddled looks then led to long explanations about how no no, not around here, maybe on the North side, but, no way man, I don't think so. In truth, I was just about a block north of where I needed to be, but you'd think I was asking where to find Lake Michigan. G-Mart isn't quite the rarity the locals might think, but it is true that the West side of Chicago has less stores than the North side. G-Mart could definitely use some more obvious signage to indicate its presence considering it sits at a major intersection within view of the Logan Square blue line, and yet I have never noticed this store, even when I was in search of it.
|Hey, I have a Batman standee in my living room, too!|
|The new issue selection is quite large and varied, but you'll have to request any back issues|
On to the merchandise! G-Mart has a decent selection of new titles, with the issues arranged by DC, Marvel, and Independent. G-Mart places some of their new trades on the same shelves as the individual shelves. As retail therapy continues, this is quickly becoming a re-occuring pet peeve of mine. I have yet to see one store successfully, nay, consistently accomplish this task. Visually it breaks up your line of sight, like seeing a semi parked amongst cars. A "new this week" trade shelf is sorely missed in many shops, not just G-Mart. Considering how many trades are released each week of long finished series, re-releases, and graphic novels, these don't have a place among the new issues, so why find a spot just for the latest Amazing Spider-Man reprint?
The majority of the trades are organized by genre, many of which are ones I haven't seen before. There are sections for music, critically acclaimed titles, superhero prose, GLBT, Noir, zombies, and a few creator specific ones (someone who works here is a big Straczynksi fan). Organizing books in this ultra-detailed manner gives the impression of a much larger selection than is actually present in the store. This is surely a good thing since I found myself noticing books that probably would have been lost in the shuffle if they had simply been alphabetized. The more stores I see, the more certain I am that arranging titles by genre is more successfully accomplished with trades than floppy issues. G-Mart also has a small selection of back issues that consist of quarter books and dollar books. Some of these titles are debatable as to which bin they belong in considering books in both bins look pretty beat up without bags and boards, but either way you can easily find good deals.
|Molly (left) holds up an issue of Unwritten, a title recommended by herself and Ryvre (right)|
So there appears to be some sort of "blizzard" descending upon Chicagoland at the moment; luckily I have a few stores yet that I have visited but simply haven't published. I will also be posting a mid-point update / reflection once I hit my 10th store! You can see the progress here on the blog, and also on this handy google map where I mark the locations of the stores as I visit them.