Today is the first Saturday of May, which is also known in the Comic book world as Free Comic book day! For one day only, select Comic book stores across America will be participating in this seven year tradition that involve free comics, special signings and other special events. What are you waiting for? Zip out of bed and log on to the FCBD locater to see which stores will be participating.
As for this Bat Girl, I just may be at Challengers from noon to 3 gettting an autograph or two from the creator of Savage Dragon, Erik Larsen, as I listen to some tunes from Heroes For Hire. Who said nothing in life was free?
By creating an in-store and on-line experience, proprietors Dal Bush and Patrick Brower are bringing the entire community — including Bucktown and Logan square — to get involved in what’s great about comics, Comics + Conversation.
As soon I walked in the store, I felt as if I was literally stepping foot into a page of comic book! The store is saturated in reds, and the windows are animated with art from local artists such as Tim Seeley,Mike Norton,Scottie Young,Chris Giarrusso’s, and Art Baltazar. The center aisle is home base to mainstream and independent comics, while the graphic novels are guarded on the back shelves by legends such as Iron Man and Spiderman. As I made my way through and around the store (which took me about four hours,) I began to re-visit the 80s child within myself, and found myself at the art table in the back where I created a masterpiece of stick figures (I should have read the “how to” sections behind me).
17 years in the making, Challengers is providing the community with a small store atmosphere that you can really feel like you are a part of. Both Patrick and Dal are allowing the community to do something that you can’t do through websites and larger stores — allowing them to both buy and be excited about comics as much as they are. Only after visiting the store, customers are able to sign up for the challengers website where they can talk about comics, post reviews, check out upcoming events, or spend countless amounts of hours staring at the Challenger’s store web cam. Challenger’s has a fresh new perspective of putting the fun back into comics and meeting new people along the way. So long gone are the days of bickering with fellow comic book fans on which is better, DC or Marvel, you can now battle it out on the intranet. Who knows, you just might run into them at the store!
Don’t forget to graffiti the wall on the way out and to stop by the store on June 18 for DC Comics “TRINITY“ signing with Chicago’s own Mike Norton. Check out Newsarama’s exclusive preview of artist pages for DC’s Trinity # 3.
Challengers,1845 N. WESTERN AVE. 2R, CHICAGO, IL 60647 – 773.278.0155
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