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Chicago Comics: A place for the Modern Nerd or Throw-back Junkie

At Chicago Comics, the walls are packed with art and stories — everything from X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Superman.

Located at the Belmont Red Line stop, Chicago Comics has been in business since 1986. Five years before becoming Chicago Comics, the shop was called All-American Comics.

Cover scan of a Great Comics comic book
Cover scan of a Great Comics comic book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The shop is a place in which both the modern nerd and the throw-back junkie feel at home.

Eric Thornton, 40, has been working at Chicago Comics for 16 years.

“This was like my dream job when I was 12,” said Thornton.

The comic selection at the shop is colorful and varied. There are many new and old comic books, as well as a large selection of graphic novels and novelty items.

“The comics that I read as a child would probably be my favorite because those had the biggest impact on me,” Thornton said. “And I have the most sentimental value towards [them].”

The shop buys and trades comic books and records. For the writer or creator, the store has many “zines” and indie comics that are displayed on consignment.

Occasionally Chicago Comics hosts signings and special events. Last May, the shop had a meet and greet with Matt Kindt, an independent comic book artist and graphic designer.

The comic shop’s site is linked to a blog that posts a list every week of new comic books and merchandise.

Julia Groves, 34, said she shops at the comic shop once every six months. “I collect action figures,” said Groves.

Groves has an eye out for horror comic and film action figures.

Michael Cantu, 19, a student at Columbia College Chicago, said he goes to Chicago Comics to relive memories close to him.

Cover to All-American Comics #61, by Paul Reinman.
Cover to All-American Comics #61, by Paul Reinman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“My dad was into superheroes when I was a kid. We would watch the 90s Batman [the animated series] and I loved spending time with him doing that,” said Cantu. “It’s a father-son bonding thing.”

Thornton said he enjoys the comic-based Hollywood films.

“The more people we could get into, you know exposed to these characters, reading comics, the better,” said Thornton.

This year, according to the Chicago Comics’ Facebook page, the store will not be participating in a Black Friday sale. A comical announcement was posted Monday morning:

“Just to make it official, since quite a few people have asked, we are NOT having a Black Friday sale this year. Because it started to make us feel dirty inside.

Chicago Comics
Chicago Comics (Photo credit: jamacdonald)

Sorry to those disappointed. We will still be giving out free hugs throughout the holiday season though, for what it’s worth.”

Chicago Comics is located at 3244 N. Clark St. and is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday hours are from noon to 7 p.m.

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