When Challengers Comics + Conversation opened nearly five years ago in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood, owners Patrick Brower and W. Dal Bush expected their clientele would be predominantly men. However, families with young children soon began walking through the door.
“When we first started in March 2008, we were surprised by the number of families that would come in,” Brower told Time Out Chicago. “Over the years, that’s grown, and it seems like a large portion of our regular customers have just started to have kids. They’re just infants, but those comic readers will want their kids to read comics.”
So after a 2010 expansion into an adjacent storefront for a sequential-art gallery didn’t prove as popular as they had hoped, the owners decided to transform the 400-square-foot retail space into Sidekicks, a “comic shop within a comic shop” devoted exclusively to family-friendly fare.
He’s tearing up the Marvel U in Fear Itself, but now cartoonist Stuart Immonen is bringing his talents to Chicago’s Challengers Comics.From now until Aug. 8, Challenger’s art gallery will be exhibiting original art from Fear Itself as well as other work from Immonen’s ouvre. (say ‘Immonen’s ouvre’ three times fast).
Immonen has become an artist’s artist in recent years, providing aesthetically pleasing art that fits within the mainstream super-hero comics mold without sacrificing artistic flourishes and pure draftsman-like skill. From Legion of Super-Heroes to Superman to Nextwave, New Avengers and now Fear Itself he’s seen, and done it all… twice, probably.
Immonen will be on-hand tonight for an opening event from 7-9 p.m. Chicago time. They’ll also have an exclusive 11″ x 17 ” limited edition print that would look great at Robot 6 HQ (just sayin’).