Challengers Comics + Conversation, the winner of the 2013 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, recently announced a second location. It will be located at 750 N. Franklin St, Suite #103, in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
Challengers is beloved by local creators, customers, and the industry as a whole, as evidenced by their Spirit Award for comics retailing. The owners showcase their knowledge of comics through the insightful Contest of Challengers, one of my favorite podcasts to listen to each week. We wish them the best of luck in their new endeavor. Check out the press release for the new location below.
Already open for just shy of 12 years in Bucktown, Challengers owners Patrick Brower and W. Dal Bush feel the time is right for expansion. “Comic books and graphic novels are better now than they’ve ever been, and the subject matter is so diverse that reading a ‘comic book’ is now an everyday occurrence for more people than ever before,” says Brower. “Having started Challengers in Chicago and seeing so many people buy their first comic is such an amazing feeling that we want to do more of it.”
W. Dal Bush is a life-long comic book fan and a long-time comic book retailer. “Patrick has been selling comics for over 29 years, and I’m coming up on 28,” says Bush, “But every day still feels new and exciting with the quality of material that is being created today.”
Challengers is a comic book store, not a collectibles store. They don’t sell priceless artifacts; they don’t sell investments. They sell reading material; and, in their opinion, today’s comics and graphic novels are the best form of entertainment available.
Since opening their first location in March 2008, Challengers has received “Best Of” awards from the Chicago Reader, Chicago Magazine and Newcity, and was awarded the comic book industry’s version of the Academy Award in the form of the Will Eisner “Spirit of Comics” Retail Award.
“Our family’s been in River North for 60 years. I’m thrilled to have Challengers as a neighbor. Good guys, great brick and mortar business and more foot traffic,” said Guido Nardini, co-owner of Club Lago restaurant and bar. “Can’t wait to raise a glass to their arrival. Did I mention my brother and I are their customers? Our commute just got very convenient…”
“I’ve been going to Challengers since they first opened,” said James VanOsdol, long-time Chicago on-air personality (WKQX, WLUP, WGN, WXRT). “The vibe is always welcoming, and I completely trust Patrick and Dal to help me find titles I’m going to love. Their enthusiasm for comics is undeniable.”
The River North Challengers will be open for business on Friday, November 29, 2019, at 11:00am.