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April 20, 2009

Bestseller List: Challengers Comics + Conversation in Chicago, IL

Posted by tom

Challengers Comics + Conversation is our comic book store, and I love it. My name is Patrick Brower, and co-owner W. Dal Bush and I opened Challengers in an attempt to create and maintain the kind of comic book environment we always wanted to shop in. I think we did a pretty good job, and while I love showing Challengers off, I always feel weird talking about it. More so, trying to write our own store biography always comes across as self-congratulatory and conceited. To that end, knowing we needed a bio for this fine site, we decided to stop trying to tell you what we’re about and instead we asked the very next person who walked in to our store, Ms. Lynda Provenance, to explain why she shops with us. Here is exactly what she wrote:

“Comic book stores have a bad habit of being hole-in-the-wall type of shops with a dense air of ‘you’re not welcome’ chasing you. Challengers isn’t like that. They have plenty of windows to let the sunshine in and customer service is the top priority. With the motto ‘Comics + Conversation,’ they want to make sure you know it’s all about you and the comics. And with owners like Dal and Patrick leading the revolution, where else would you go? Both ready to help find where you should go after Watchmen or even take a broken list of things you like and come up with a book that just might be a perfect match for you (and if it isn’t, you can bring it back!). And if they don’t have what you’re looking for, then by golly, they’re going to hunt it down for you, Challengers honor. They are both an endless index of information and boy, do they love talking with customers.

“Everyone can love comics and anyone can be a Challenger. No, they don’t require you take a written test or even to sign your name in blood; just love comics. You’ll know once you step through the door the experience that is Challengers. They’re about building a community; a place where everyone is welcome and belongs. Why not come for an in-store signing (or twelve) and check out Chattingers (the Challengers Book Club) for after-hours book discussions and hey, stay for the podcast (Around Comics) that is happening later. Oh, before you leave, why not sign the Challengers wall? It’s happening; the word is getting out. You’ll begin to see the big ‘C’ everywhere, whether pinned to someone’s coat or stickered to their book bag. So the question is, are you ready to be a Challenger?”
While we were asking Lynda to do this, George B. volunteered to do the same. Take it away, George:
“Not your typical comic book store. It’s bright, airy, and roomy, with a well-dressed and courteous staff. They are also very knowledgeable in all things comic book-related. Plus, there is the added bonus of things you can find there that you never see at other comic book stores, like actual comic book artists working on their latest book at the artists’ table or people sitting in comfortable lounge seats, reading. This is not a typical comic book store; this is a comic book experience. Don’t take my word for it; see for yourself!”
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what Dal or I think of the store; it matters what the people we are fortunate to have shop with us think. They, you, and comics are why we do this and we are humbled every day we are allowed to open our doors to the comic-buying public. Thanks for reading this bio, for reading the following lists of the week’s bestsellers, and for reading and loving comic books and graphic novels in the first place! We’re right there with you.
Challengers Comics + Conversation
1845 N. Western Ave. 2R
Chicago, IL 60647
Web: and
Top 10 Graphic Novels
1. Wondermark, Vol. 2 Clever Tricks to Stave Off Death by David Malki (Dark Horse)
2. Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology edited by Jeff Yang, Parry Shen, Keith Chow, and Jerry Ma (The New Press)
3. Star Trek Countdown by Tim Jones, Mike Johnson, and David Messina (IDW Publishing)
4. Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia by Greg Rucka and JG Jones (DC Comics)
5. Wolverine: Logan (paperback) by Brian K. Vaughn and Eudardo Risso (Marvel Comics/ Marvel Knights)
6. Punisher War Journal: The Resurrection of Ma Gnucci by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon (Marvel Comics/Marvel Knights)
7. Popgun, Vol. 3 edited by Adam Knave (Image)
8. Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1 by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni Press)
9. Mighty Avengers, Vol. 4: Secret Invasion (paperback) by Brian Michael Bendis, Khoi Pham, and Stefano Caselli (Marvel Comics)
10. Hellblazer Presents Chaz: The Knowledge by Simon Oliver and Goran Sudzuka (DC Comics/Vertigo)
Top 10 Manga
1. Naruto, Vol. 42 by Masashi Kishimoto (Viz)
2. Inu Yasha, Vol. 37 by Rumiko Takahashi (Viz)
3. A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)
4. Naruto, Vol. 43 by Masashi Kishimoto (Viz)
5. Naruto, Vol. 44 by Masashi Kishimoto (Viz)
6. Pluto 001 by Naoki Urasawa and Ozamu Tezuka (Viz)
7. Oishinbo, Vol. 2: Sake by Tetsu Kariya & Akira Hanasaki (Viz)
8. Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Vol. 1 by Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki (Dark Horse)
9. Zatch Bell, Vol. 24 by Makuto Raiku (Viz)
10. Honey Hunt, Vol. 1 by Miki Aihara (Viz)