Patrick Brower has spent years refining and honing his comic retail expertise (he calls the process "refoning", possibly trademarked), and he's put all his lessons learned to work for Challengers. If you need someone at a comic store to be able to go from amiable to gregarious straight on through to winning, all while divining the book you've needed your whole life without realizing it, Patrick's your guy.
Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 - Celebrate the release of a brand new emotional sci-fi story, STARGAZER, with writer/creator Anthony Cleveland at Challengers of River North!
Anthony is coming to Chicago for this event and we'll have copies of the Mad Cave Studios' STARGAZER #1 on-hand to be signed!
"Years ago Shae, her brother Kenny, and two childhood friends experienced a traumatic, unexplainable event that left Kenny scarred for life. Kenny commits himself to the belief that what they experienced was an alien abduction. Twenty years later and the friends have since drifted apart, but the sudden, mysterious disappearance of Kenny leads the group to reunite and discover the truth of what took place all those years ago."
Anthony will be signing comics and chatting to fans from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at Challengers Comics of River North (750 N Franklin St #103) on Wednesday, May 6th.
As you may know, Challengers is currently closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We have every intention of reopening our doors as soon as the State of Illinois says it's safe to do so. In the meantime, we've been getting questions from subscribers about how they can pay for and receive their comics. We're still working out some details, and there are larger solutions we hope to have in place shortly, but this is where we're at today.
To go along with everything we're going to list below, we've had some amazing help from the local comics community. Tim Seeley has donated a ton of his own personal comics stock, work he's done for many different publishers, and we'll be including some of it FREE with any purchase of $30 or more. Free comics! It's not a cure, but hopefully it'll make everyone feel a little better,
PAY FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS ONLINE: If you'd like us to get you an invoice you can pay online, just let us know. We'll add everything up the next time we stop by the store, you can pay online, and we'll mark your books as Paid For.
PICK UP AT CHICAGO BOARD GAME CAFE: Our friends at Chicago Board Game Cafe (1965 N Milwaukee Ave) have offered us the ability to leave paid-for orders at their pick-up window, for customers to collect. We'll be stopping by to drop off orders daily(-ish?), so just let us know when you're ready to have your books dropped off and we'll send you an invoice you can pay online. Once your books have been dropped off at CHICAGO BOARD GAME CAFE, we'll let you know! Oh, and since you're there, maybe grab some food to go! They are open for pick-up Tuesday-Saturday between 4pm and 7pm. https://www.chicagogamecafe.com/
SHIP OUT COMICS: If you'd like to have your books shipped to you, we can take care of that. We'll send you an invoice, you can pay online, and we'll pack up your stuff and ship it out Priority Mail. IF YOU WANT YOUR NEW COMICS SHIPPED, YOU NEED TO NOTIFY US BY 10AM WEDNESDAY MORNING. If you hit that deadline, we'll get your books in the mail that day, you should probably have them in hand the next day. If we receive a shipping request after 10am Wednesday, your books will go out at some point over the next week. We'll try to get them out as soon as possible, but we're just not going to be at the store often enough to turn books around quickly. If you're less concerned about speed and more concerned about quantity, you're welcome to ask us about in-stock product for shipping. We're happy to grab stuff off of our shelves to send to you. Just ask!
AT-HOME DELIVERY (WEDNESDAYS ONLY): If you live in Chicago (and are not an insane distance away from our Bucktown location), we can potentially drop your books off at your doorstep. For a gas-related handling fee of $5, we will be driving around on Wednesday, dropping off orders. Let us know your address, and we'll let you know if we can deliver to you. (There's only two of us, and one vehicle, so there's parts of the city that we just won't be able to get to on one delivery day.) All the rules and options for shipping apply here, in that IF YOU WANT YOUR NEW COMICS DELIVERED, YOU NEED TO NOTIFY US BY 10AM WEDNESDAY MORNING. After that, you'll have missed the cut-off for the week. Deliveries are only going to be on Wednesday, and we need to have everything ready in advance. Much like shipping out books, if you'd like to add anything to your standing orders, just let us know and we'll throw it on for you.
SOMETHING ELSE: If you have any suggestions on how we can get you your comics, please let us know. We're happy to try and work with you!
NOTHING, DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT: Everyone's life is being upended by the coronavirus outbreak. We hope that comics, subscriptions or otherwise, can help you through tough times. What we don't want is for your comics buying to stress you out. If you've got enough going on right now that you don't want to think about your subscriptions, that's okay. No one's books are going to be put back out while our doors are closed. No one's going to miss out on their orders. Do not stress about this. If you want your books, we want to work with you on getting them. If you don't, that's okay, take care of yourself, and we hope to see you when things settle down.
UPDATE March 21, 2020: We're closed, as are all non-essential businesses in Illinois (I know--we also thought we were essential!) until April 7th (if not longer). What that means is you cannot come in to shop at Challengers! But you can still get your comics! Mail order! Local pick up (at Chicago Board Game Cafe)! And more options coming real soon! This is all brand new to us, so we need a minute to have concise options. Also, since when is there no spell-check in this program? I know I for sure spelled concise wrong at first. I fixed it, but the program didn't tell me it was wrong. Huh. Uh, anyway, we'll update here as soon as possible!! Thank you!! Also, I found spell-check and turned it on and there were 5 more words in this paragraph alone I misspelled or miss-typed. Yeesh.
Yes, even we are posting about the Covid-19 Coronavirus. You can't deny that it is a concern and something to be aware of. Are you worried about catching the virus, but still want your comics? Are you choosing to self-isolate and want to make sure you have plenty of things to read? Challengers is here to help you out.
First and foremost, we promise to keep our shops clean and disinfected regularly. And if any of our co-workers feel even slightly under the weather, we’ll send them home (and scrub every area they even looked at). We don’t want you to get sick and we also do not want us to get sick. But, if you’re worried about actually coming in, even for the 2 minutes it would take to get your books rung up, you can always…
A) Pay over the phone and have your books ready for a fast hand-off as you literally run in!
B) Send a car! Hire a Lyft or Uber to grab your books. Pre-pay over the phone and tell us a driver is coming in, and we’ll have your books ready!
C) Have your books mailed out! Just shoot us an email asking to have your books shipped, and we'll email you an invoice with shipping costs added in that you can pay online. Most books ship out of our stores within 24 hours, and delivery in the city is generally next-day!
Your health and safety is important to us, and selling comics is also important to us. Be well! Be safe! Wash your hands. And Keep Reading Comics!
Your “To Read” pile is about to get significantly larger… --RECOMMENDED-- STARSHIP DOWN #1 A cultural anthropologist consults with US Naval Intelligence to investigate the discovery of an extraterrestrial ship buried under the ice for thousands of years in Siberia. The meddling Russians, Vatican officials, the international media spotlight, and her own insecurities all threaten her efforts to keep the fabric of society from crumbling. WICKED THINGS #1 Nineteen-year-old Charlotte Grote has been running rings about the police since her 9th birthday! Now, headed straight to Oxford and a future as a real detective, she's framed for murder! Given the choice between going to jail basically forever or joining the police, Lottie decides to hit the beat, all while trying to find the real murderer. Could the future of law enforcement be 5'2" with an extremely strong bangs game? Yes. Very yes. X-RAY ROBOT #1 Mike Allred's new bizarre superhero character X-Ray Robot! While conducting a new experiment at work, the fabric of Max's reality is torn before his eyes, and a robotic figure appears, claiming to be his 277-year-old self. The robot is able to "X-Ray" multiple dimensions and battles a nihilistic entity from another dimension who wants to take all life to its "Pre-Big Bang" status. --NEW BOOKS OF NOTE-- ARCHANGEL 8 #1 In a world beyond the sight of mortals, Heaven and Hell wage war for the souls of mankind. Principal among God's legion are seven archangels written about in religious texts for millennia. But there is an eighth archangel, known only from passing allusions in Apocrypha, who operates under a different code. Fighting without God's sanction, he faces the enemy on his own terms, and shows just how bad good can be. ARTEMIS & ASSASSIN #1 What happens when a time-traveling assassin and a spy from 1944 try to kill each other? DIE DIE DIE #9 New story arc! Senator Connie Lipshitz has taken over the cabal and will be using her vast resources to finally make the world a better place...no matter how many people have to die! Meanwhile, Barnaby is on the run and his journey takes him to some very dark places. Thankfully...you can only get your nose cut off once! HOTELL #1 You won't find it on any map, but if you happen to be driving down Route 66 late at night and you're truly desperate for shelter, sanctuary or secrecy, you might see a battered sign on the side of the road: The Pierrot Courts Hotel. - where many check in but few check out. OUTLAWED #1 The world has had enough of teen heroes. The crackdown has begun. And the lives of Marvel's next generation will never be the same again. RED BORDER #1 A young Mexican couple narrowly escapes the Juarez Cartel by fleeing across the border into Texas, only to be run down in the desert by the Cartel's most brutal thugs. Rescued by a mysterious local who takes them to the safety of his family's ranch, the couple soon realize their hosts have more than just skeletons in their closet. Trapped in a house of horrors beyond their wildest imagination, the army of assassins on their trail might be the least of their problems. RESISTANCE #1 A global disaster leaves hundreds of millions dead in its wake. Shortly after, a few thousand suddenly manifest superhuman powers. Are they harbingers of more perils to come...or Earth's last hope? ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY SUPER SPECTACULAR DC Comics celebrates Robin's 80th anniversary with an all-star creative team representing each Robin iteration across eight decades of history! From the high-flying adventures of Dick Grayson to the tragedy of Jason Todd, the enthusiasm of Tim Drake and the arrogance of Damian Wayne, the persistence of Stephanie Brown and the rebelliousness of Carrie Kelley-the mantle of Robin has been worn by many, but always represents one thing: a hero. SPIDER-WOMAN #1 Jessica Drew hasn't been feeling like herself lately (she's not a Skrull, we promise). When the angry, irritable, and unwell Spider-Woman takes a simple security gig to help get back on her feet, she finds herself besieged by unknown forces out to destroy everything around her. What's wrong with Jessica? Just how DID she get this job? And who are these violent lunatics who keep trying to blow her up? WHO CARES? Does Spider-Woman have someone to punch? THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS. --DON’T MISS-- BANG #2, ALIENATED #2, DCEASED UNKILLABLES #2, BATMAN #91, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #3, STAR WARS #4, X-FORCE #9, and ASCENDER #10. I have no hope of catching up on all the comics I’m behind on with as many New Releases as we have here… but it’s a problem I’m happy to have! ---------- GRAPHIC NOVELS ---------- BATMAN UNIVERSE HC BEASTARS VOL 05 CAYRELS RING HC CONAN THE BARBARIAN VOL 02 HELLS PARADISE JIGOKURAKU VOL 01 I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS IMMORTAL HULK VOL 06 KING THOR MONEY SHOT NEW MUTANTS EPIC COLL RENEWAL NO GUNS LIFE VOL 04 NOT DRUNK ENOUGH VOL 02 NOTES CASE OF MELANCHOLIA HC OBLIVION SONG VOL 04 POKEMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU PRETTY DEADLY VOL 03 THE RAT SAINT YOUNG MEN HC VOL 02 SCIENCE COMICS CROWS STAR WARS VOL 13 SUPERMAN VOL 02 UNITY SAGA TASKMASTER RIGHT PRICE TREES VOL 03 WITCH HAT ATELIER VOL 05 X-MEN AVENGERS VOL 01 ONSLAUGHT X-MEN MILESTONES MESSIAH COMPLEX ---------- MARVEL ---------- 2020 IRON AGE #1 2020 MACHINE MAN #2 AERO #9 ATLANTIS ATTACKS #3 MARVELS AVENGERS CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 CAPTAIN AMERICA #20 CAPTAIN MARVEL #16 CAPTAIN MARVEL #16 BOSS LOGIC VAR CONAN THE BARBARIAN #14 DEADPOOL #4 EXCALIBUR #9 FANTASTIC FOUR #20 GHOST-SPIDER #8 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #3 MARVELS X #3 AMAZING MARY JANE #6 MORBIUS #5 OUTLAWED #1 RUNAWAYS #31 SPIDER-WOMAN #1 DIE CUT SPIDER-WOMAN #1 YOON NEW COSTUME STAR WARS #4 VALKYRIE JANE FOSTER #9 X-FORCE #9 ---------- DC ---------- AQUAMAN #58 BATMAN #91 BATMAN #91 MATTINA VAR BRAVE AND THE BOLD #28 FACSIMILE EDITION DCEASED UNKILLABLES #2 DCEASED UNKILLABLES #2 HORROR VAR DCEASED UNKILLABLES #2 MATTINA VAR HE MAN MASTERS OF MULTIVERSE #5 JUSTICE LEAGUE #43 LOW LOW WOODS #4 LUCIFER #18 NIGHTWING #70 PLUNGE #2 ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY SUPER SPECTACULAR ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 1940 CVR ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 1950 CVR ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 1960 CVR ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 1970 CVR ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 1980 CVR ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 1990 CVR ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 2000 CVR ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY 2010 CVR ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY BLANK CVR SUICIDE SQUAD #3 SUPERMAN'S PAL JIMMY OLSEN #9 SUPES' PAL JIMMY OLSEN #9 OLIVER VAR TEEN TITANS #40 YEAR OF THE VILLAIN HELL ARISEN #4 ---------- IMAGE ---------- ASCENDER #10 BITTER ROOT #7 DIE DIE DIE #9 FAMILY TREE #5 MIDDLEWEST #16 SPAWN #306 TARTARUS #2 UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #5 ---------- OTHER PUBLISHERS ---------- ALIENATED #2 ALIENATED #2 QUINONES VAR ARCHANGEL 8 #1 ARCHIE & KATY KEENE #712 ARTEMIS & ASSASSIN #1 BAD RECEPTION #4 BANG #2 CVR A TORRES BANG #2 CVR B KINDT BLACK STARS ABOVE #5 DOCTOR TOMORROW #2 DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE #548 DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN #5 FIREFLY #15 GRENDEL DEVILS ODYSSEY #4 HEARTBEAT #5 HEIST HOW TO STEAL A PLANET #5 HOTELL #1 INVADER ZIM #50 LUMBERJANES #72 OVER THE ROPES #4 POWER RANGERS TMNT #4 POWER RANGERS TMNT #4 FOC POWER RANGERS TMNT #4 DON POWER RANGERS TMNT #4 LEO POWER RANGERS TMNT #4 MIKE POWER RANGERS TMNT #4 RAPH RED BORDER #1 RED MOTHER #4 RED SONJA AGE OF CHAOS #3 RESISTANCE #1 CVR A RAHZZAH RESISTANCE #1 CVR B DEODATO SOMETHING IS KILLING CHILDREN #6 STARSHIP DOWN #1 TRANSFORMERS #19 UNDONE BY BLOOD #2 USAGI YOJIMBO #9 VAGRANT QUEEN PLANET CALLED DOOM #3 VAMPIRELLA #9 VISITOR #4 WICKED THINGS #1 WICKED THINGS #1 FOC VAR X-RAY ROBOT #1 ---------- NEW #1’S ---------- 2020 IRON AGE #1 ARCHANGEL 8 #1 ARTEMIS & ASSASSIN #1 MARVELS AVENGERS CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 HOTELL #1 OUTLAWED #1 RED BORDER #1 RESISTANCE #1 ROBIN 80TH ANNIVERSARY SUPER SPECTACULAR SPIDER-WOMAN #1 STARSHIP DOWN #1 WICKED THINGS #1 X-RAY ROBOT #1 ---------- SIDEKICKS ---------- MARVEL ACTION SPIDER-MAN (2020) #2 STAR WARS ADVENTURES #31
Who are we and what is this podcast? Challengers loves ya! Well, *A* Challenger loves ya. The spread of coronavirus Covid-19 is, understandably, wreaking havoc on comic convention schedules. Paying rent shouldn’t be this complicated. Implementing ideas that we got from Comikaza’s Jackob Sareli, including Final Order Instagram posts and a Challengers Subscribers Facebook group. Volunteer Help Wanted. Curating the Chicago Board Game Café’s graphic novel section. DECORUM #1 comes out this week. You’ll probably want to buy it.