Bleeding Cool is always running stories about comic book stores closing down, but the comic book retail business isn't all bad news. We guess. Chicago's Atlas Comics, founded in 1988 and a mainstay of the city, has sent out a press release announcing the celebration of their 30th Anniversary in the business. The shop even survived a four-year stint as an online-only business after losing their lease in 2013.
In the press release, owner John Strangeland described the atmosphere when Atlas Comics started and how it compares to today:
When we opened, comics were taking their first real steps into mainstream media. Tim Burton's Batman movie was only a year away, and new creators like Frank Miller and Alan Moore were starting to be taken semi-seriously by critics. It definitely felt like comics were growing up. Nobody could have predicted this amount of success – except maybe the Disney lawyers – but something was in the air, for sure. I had no idea when this all started that comic books would be my life's work – but here I am, thirty years later. I'm exceptionally grateful to my customers that I don't work in a toll booth.
As to what the 30th Anniversary celebration will look like, Strangeland answered that as well:
There's a lot of accumulated inventory after thirty years. A ton of comics, especially, and I'm dredging out new inventory every day until the 12th. Everything will be on sale, including toys, trade paperbacks, hardcovers, supplies, memorabilia, and an enormous selection of vintage comics. There will also be non-stop music, movies and cartoons, as well as esoteric conversation that is unlikely to be heard anywhere else. If you haven't been in for a while, or even if you don't collect anymore, stop by just to say hello. It's going to be a party.
The celebration will be taking place on Saturday, May 12th and Sunday, May 13th at Atlas Comics' new location, 5251 N. Harlem, on Chicago's northwest side. For more info on the sale, you can find them on Facebook, on the web, or by phone at 708 453-2110.