(May 7, 2018, Chicago, Il.) When Atlas Comics opened for business in the spring of 1988 Ronald Reagan was president, gas cost 90 cents and comic books were just crawling out of the cultural basement. Atlas owner and operator John Stangeland remembers the season well. "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." When asked if he foresaw today's juggernaut of comics in film and television, Stangeland was equivocal. "Nobody could have predicted this amount of success - except maybe the Disney lawyers - but something was in the air, for sure." At the time, Stangeland's personal stake in the business was equally indistinct. "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."

Atlas Comics will celebrate its 30th year in business on Saturday, May 12th and Sunday, May 13th at its new location, 5251 N. Harlem, on Chicago's northwest side. "There's a lot of accumulated inventory after thirty years," Stangeland said. "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."

For more information on the Atlas Comics 30th Anniversary Sale and store hours visit, or go old-school and call 708 453-2110.


Atlas Comics opened in the spring of 1988. It has witnessed the birth of Image Comics, the death of Superman and the rise of the Walking Dead. It is acknowledged as one of Chicago's premiere destinations for vintage back issues, and as long as there are still people who care, it always will be.

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