All images courtesy Karina Mora
I found a place where villains exist, heroes can come to life, and colors capture everything your imagination ever could conceive. Step into a world where characters’ lives and adventures start with the turn of a page. Step into the brilliant world of comic books and the comic book store that sells them: Windy City Comics (111 E. Grand Avenue; Melrose Park).
Everyone can relate to a comic book character in some way or another. We wake up everyday being someone’s hero (maybe even being our own). Some of us deal with villains (maybe even our own inner arch nemesis). It was only last winter that I stumbled upon a place where you could find any super hero, any adventure, and that whimsical part of yourself that is sometimes lost in this mess we call life. Windy City Comics is more than a place to indulge your inner nerd. Smelling of fresh ink and new pages, Windy City Comics is like walking into another world. The dim lighting in the aisles puts the focus on the lit up stands full of colorful comic books and shiny new toys. Trolling Chicago’s dark avenues alone after the street lamps click on can feel like you’re walking the dangerous alleys of Gotham City, but but before you shriek for Batman’s help, step inside Windy City Comics. As soon as you walk through the door you are greeted with a friendly hello from one of the owners. George Munoz, part owner of the store, says “We are more like a family here than anything else and we want everyone to feel welcome.” I sat down with him to ask a few questions about the store and his take on comic books.
What made you decide to start selling comic books?
I have no talent for producing comic books but I have enjoyed them so much since a young age.
What was the first comic book you remember reading?
Uncanny X-Men issue 278
Where do you see Windy City Comics in 5 years?
Bigger store, more locations, and kicking ass!
Would you say comic books mostly have male readers or do a lot of females enjoy them as well?
We are trying to expand on female readers. Males tend to be more visual so they like all the drawings and colors that grab your attention. Females on the other hand seem to lean more towards long stories, which we have a lot of great long story comic books here as well.
What is something you would like people to know about Windy City Comics?
We love what we do! We love seeing old faces and new faces, this is a place to come and relax. We take care of our customers.
Is there any Latino comic books or comic book characters?
Yes but, sadly, not nearly enough. We hope in the future there is an expansion of Latino influence in comic books. But the ones that do exist are really cool and you can find them at our store.
Windy City Comics is the only comic book store in the area owned by Latinos. No matter who you are or what comic book character you relate to, you are welcomed with open arms. Don’t just take my word for it, check out Windy City Comics. As my visit drew to a close, I walked past the racks of comic books capturing heroes and their victories. I couldn’t help but pass them by to admire the comic books shedding light on the villains.