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Last Friday Afternoon, on a quiet third floor corner of Block 37, The Comic Vault opened its second location to a steady stream of comic enthusiasts, nerds, and curious shoppers. According to Matthew Sardo, the owner of the store, his downtown location will sell 90% of what is sold in his original location on Montrose at Ashland.
Block 37 approached Matthew in January of 2009 and said they were planning on leasing several third floor storefronts to small businesses and calling it the Chicago Community Corner. Matthew tells us this idea sounded noble and made sense to mix local business with big business downtown but he’s not sure if Block 37 has changed their game plan after all the recent real estate drama. The Comic Vault has a permanent three-year lease in the mall but if things go well, they may move into a bigger space on the same floor before they renew their lease. In the mean time, Matthew and his partners in crime (Pictured: Everett), plan on filling all usable space in his 300 square foot location with as much product as possible. He tells us he’s building shelving to utilize the eighteen foot ceilings in the space.
The Comic Vault carries all the mainstream names like Marvel, D.C., Dark Horse, but also has some great titles on the independent and local levels. A few of Matthew’s favorites that exemplify local flavor is The Great Sandwich Detective which is an all ages Sherlock Holmes spoof about sandwiches by Dave Losso. Another local artist he's excited about is a cute girl who makes glass character magnets out of used comics. Matthew also shows us his selection of rare Avatar Press and Image Comics collections that are released each month but sell so quickly because his stock is mostly filled by The Comic Vault’s membership program.
The standard cover price of a comic book right now is $2.99 but books & trades are raising the bar up to $150 for an Absolute Edition or a very rare trade. In the coming weeks Matthew will also be bringing in new toys, t-shirts, Dungeons and Dragons stuff and will have a wide spectrum of nerd-centric objects. To stay current on whats new at The Comic Vault, we suggest you visit their Youtube channel for Everett's Pick of the Week.
· The Comic Vault [Official Site]
· All Block 37 Coverage [Racked Chicago]