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Comic Book Shop Relocates to Smaller, Communal Digs in Wicker Park

By Alisa Hauser | May 28, 2013 12:02pm
 After nearly 10 years on North Avenue, Brainstorm Comics plans to relocate to 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Suite 321 of the Flat Iron Building.
Brainstorm Comics
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WICKER PARK —  The owners of a comic book shop are shuttering their storefront and joining a communal arts space at the southeast corner of the bustling Milwaukee, Damen, and North avenues intersection in Wicker Park.

Matt Fagan, 39, co-owner of Brainstorm Comics at 1648 W. North Ave., said that the store, which was founded in 2003, needed to "either close or move" — so he chose the latter option. 

Beginning Friday, fans of Brainstorm Comics can find the store in Studio 321 in the historic Flat Iron Arts Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.  

Fagan called the new location, which faces North Avenue and is two floors above Santullo's Pizza at 1943 W. North Ave, "more spacious, more interesting, with better foot traffic."

For the past three weeks, Fagan and co-owner Sean Atkins, 35, have been gradually moving out of their old storefront, shifting their many thousands of books, movies and merchandise to the new space, about three blocks south.

Fagan said one advantage of the Flat Iron building is that it is in the heart of Wicker Park.

"We were sort of in both Wicker Park or Bucktown, so to be on the safe side we always said Brainstorm is in both...  Now, there's no question, we are definitely in Wicker Park," Fagan said.

Atkins added that the new location — which rents for half the amount as their individual storefront — will give him and Fagan time to "take a step back, reassess, rebuild the brand."

While the Flat Iron building is home to mostly working-artist studios, some of the tenants are businesses, such as the "I'll Cut You" hair salon, and Collaboraction, a theater company that produced "Crime Scene: A Chicago Anthology."

Atkins said Brainstorm Comics will be unveiling a new logo soon and plans to host a grand opening party on June 7, to coincide with the Flat Iron Arts Building's monthly "First Friday" event.