Made In Chicago: AlleyCat Comics

Lisa Fielding
July 23, 2018 - 6:00 am
AlleyCat Comics

WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Walk along the west side of North Clark Street between Summerdale and Berwyn and you might miss it. Open the gate and walk down the alley and you'll find, literally, a hidden treasure.

AlleyCat Comics opened in Andersonville about seven years ago, born from Selene Idell's husband's love of comics and his vast collection of them.

"I had a house full of comic books so I said either get rid of them or let's open up a shop," she said.

They started with 600 comic books.

"We started going around to different garage sales and collectiong. We had our back stock and then we went through main distribution companies. We were then stashing things in our teenie tiny apartment."

Now they just needed a storefront.

Then they saw a space tucked behind Subway and Starbucks.

AlleyCat Comics
WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

"We saw a for rent sign in the window and we thought it was the storefront on the sidewalk that was for rent but the owner said no and brought us down this gangway and I was like omigosh, this is the Batcave, this is so cool," Idell laughed.

But AlleyCat is more than just comic books.

"We also have gaming, we do D & D, and role playing. We have statues, puzzles, discount trades, pins and supplies and magazines, everything you could find in a comic book store and more," Idell said.

AlleyCat Comics
WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

Idell says they cater to the die-hard collectors and plenty new comic fans.

"We definitely have the diehards, people who call about hot editions. My favorite thing is when people come in and say they are new to comics and don't know anything. I just love showing them around."

A wooden file cabinet along one wall is filled with vintage pieces.

"My father in law built that. We didn't want to have old boxes with back editions. We have the 10-cent comics, the 12-cent comics. They will always appreciate [in value>. Here I have an X-Men, Featuring the End of the X-Men. It's from July 1968. These are fun to frame and put in your house."

AlleyCat Comics
WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

 Kid-friendly books are in the "AlleyKitten's Corner."

"We get a ton of families. Kids looking to find new things to read."

 "I'm here to pick up some Batman,to pick up some SwampThing, I want to get my hands on HellBlazer," said Jeff Newman, who lives in Uptown.

"There's a really great Green Arrow, Green Lantern that's really famous that I've never really actually read. I want to pick that up here too."

AlleyCat Comics
WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

 Idell says they consider themselves a bit of a secret hideout for loyalists but love when people discover it for the first time.

"The Comic world is kind of its own world. It's a whole other world but it's a really great place to find a family."

AlleyCat Comics -- a must-visit for all things illustrated and it's Made In Chicago.

For more information, log onto