South Side Comic Book Show Continues To Grow, Draw In New Fans

PALOS HEIGHTS, IL — Rocky Sodin has been collecting comic books long enough to witness the evolution of a hobby that continues to attract fans of all ages.

Yet, in the five years that the Alsip resident has put on the South Side Comic Book Show, Sodin has not only seen participation in the event grow but has watched as the next generation of comic book enthusiasts have turned out.

This year’s event will be held from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Alan B. Shepherd High School in Palos Heights. The show features more than 100 tables of comic books of various genres, interactive activities, giveaways, and the opportunity for comic book lovers of all ages to come together.

Sodin appreciates how interest in the event has grown since 2018 and says that the fact that more younger readers are discovering comics of the past shows the wider appeal of the hobby.

“I don’t know if it’s the (comic hero-themed) movies or the shows which sometimes will bring the readers in,” Sodin told Patch. “But we’re always trying to get the next generation (of readers) into comics.”

The annual comic book show that Sodin puts on with his family and a few members has more than tripled in size since the inaugural event. This year’s show features 33 comic book dealers along with artists that make the show one of the biggest of its kind in the region. The show features everything from classic comics to pulp fiction, crime noir, and graphic novel-themed books to other themes that have carried on the tradition of good versus evil storylines that Sodin says tend to stand the test of time.

The show will also include a create-your-own comic station which also draws enthusiasts in as opposed to shows that only include dealers selling books. Many young readers are still reading classic comic books that may have been passed down from generation to generation. However, with comics now available digitally and through local libraries, the in-person event also allows attendees to see a variety of comics from over the years.

The South Side Comic Book Show includes more than 100 tables of comics, constumes and other memorabilia that celebrates the comic book hobby. (Photo by Lorraine Swanson/Patch)

“You still have the Batman’s and the Spiderman’s – the core heroes that are still recognizable,” Sodin said. “That’s what draws the kids in first and then you start to branch out and see how much is available as you get older.”

For Sodin, who started reading comics at age 8 and whose family owned and operated a comic book store in the late 80s and early 90s, hosting the growing event always brings him a lot of happiness. While he has gone to similar shows over the years, the fact that there wasn’t much in the way of live events in the South Suburbs gave him the idea to host the family-friendly event each year.

Here’s a list of vendors, artists, and writers who are expected to attend this weekend.

  • Rick Goldschmidt—Rankin Bass Historian/Biographer
  • Darryl Young—Artist
  • Art Baltazar—Artist
  • Matt Hansel—Artist
  • Doug Klauba—Artist
  • Tom Fenoglio—Fenom Comics
  • Manny Valazquez— Filmmaker
  • Jordan DeChene— Cosplayer Extraordinaire
  • The Windy City Ghostbusters —Cosplayers for Charity


  • Marvin Sanders
  • Dave’s Comic Vault
  • Jim Simants
  • Jen Courtney
  • Kensai Productions
  • Leo Guerrero
  • Lou Bielakowski
  • AGH Comics
  • Grail Gargoyle Comics
  • Clan McDonald Comics
  • Alternate Reality
  • Roger Webb
  • Ron Baguisa
  • Paul Maiellero
  • George Theofanopoulos
  • Power Comics
  • Ignacio Ramos
  • Coopers Comics
  • Video Voe Comics
  • Grim Comics
  • Iggy’s Comics & Cards
  • Dave Moroder
  • 3 Keys Comics
  • Damian Espinola
  • Alexander Velasco
  • Winston Gambro
  • Planet Daystorm Studios
  • Jarrell Hartnett
  • Mike Black
  • Brent Butcher
  • First Aid Comics

Artists/Toys/Pop Culture/More

  • Tom Gallagher
  • Junction Collectibles
  • Hogan’s Heroes
  • ToyWorld
  • Chameleon Collectibles
  • JoJo’sToys+ Collectibles
  • Kevin Martinez
  • Dean Serna
  • Crusader Hobbies
  • Cheryl Gracia
  • Rey Mendoza
  • Redemption Vault
  • Collector’s Choice
  • George Macas
  • Lexographic Press
  • Joe Galvan
  • Arthur Banks
  • DMR Books
  • Matt Bieniek

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