ALTERNATE REALITY, serving Chicago comic fandom since 1978  That's over 40 years of service!                                                                                                    We started at the Comicbook Emporium in February of 1978, Five & Dime Comics from 1983 to 1994 and Alternate Reality ever since, thats over 40 years of serving Chicago South Side Comic Fandom                                                                   SAVINGS! SERVICE! SELECTION! HISTORY! We have it all!


Good Grades deserve a reward, we give discounts for grade school kids "A's" and "B's"
Every week we pick through the new kids releases and review the titles you may be interested.


Every week over a dozen new titles suitable for ALL ages arrive at the store!

Marvel and DC may rule mainstream comics but they can’t come close to the impact Archie Comics has had on kids “of all ages” for generation after generation. Currently Archie Publishes the following monthly/bi-monthly comics and digests:

Archie and Friends
Archie Digest Magazine
Archie's Double Digest Magazine
Archie's Holiday Fun Digest Magazine (Christmas release only)
Archie's Pal Jughead Comics Vol. 2
Archie's Pals 'n' Gals Double Digest Magazine
Betty and Veronica Vol. 2
Betty and Veronica Digest Magazine
Betty and Veronica Double Digest Magazine
Betty and Veronica Spectacular
Jughead and Friends Digest Magazine
Jughead's Double Digest Magazine
Sabrina the Teenage Witch Vol. 2
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic X
Tales From Riverdale Digest Magazine

Unfortunately Archie does not have that strong a Trade Paperback presence. Currently there are a handful of volumes in print consisting of the "Archie Americana Series" (Best of the 40's, 50's 60's et al), and a smattering of "one-of" trades featuring Sabrina, Josie and the Pussycats and Sonic the Hedgehog. Recently they have begun experimenting with a line of digest/manga sized trades reprinting tales from Sabrina and Sonic.

All of the above are suitable for children of ALL AGES!

 The publishers of Superman, Batman, Justice League and many others currently publishes their line of Kids Comics under the "Johnny DC" banner. No stranger to the kids market, DC has been catering to the All Ages crowd almost since the Golden Age of comics (1940's)  Unfortunately the entirety their current line exists to promote the animated shows featured on Cartoon Network/Boomerang (both of which are owned by DC's parent company Time/Warner). This is not to say the books they produce aren't entertaining (far from it) however many times one gets the feeling that if not for Cartoon Network there would be no line of Kids Comics at DC. Currently the "Johnny DC" line of comics consists of these monthly titles.

The Batman Strikes!
Cartoon Network Action Pack
Cartoon Network Block Party
Justice League Unlimited
Looney Tunes
Scooby Doo
Teen Titans Go!

DC Also maintains a large library of digest sized Trade Paperbacks with several volumes on each of the above mentioned titles. Additionally there are also Trade Paperback volumes on Superman Adventures, Powerpuff Girls, Batman Adventures and others.

All of the above are suitable for just about any audience but be aware the Superhero titles contain some mild violence and occasional mysticism.

Considering Marvel's position in the industry they are a surprisingly late comer to the All Ages Kids market. However over the last few years they have made a concerted effort to "catch up" and produce more product for this market. Currently Marvel produces All Ages comics (more about that designation below) under the "Marvel Adventures" banner (formerly "Marvel Age"). Unlike DC, these titles all exist as independent entities and not to promote a specific show or network. The Marvel Adventures line currently consists of these monthly (except where noted) titles:.

Franklin Richards Specials (Occasional one-shots)
Marvel Adventures: Avengers
Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four
Marvel Adventures: Hulk
Marvel Adventures: Iron Man
Marvel Adventures: Flip Book (Reprints of other Marvel Adventures titles)
Marvel Adventures: Spiderman
Power Pack (Monthly, semi-regular mini series teaming up with other Marvel characters)
Spider-man Loves Mary Jane

Additionally Marvel also considers their Spider-Girl and Ultimate Spiderman books to be part of their All Ages offerings, although neither is published under the Marvel Adventures banner in comic book form.

Marvel has amassed a very successful line of digest sized Trade Paperbacks with several volumes on most of the above mentioned titles. They have also folded in several Young Reader/Teen titles into this digest line giving it a depth of content designed to appeal to a wider variety of youthful readers. These latter trades have subjects and themes which are appropriate for their specific age rating. Speaking of which... 

Special mention needs to be made of Marvels rating system (the only such system currently in place in the American comic book industry) Their five-level ratings designations include an "ALL AGES" rating and an "A" (recommended for ages 9 and up) rating among its tiers. All Marvel books are clearly labeled with this system making choices much easier for adults to choose appropriate content. As with any superhero comics there is mild violence and occasional mysticism to be found.
The publishing arm of Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest distributor of direct market comics in the world. They are the publishers of the Overstreet Price Guide, EC Reprint library and for our purposes here, classic monthly reprints of Disney Comics. From the 1940's through the 1970's Walt Disney Studios authorized the production of comics based on their various animated characters and properties. Several publishers over this period produced monthly books on Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Uncle Scrooge McDuck, Goofy, Pluto and the whole pantheon of funny animal characters (not to mention comic adaptations of classic animated films)
. Gemstone's line currently consists of the following titles:

Donald Duck and Friends
Mickey Mouse and Friends
Uncle Scrooge ($7.50 monthly prestige title)
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories ($7.50 monthly prestige title)
Christmas Parade Annual
Vacation Parade Annual

Gemstone also produces two regular digest-size Trade Paperbacks:
Donald Duck Adventures Digest
Mickey Mouse Adventures Digest
Additionally Gemstone has recently begun a series of standard size trade paperbacks reprinting classic Disney Comics material from the last 40 years.

All of the above are suitable for children of ALL AGES!
This is the roughly translated Japanese word for "comic books" and should not be confused with "anime" which just means Japanese animation. The two are often confused because 75% of all anime comes from manga (a cross pollination that American comic publishers look on with great envy). Just as all comics aren't for kids so too all manga is not for kids. In Japan the comic book medium is NOT looked on as a juvenile diversion but a medium of artistic expression just like movies or television. Content is further complicated by the differences in eastern and western culture and what is seen as permissible in one not necessarily being approved of by the other. In Japan the definitions of children's and adult's entertainments are more ambiguous than in the US, for example some types of sexual humor, often at the expense of adult dignity, are found in some works written for children. All this is mentioned as a backdrop for adults to consider when choosing the many manga titles currently available in the USA.

When considering manga a mention must be made about format as well. When American publishers first started reprinting manga in the U.S. it was done so in the standard comic book format and later collected as digest sized trade paperbacks. The comic book format was abandoned around the turn of the century (always wanted to write that) and now virtually all manga is released ONLY as trades, just as the always have been in Japan. Often adults who are looking for kids manga are surprised to find it exists only as a $7.99 to $12.99 book.

Finally if you read the DC COMICS entry above, the following is sort of the flip side of the same coin. Kids generally gravitate only to the manga they have already seen on Cartoon Network's Toonami and other cable outlets. If you hear your little one talking about how great Yu-GI-Oh is today and and wonder whatever happened to Pokemon, well the latter is probably off the air while the former is on the air. Which means a lot of manga's popularity smacks of what's hot right now or put another way: "What's the flavor of the month?"

Below is a short list of kids manga by publisher, after each title is the number of volumes currently in print. A "+" symbol means the series is currently ongoing. This list should not be considered the final word on kids manga (new titles are constantly arriving from Japan) and lists only product currently in print:

Little Snow Fairy Sugar, 2 volumes+

Astro Boy
Star Wars Manga
What's Michael

Blazin' Barrels, 7 volumes+
Cine-Manga's-various (Remember photo-novels? Today they're called Cine-Manga)
Mail Order Ninja, 2 volumes+

Beyblade, 14 volumes+
Hikaru No Go, 8 volumes+
Pokemon (more volumes than you would want to know)
Prince of Tennis, 16 volumes+
Whistle, 14 volumes+

All of the above manga have been rated suitable for ALL AGES/YOUTH. Because of cultural differences adults should review contents before purchasing for minor's.