Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chicago Bears linebacker a big aficionado of genre comics

Lance Briggs sank into the squishy red upholstered chair at Challengers Comics on Western Avenue. He sank so deeply his chin peeked above the table top before him. And though he looked a bit uncomfortable, he smiled like a kid who just found the compatriots he never knew he had.

He turned to Tom Katers, who sat across from him, whose face was half the size of Briggs' neck, and he said, yes, he was like Katers, he was a member of their "secret society."

Briggs said later he doesn't usually admit to that, certainly not to his friends or his teammates.

Not that he's ashamed.

It's just that, well, you know, he works weekends, has this intense job, and doesn't meet many people as obsessed with comic books.

Indeed, Briggs, 29, may be the most nonchalant comic book geek in the world, understandably oblivious to the taunts and snickers that greet your average, physically less-intimidating hard-core enthusiast.

So there was Briggs at Challengers the other night, prowling its aisles, stooping to examine a cover, then adding it to the expanding mound of $3 issues he was gathering beneath his arm, his eyes never leaving the racks. He's a big reader of "The Darkness," "New X-Men," "Pitt," "Silver Surfer." His total bill, a couple of hours later: $154.54.


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