It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a new series of superhero-themed buttons from Chicago’s own Busy Beaver! On Friday night, the 16-year-old button company released its next installment of 15 designs (by the likes of Jeffrey Brown, Lilli Carré, Anders Nilsen, and Jay Ryan), which will shortly fill the 18 coin-operated Button-O-Matic machines located in bars, restaurants, and generally hip venues around town, from Hot Doug’s to Reckless Records. More than 400 button-loving locals, some in masks and capes, showed up to toast the occasion at Busy Beaver’s Logan Square headquarters; browse our photos of the party below.

The Superhero! series will be available in Chicago, as well as in Button-O-Matics in 13 other cities nationwide, for the next year. Up next for Busy Beaver is the October 15 launch of its Button Museum website, an online archive of some 5,000 historical buttons collected by Busy Beaver’s founder, Christen Carter, and her brother Joel, including examples from 1896, the year the pinback style was patented, and self-aware models from the 1960s (“My button loves your button”). Stay tuned to for details. Want to peruse the collection in person? The bricks-and-mortar Busy Beaver Button Museum, which Carter says is the first and only of its kind, is open Monday through Friday from 9 to 5:30 and by appointment inside the Logan Square storefront, a.k.a. Beaver Dam.


Photography: James Trevenen