What to Know
- Loot, a comic book store in Brooklyn, is now open and is geared towards getting kids interested in comic books
- A subscription-based plan allows kids to borrow an unlimited amount of comics or $30 per month, or can buy one comic book for $5
- Kids will soon be able to participate in classes where they can create and publish their own comic books
If you saw the kids at Loot, Brooklyn's newest comic book store, you'd think they were your average shoppers.
But they are all hiding a pretty secret superpower: each one of them is a comic book creator.
That's because the shop, which opened earlier this month in Carroll Gardens, is taking an interactive new approach on the comic book store formula by giving young fans all the tools they need to make their own comic books.
The shop features pages and pages of blank panels for kids to color in themselves -- and a catalog of more than 3,000 comics that kids can have full access to for $30 a month if they're looking for inspiration. They can also buy any comic book for $5.
Loot was founded by Joseph Einhorn, who also created the e-commerce site Fancy.com. He said it was "a rite of passage" to go down the block and buy Marvel cards and comic books when he was a kid. Now as a father to three young boys, he wants to touch upon that nostalgic feeling.
"I loved to draw growing up – I wanted to be a comic book artist and cartoonist," Einhorn said. "Drawing is a go-to activity in keeping kids entertained. I wanted to have something that’d be helpful for families that’s wholesome, and something I know."
Einhorn wants kids, including his own, to have the same experience he enjoyed growing up in New York City. However, he also knows that times have changed, with a vast majority of children having a large attachment to the Internet, smartphones and tablets, and video games. He noted the popular video game Fortnite as a reason to launching Loot.
"Fortnite broke out, I think, because of the artwork," he said, mentioning the game’s child-friendly cartoonish graphics. "Fortnite is also a social network, you’re in the lobby talking to friends and collaborating and making new ones. If we can recreate those mechanics in a different environment, kids can be more productive."
Inside video games are often rewards systems and incentives, which drive kids to keep playing – and spending money. Loot intends to follow a similar concept, but instead of kids spending money, they can actually make a profit.
And starting in August, Loot even begin to host classes that will allow kids to team up and create their own comic books for the store. They will be the authors, illustrators and entrepreneurs of their own works that will be able to be published and sold in store.
From making comics, as well as by borrowing and buying what is already in stock, customers can earn "loot," which translates to store credit. Einhorn hopes this strategy incentivizes kids to be creative and be themselves.
"I want this to be an on-ramp for children to discover the world of comics in an interesting way and an opportunity to meet other kids," Einhorn explained. "They can explore history and pop culture in addition to being entrepreneurs, and have a little fun."
Loot is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week, and appointments can be made by sending a direct message to Loot’s Instagram account
"We’re trying to make an activity for families that could introduce kids to explore and read more, exploring art and developing technical skills and confidence, while meeting new people."