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Brooklyn's 'loot' comic book store sells kids' stories for 'old school' fun

Kids can buy or borrow from founder Joe Einhorn's new shop in Carroll Gardens, which will offer youths 90 percent of sales from titles they create.

Joe Einhorn's loot comic book store in Brooklyn's

Joe Einhorn's loot comic book store in Brooklyn's Carroll Gardens will sell comics made by kids and offer a lending library of comics for $30 a month. Photo Credit: Catherine Michelle Bartlett

Among the "Avengers" and "Spider-Man" books, Brooklyn's newest comic book store will carry titles written and illustrated by local kids.

The shop, named "loot" like the goodies you pick up in video games, is located above Frankies 457 Sputino in Carroll Gardens and opens Monday with more than 3,000 bagged and boarded comics that can either be bought or borrowed.

And loot will actually help kids produce and sell their own comics.

"They can explore a little bit of entrepreneurship and try to see if they have something to offer in the comics field — they can make and sell their own work. Earning that way is really powerful," founder Joe Einhorn told amNewYork on Thursday. "I am trying to go with what I know and provide an alternative for kids."

The store resembles a gallery, with white walls covered in comic books, but it is made with kids in mind. Rather than boxes to flip through, loot offers a more visual way to find titles, with comics displayed like artwork.

"It's merchandised in a way that some art could catch the eye of a young person, or any person, walking through," Einhorn said. "They might catch an artist or title and we'd follow up from there. We're trying to take on the vibe of how people like to browse visually."

The shop will be open daily for kids with their parents from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adults wanting to peruse the selection need to make an appointment by direct messaging the shop on its Instagram account.

Comics by DC, Marvel and Image and some manga titles are $5 a piece or can be borrowed one at a time for $30 a month.

Those who create comics will keep 90 percent of their sales, which converts into "loot" or credit toward their membership.

The store is also offering workshops that put kids in a collaborative environment, where staff can teach them the drawing/technical skills and confidence needed to produce a comic and team them up with other kids who are good at writing or coloring, for example.

Einhorn's idea is an extension of his upbringing in 1980s and '90s New York City, when comics could be picked up weekly at the corner bodega and stories were serialized, rather than delivered all at once.

It's also a way he spends time with his kids, away from "highly addictive video games," he said. He and his three boys often make comic strips together and have a long-running story they collaborate on called "Everything Land."

"'Fortnite' is absolutely brilliant and as a parent, it's wacky for sure, but when you look for answers and want to know why kids like it, in my opinion, it's because the cartoon-y, comic-y style it's drawn is what attracts kids," he said. "We're deconstructing the fun stuff you see in games and making it productive fun."

Einhorn, 38, who is also the founder of Fancy, the social e-commerce platform, said that loot is filling a need. He couldn't find any art programs around where his kids could make comics, so he thought, "Why don't we just make it?"

"What we're doing is something that impacts people's families and kids' lives in a positive way," he said. "It's old school but kind of new school, too."


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