He’s got a novel approach to sequential art!
A new kid-centric shop in Carroll Gardens offers a new twist on the traditional comic book shop, using a lending library approach instead. Loot, which opened on July 1, allows its subscribers to check out one comic at a time, as many times as they want, for $30 a month, according to the shop’s founder, in an effort to get kids away from their screens and into the printed page.
“The idea is that ultimately, we want kids to be motivated to consume and read comics,” said 38-year-old Joe Einhorn. “Part of it is nostalgia. This was a fun thing for people my age to do as a youngster. At the same time, we’re hoping to provide children with an alternative to highly addictive video games.”
Loot houses a library of over 3,000 issues available for rent — or for sale at $5 each — from the biggest names in comics, with a focus on superhero titles from Marvel and DC, along witha few collections of Japanese manga, according to Einhorn.
The shop owner said he also plans to use his second-floor space to host workshops, where Brooklyn kids can learn the art of comic-making themselves.
“We’re going to offer classes where you can learn technical skills, but also collaborate with others to make comic books,” he said. “I think it would be great is they end up making comics together. If one girl does the writing, and a boy does the drawing, and another girl does the coloring. It’s collaborative, and I think that would be a really good experience for these kids.”
In addition to the store’s innovative payment plan, it will offer store credit called “loot” to heavy-reading kids and young comics creators, which they can apply towards the cost of the monthly rentals.
“If they borrow 10 or more comics in a month, they’ll earn loot — which is like store credit,” said Einhorn. “Also, we’ll sell the comics that kids create, but the creator can earn 90 percent of the profits in the form of loot.”
In an effort to keep the shop kid-friendly, adults must be accompanied by children, or else make a reservation in advance.
“That’s playground rules,” said Einhorn. “This is about making a safe space for children, so we don’t want to have adults coming in by themselves whenever. It’s similar to a playground, where there are no adults without children allowed.”
Einhorn, who lives near his Carroll Gardens shop, hopes that the store will create a space where his youthful customers can let their imaginations run wild.
“It’s something I remember being enjoyable when I was young, combined with some modern takes on what the kids are interested in now,” he said. “It’s a place to discover comics in general, and meet like-minded individuals, and explore entrepreneurship.”
Loot (463 Court St. between Fourth Place and Luquer Street in Carroll Gardens, www.insta