Entertainment A Brooklyn comic store inspired by 'Fortnite' is delivering a new kind of experience for kids at a time when comic shops need to adapt to survive
A lawyer responded to impeachment probe in Comic Sans. Even the font’s creator cringed.
In France, the man behind Comic Sans got a Google alert about the kerfuffle. Vincent Connare designed the flippant font for a long-forgotten operating system, Microsoft Bob, that was intended to provide a user-friendly interface for Microsoft 95. Looking at “Rover,” who guided users through speech bubbles, Connare had the realization that led to Comic Sans: “Dogs don’t talk in Times New Roman!” But do lawyers? Connare, who describes his creation both as “my one-hit wonder” and “the best joke I ever told,” didn’t think so. He found Dowd’s use of Comic Sans “very funny,” he said in an interview on Wednesday.
- Joe Einhorn opened Loot, a kid-friendly comic book store, in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens in July.
- The store makes most of its money from memberships; for $30 a month, kids can rent an unlimited number of comics, one at a time, from the store's collection of 5,000.
- Einhorn said he wanted to open a comic store that would get young people off screens, something he said traditional comic shops struggle to do.
- Kids can also hang out and read and take comic-drawing art classes in the store, which took inspiration from the massively popular video game "Fortnite."
- Children's comics have surpassed superhero comics as the highest-selling genre in the comic industry, but Loot's collection is mostly superhero comics. Einhorn wants to introduce the genre to readers at a young age.
The first thing you realize when you enter Loot - a kid-focused comic shop that opened in July in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens - is that this is not your traditional comic-book store.
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Instead of giant posters and shelves that are common in conventional stores, Loot sleekly displays its comics in rows along bright, white walls. Action figures are confined to a single glass case. There are no electronics visible.
"It's a clubhouse environment," Joe Einhorn, the store's owner, told Business Insider.
Loot, located at 463 Court Street in Brooklyn, doesn't allow adults unless they're accompanied by a child. The store primarily relies on monthly memberships. For $30 a month, kids can rent out an unlimited amount of comics (as long as it's one at a time) from the store's library of 5,000, which is comprised of Einhorn's own collection and donations.
Kids get a superhero-inspired trading card with their name on it as their "membership card." When a comic leaves the store, a plastic jacket is put on it with a library card that indicates the date it was rented and the condition. Einhorn uses a journal to keep track.
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Einhorn wouldn't disclose how many memberships the store has sold, but said that sponsorships have resulted in 100 memberships for local children.
The minimalist approach is by design. Einhorn, who is 38 and has three kids of his own, said he wanted to open Loot for nostalgic reasons because comic shops were important to his development and he wanted the neighborhood to have one. But he also called it a reaction to the way that kids are spending their time now.
"We're looking for ways to engage young people in reading and writing besides playing with screens," he said.
'Fortnite' is a hit with young people - so Loot borrowed from it
Still, when conceiving of Loot, Einhorn drew inspiration from the wildly popular online video game "Fortnite," which.
In the game, resources such as weapons and ammunition are called "loot," which is not only the name of the store but of the store's rewards system (kids can gain points by renting comics and use those points at the pizzeria below the store).
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Einhorn is hoping to capture what makes video games like "Fortnite" so habitual with comic books, and that doesn't involve just reading them. Kids can read comics in the store at their leisure and also draw their own with the help of Loot's staff members who give art classes.
"Games like 'Fortnite' have existed for a very long time, but none of them broke through in the way 'Fortnite' has," Einhorn said. "There's a component of collaboration."
Children's comics are dominating the comic industry
Children's comics surpassed superhero comics, industry website ICv2 revealed at a conference last month. The popularity of children's comics has helped make book stores and online retailers the biggest channel for comic-book sales in North America, passing traditional comic shops, according to ICv2.
Comic shops have needed to adapt to survive. Some are buying from book publishers like Penguin Random House, ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp told Business Insider last month.
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Most of Loot's collection is superhero comics, not children's comics. Einhorn said that's because superhero movies dominate pop culture, and he wants to give children the broader context.
But he still thinks his model can offer a lesson to traditional comic shops that are trying to compete with book stores and online retailers.
Einhorn thinks one of the biggest reasons kids aren't attracted to comic stores is that they can't fully engage with the material. He thinks his library-like model, where kids can borrow comics, hang out, and draw their own, could work for traditional comic shops, too.
And he's only just begun.
Loot is holding a contest where kids can design their own superhero, and animator and sculptor Steven Cartoccio will turn it into an action figure. Applicants must be under 18 years old and turn in their designs, including details of the character's appearance and superpowers, in person at Loot. A winner will be selected on December 2.
Einhorn said he wished a place like Loot existed when he was growing up. Now, he can introduce a medium he loves to kids in his neighborhood - and maybe beyond.
Loot is open seven days a week, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. It can be contacted on Instagram via direct message at @loot.
Wine, comic book hero
From the manga phenomenon "The Drops of God" to the family saga "Bordeaux Castles", the wine has become a full-fledged hero of the comic book, a way to attract a new type of readership to comics.
Under the tent of the World of bubbles , it is the crush 44th International Festival of Comics in Angouleme : BD under the arm, fans wait patiently Eric Corbeyran , Jean- Charles Chapuzet and Luc Brahy dedicate the last volume of their trilogy "Cognac" , released during the Festival.
"It's a fiction, we discover a little what happens behind the scenes" in the world of Cognac through a journalist who ends up investigating a murder, describes Eric Corbeyran, already author of " Castles Bordeaux ".
With 310,000 copies sold since 2011, the first seven volumes of this series far exceed its other comics of the same genre on Spain, Italy or the latest in Burgundy. With this success, he plans to release this year another fiction on the Argentine and a history of wine in 30 volumes from 2018.
"It works very well," said his main editor on this theme , Jacques Glénat, but not as much as " The drops of God ". To figure in this manga of 44 volumes , it was "better than to have a nice note with Parker", assures it.
Only in France, four million copies have been sold since 2008. The Japanese have paved the way for a new approach: wine as hero of BD . Before, "there were characters of good wine drinkers" as the pillar of bar Celestin Dupilon in "Spirou and Fantasio", recalls Jean-Pierre Mercier, specialist at the Comic Strip Museum of Angouleme.
Exceeded on their own ground, the French publishers have embarked on the adventure, first with " Robert Parker, the seven heady sin ", "a biography a bit insolent", according to its author, Benoist Simmat, who wrote four other comics on wine with the same tone.
The offer was then diversified with comics rooted in reality, comics reports, some on specific topics such as natural wine ... Others like " Fades wine ", whose last album on the Loire came out in September, play the map of regionalism and humor .
"The other great moment of the recognition of wine after" The drops of God "is" The ignorant "Etienne Davodeau", published in 2011, according to Jean-Pierre Mercier. "It's a sort of cross initiation" between an winemaker inand the designer, says the author, surprised by the success of this book that has been translated into several languages including Chinese recently.
One of the vignerons drawn, Régis Langlade, is not surprised by this successful marriage between wine and comics: " Wine is sensory . We look at it, we see it, we smell it, we taste it. It provides a well-being comics, it's the same, there is color, the visual, it is touch.As a comic book, a wine tells a story ", said this oenologist who also appears in the famous comics "The photographer".
Ransom of success, he even saw landed on his wine farm "people who had made 300 km, the book under the arm".
Because the comics on wine attract mostly professionals and amateurs of good bottles . "The public of Cognac and Bordeaux Castles is first and foremost people interested in the subject They are not traditional readers of series of comics ", notes Eric Corbeyran.
The Bordeaux author prepares a series derived from "Bordeaux Castles" on gastronomy . Touching a wider readership, comics on this theme multiply by often associating wine as in the manga "Marriage", "The passion of Dodin-Bouffant" or to appear the series "Gourmet Crimes".
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They can also only play for 90 minutes on weekdays.In-game spending will also be capped at 400 yuan or $57 a month for those aged 16 to 18, and 200 yuan ($29) a month for eight- to 16-year-old gamers, according to CNN.