“Loot is for kids only—adults without children are not allowed in,” says Joe Einhorn, the father of three who opened the comic-book shop for kids in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, nearly a year ago. The store has an inventory of more than 3,000 comic books that it sells for $5 each, and doubles as a studio where kids can learn how to read, write, draw, and create comic books. Despite having no phone, Web site, or e-mail—families are encouraged to visit in person, or on Instagram—the store has been a huge hit and counts the artist Kaws, the actor Ashton Kutcher, and the model Emma Heming Willis (wife of Bruce) among its Instagram followers.
Before the coronavirus, Loot was open every day, but when the store was forced to close, in March, it quickly transitioned to the digital sphere. Loot now offers more than 70 free video lessons on its IGTV channel, and has provided artwork for families to download, print, trace, and color in. The store recently held a contest in which kids designed their own superhero, the winners getting to make an action-figure version of their character.