Crown Heights new comic book store will also have real artists working in store • Brooklyn Paper

Talk about drawing inspiration!

A new comic book store in Crown Heights will also provide studio space for real live graphic designers, and the owner hopes the chance to work surrounded by shelves full of superheroes will be a big selling point for local cartoonists. .

“When you’re in an environment that’s already suited to the work you’re doing, it can be more inspiring,” said Dimitrios Fragiskatos, owner of upcoming Any Comics. “That’s the idea.”

The ground floor of the nerd porium on Union Street between Nostrand and Rogers avenues – scheduled to open on March 1 – will feature comics and a weird action figure, while the ground floor space floor will be reserved for artists and players, with an area reserved for clients. to play Magic the Gathering and other popular geek sports, according to Fragiskatos.

“It will be a store, but also a hub,” he said.

It’s more common to see bookstores closing than opening these days, but Fragiskatos is no newbie – he spent a decade managing the Lexington Avenue location of the venerable Midtown Comics on distant Manhattan Island.

Midtown is known for its welcoming glass facade and open, airy interiors, which contrast sharply with the dark and gloomy interiors of traditional comic book stores (think Android’s Dungeon on “The Simpsons”) – and Fragiskatos says it has intends to bring that same sensibility to his boutique, with a well-lit interior that welcomes both die-hard fans and noobs alike.

“What Midtown is doing is they get away from that closed dungeon feel that a comic book store has, they try to keep it open and really welcoming to people,” Fragiskatos said.

Of course, Any Comics’ modest space will only be a quarter of the size of the gigantic Midtown Comics, but Fragiskatos says he will manage by offering fewer toys and focusing more on the reading material itself. .

Most of the books on offer will have an “independent flavor,” although readers can expect a lot from the latest Marvel and DC comics that dominate the business, the owner said.

But over time, Fragiskatos plans to fill its shelves with whatever sells the best, meaning it’s up to the locals to shape what will be the neighborhood’s only comic book store.

“It really depends on what Crown Heights customers gravitate towards,” Fragiskatos said.

Fragiskatos says he will celebrate the store’s opening with discounted titles and artists on hand to sign autographs.

Get your dose of comics at Any Comics (1216 Union St. between Nostrand and Rogers avenues in Crown Heights, Opening March 1 (probably; but check before you go – you know how these things go).

Daniel K. Denny