Art, work: New Crown Heights comic shop will also have real artists working in-store

Anyone’s welcome: Dimitrios Fragiskatos is opening Anyone Comics on Union Street in Crown Heights.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

Talk about drawing inspiration!

A new comic-book store coming to Crown Heights will also offer studio space to real live graphic artists, and the owner is hoping the chance to work surrounded by shelves stacked with superheroes will be a big selling point for local cartoonists.

“When you’re in an environment that’s already catered to the job you’re doing, it might be more inspirational,” said Dimitrios Fragiskatos, owner of the forthcoming Anyone Comics. “That’s the idea.”

The ground floor of the nerd-porium on Union Street between Nostrand and Rogers avenues — slated to open March 1 — will feature comics and the odd action figure, while the downstairs space will be for artists and gamers, with an area set aside for patrons to play Magic the Gathering and other popular geek sports, according to Fragiskatos.

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

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

Midtown is known for its inviting glass facade and open, spacious interiors, which stand in stark contrast to the gloomy, dungeon-like interiors of traditional comic stores (think the Android’s Dungeon on “The Simpsons”) — and Fragiskatos says he intends to bring that same sensibility to his shop, with a well-lit interior that is welcoming for hardcore fans and noobs alike.

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

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

Many of the books on offer will have an “indie flavor,” although readers can expect plenty of the latest Marvel and DC comics that dominate the business, the owner said.

But as time goes on, Fragiskatos plans on stocking his shelves with whatever’s selling best — which means it is up to locals to shape what will be the neighborhood’s only comic-book boutique.

“It’s really up to what the customers in Crown Heights 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 comics fix at Anyone Comics (1216 Union St. between Nostrand and Rogers avenues in Crown Heights, www.anyonecomics.com). Opening March 1 (probably; but check in before you go — you know how these things go).

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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