By Janee Law
When it comes to understanding what a customer likes in a comic book, Menachem Luchins, owner of Escape Pod Comics, finds the answer through his customer's favorite TV shows, movies or novels.
“I will spend the time really trying to pin down a book that will work for them,” said Luchins, 33, of Huntington Station. “A big part of what makes us stand out is I try to stand by our catch phrase that comics are for everyone.”
One of the joys to owning a store is helping customers find the connection and discover a story that resonates with them, Luchins said.
“I’ve come in here a few times when I come and visit home [and] he’s always incredibly willing to help,” said customer Rosanne Libretti, 23, who was born and raised in Cold Spring Harbor.
As a kid growing up in Huntington, Libretti would go to another comic book shop, Collectors Kingdom, and said that she would have loved it if Escape Pod were around instead.
“It was a very like stereotyped image of an adult man interested in comics and collecting things, not really accessible for a 13-year-old girl,” she said about Collectors, adding that Escape Pod is open and has more variety.
Opening in February 2013, Escape Pod, located in 302 Main St. in Huntington village, offers a diverse assortment of comics, from non-fiction, to drama, to superheros, science fiction, fantasy and more.
“We have a whole kids and young adult room because I would say the strongest market in comics right now are 13-year-old girls,” Luchins said.
The shop, which is less than 1,000 square feet, also has a recommended section from Luchins and new books section.
As the latest editions come in every Wednesday, Luchins said, more than 100 new books are brought into the store. Selling comic books and some collectables, the layout of the shop is organized so that customers can explore less collectables, less gaming and more comics.
From last week, Nov. 25, customers were excited to get their hands on the latest comic by Frank Miller, “Dark Knight III: The Master Race Is Coming,” said Luchins, noting that the core to most comic shops are customers who reserve the new comics as they come out.
While comic books like Invader Zim and Rick and Morty are sold quickly at Escape Pod, Luchins said other popular comics include Saga, The Walking Dead, Batman, Ms. Marvel and Iron Man.
Living in Huntington for nine years, Luchins opened up the in the village because the town itself is very artistic.
Now working with a store manager, Luchins is in charge of ordering the merchandise, the finances and customer service, which he said is overwhelmingly positive.
“We’ve been pulling people all over the Island because they appreciate a store where I will give my honest opinion about something, I’m not going to just sell it to someone,” he said.
In his journey as a comic book enthusiast, Luchins said his store has continued the tradition of a particular shop that was previously located in Brooklyn called Rocket Ship.
“That was sort of the store I liked and when they closed I couldn’t find any other place,” Luchins said. “So in my mind, we’re sort of the Escape Pod from the Rocket Ship, carrying on the legacy of quality over collectability.”