BURNSVILLE, Minnesota (WCCO)– The owner of a comic book store in Burnsville makes comics accessible to people of all ages. Eric Childs became the owner of Mind’s Eye Comics in 2018, his favorite comic book store for over 20 years. He moved the Eagan Company to Burnsville and continued to fill the shelves with pillars of fiction and non-fiction.
“When I am in this space, I am at home. This is where I am myself, ”Childs said. “My passion is just outside of me. I just want to share it with everyone and continue to build on this community. It’s just great to be in a place where I’m among my fellow comic book geeks.
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The store is located at 200 East Travelers Trail # 105 and is the only black-owned comic book store in Minnesota. In addition to comic book classics, Childs offers graphic novels covering black history and independent titles from minority creators and publishers.
“There’s no part of our past that we as minorities don’t play a role,” Childs said. “My mission is to make sure that the things that are important to me, that I think are important in general, always get the platform they deserve. “
The Kansas City native first discovered the comics of his older brothers, both of whom were interested in comic book art and storytelling at an early age. A fourth grade teacher encouraged his passion. Childs says books have become an “inspiration, a getaway, an escape” – his biggest hobby and hobby.
“It contrasts so much with the area I lived in. It was like a wonderful world,” Childs said. “For me there were little nuances of justice and heroes stepped in to thwart some evils and crimes that really appealed to me. Being able to have the power to make a difference or change something within your community, that stuff resonated with me. “
Superman has become his favorite superhero.
“His greatest power is that even though he’s blessed with all of these great abilities and doesn’t necessarily need to help anyone – doesn’t necessarily need to be good – but by the simple fact that ‘he chooses love, it is in choice that our power is realized, “Childs said.
The children’s choices appear on the shelves of his store.
“Whatever you see, I have invested my heart and soul in every aspect, every nuance and every placement,” Childs said. “Everything in this space is an entrance to my mind.”
His mother helped him shape his perspective on the value of inclusion.
“I found that old photo… kind of a Hollywood glamor shot. I was like, ‘Wow mom you’re beautiful!’ and she said to me, ‘Oh, do you mean it?’ Childs said. “She told me that when she grew up in the pages of books in school, no one was ever like her. My mom told me she didn’t think she was beautiful.
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Now a father himself, Childs wants to make sure his own daughter can also end up in the books.
“I think about this stuff all the time. If I give her a book, I want her to be able to see herself somewhere in this story, ”Childs said. “It doesn’t have to be all the books, but I want her to be able to see herself and my son.”
He wants to make sure that all of his clients can do the same.
“It is important to me that all people, people of color in particular, understand in our nation [that]… We have a lot of inputs, ”Childs said. “I want you to know that you are part of this community. “
He calls the industry an example of the world’s potential.
“I think the comic book industry is a reflection of who we really should be. It’s an industry where we write and create new work that speaks to people for a lot of different reasons, ”Childs said. “We should be human beings who create wonderful works that inspire, that promote, that engage that do a lot of positive things in our world, us as human beings. “
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Vans Foot The Bill Initiative
Recently, Childs had the chance to honor his parents and others from his personal journey through the Vans ‘Foot the Bill’ initiative. The program is helping small businesses weather the pandemic. The design for Mind’s Eye Comics included images of important people in Childs’ life, including his father.
“Daddy was a real human being, maybe he was old fashioned, but he was the kind of guy who if he said something, gave you his word and shook your hand, it was serious business,” he said. said Childs. “I wanted to make sure they [parents] were on the shoe.
The shoe also includes an image of Damon Lindelof, an Emmy Award-winning screenwriter.
“He found me because of the pandemic and what was going on in the Twin Cities,” Childs said of the connection. “He’s a comic book fan himself, so he searched black-owned comic book stores… and he reached out. He told me that Mind’s Eye should stay wide open.
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To learn more about designing Mind’s Eye Comics for Van’s “Foot The Bill” initiative, Click here.