Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

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Review

of an Exhibit

by Daniel Spock

Published on April 01, 2008 , Modified on May 23, 2017

  • Description:

    The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. occupies a nondescript storefront in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. Though it is not a museum exhibit strictly speaking, I think it provides an excellent and imaginative example of the kind of complete consistency of design and purpose that should distinguish any museum exhibit of merit.

    Imagine a world where a superhero has to shop like any other business consumer and you will get the gist of this delightful hardware store especially for those among us lucky enough to be endowed with superpowers. The store takes its prosaic hardware store esthetic down to the most minute details of generic packaging and price labels. It all has a frighteningly plausible feel. There is a “capery” featuring a wide selection of capes which can be flight tested on a special fan apparatus. There are wall climbing grappling hooks and suction cups, unitards for heros and sidekicks, boxed secret identity kits, $10 cans of “muscles in heavy syrup” and bottles of “breathable water,” in short, everything a budding superhero needs to save the world. Wall signs read “Please avoid the robot — It will not avoid you” and “The rooftop landing pad is closed to the public at this time. We regret the inconvenience.”

    When someone makes a purchase at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., the customer must take this solemn Vow of Heroism: “I (your full name) also known as (your superhero name) promise always to use my superpowers for good. I promise that I will use the items purchased here today safely and in the name of justice. I promise to remain ever vigilant, ever true.” The merchandise is then delivered to the cutomer by means of an industrial chute mechanism.

    But the coolest thing of all is that a secret passage concealed behind the store’s shelving contains an educational center, called 826 NYC, which offers creative writing and literacy programs for kids. No, I’m not kidding. Brooklyn Super Hero Supply Co. was founded by novelist and McSweeney’s literary journal editor Dave Eggers.

Latest Comments (2)

As seen on TED

by Jonathan Cooper - April 11, 2008

This and other ‘826’ sites are described, and illustrated in Dave Eggers’ 2008 TED Talk: ‘Once Upon a School’: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/233

And on the Other Coast... Pirates!

by Nina Simon - April 17, 2008

Dan,

Great to read about the Brooklyn-based capery. I wrote a post about 826 Valencia (the San Francisco version) for Museum 2.0 that you can view here: http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2008/03/826-valencia-education-humor-pirates.html

I think 826 has some wonderful lessons for us about humor and getting a diverse audience in the door.

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