Features NY Life — 10 September 2010
Brooklyn Monster Factory: True Brooklyn Independence

Brooklyn Monster Factory
493 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215, (718) 840 5840

Blog: Brooklyn Monster Factory

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The phrase “buy in Brooklyn” is more than a trendy saying; it is a call to arms. When a person and/or persons have the courage- let’s just say it, the balls- to open up an independent business in our fair city, they deserve our support.

In 2006, brothers Jon & Michael Scondotto, the owners of Park Slope’s Brooklyn Monster Factory, attended the New York City Comic Con. On the way home, while going through their wealth of purchases they had an idea: Why don’t we open a comic store and do things our way?

After opening their doors, the importance of this model- local business supported by its community- grew exponentially. The patronage of their customers is of the utmost importance to the Monster Factory. In the words of the comic book business, these people are known as the diehard comic fans and are considered the life blood of the business. They are not casual readers to say the least. These loyal men, and yes some women, who eat and breathe comics enter the store, and pick up not just one book, but whole boxes of titles at a time that they religiously devour.

The words of Comics have changed a great deal in the past decade. Much of this is due to its brilliant writer’s such as Neil Gaiman (The Sandman,Coraline,Stardust). They have transformed once “funny books” into bold pieces of Fantasy that are read mostly by adults instead of the teenager’s they are largely associated with. The Graphic Novel is now a major part of the Comic world, with books like Watchmen and Sin City, being turned into feature films. Hollywood is now whole-heartedly embracing Comics, and it is a serious money maker. This change in culture has had a positive affect at the Brooklyn Monster Factory, as once non comic fans have now begun to flock into the store to pick up these legendary books.

For the Brooklyn Monster Factory, having a solid business model is crucial to their success. If they were going to open a store, it was going to be on their terms, and not a carbon-copy of how other New York City comic stores ran their businesses.  The Scondotto brothers’ love for running an honest business built on relationships extends directly to their customers.  Brooklyn Monster Factory is not a place where you will ever be looked down upon for the titles you buy—even if it is Buffy. It is simply not the way the Scondottos operate their store and that goes a long way.

Similarly, Jon Scondotto is serious about supporting local Brooklyn businesses in his personal life.  When they opened the store in 2006, Jon and Michael joined forces with Melanie and Jeff, the owners of the great Park Slope metal bar “Lucky 13 Saloon.” A collaborative launch party was thrown in honor of the new business and as a demonstration of solidarity between two Park Slope businesses. The friendship continues to this day.

Local Park Slope tattoo parlor, “Hand of Glory’s” artist Derik Snell (handofglorytattoo.com), has been a huge supporter of the Brooklyn Monster Factory as his specifically designed piece greets customers immediately upon entering the store.  Clearly, the tattoo, metal, and hardcore scene has been a huge support to the Monster Factory. Jon and Michael’s old friends from the hardcore scene have seemingly pledged a loyalty to them which helps a great deal when they can be applied to your business.

The Brooklyn Monster Factory is a prime example of small business in action. The dedication and time these two brothers have put into their business is something to be respected.  We encourage all comic book readers and non readers alike to venture out to the borough that is Brooklyn, and hang out in a store that will treat you like family.

Food For Thought:

  • They are the only comic store to offer 15% off when you buy five titles.
  • The Brooklyn Monster Factory holds two days in high regard: Free Comic Book Day and Halloween.  Free Comic Book Day is an annual event held the first Saturday in May in North America, where every comic book retailer opens their doors to the public, and provides them with free books. This is a great method for the stores to bring new readers into the fold.   Every year that the Monster Factory participates, the line down the street gets that much longer. The same passion is seen at the store on Halloween day, as Park Slope families can be seen walking around the neighborhood with their little ones in search of candy. The Scondotto brothers have the Monster Factory’s doors opened wide all day, welcoming all in.  “This is a great way to show our community that we are a welcoming business, with strong love for neighborhood,” says Jon Scondotto.
  • Friend them on Facebook.com

-  Alan Smithee

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