A recent Q&A with Andy Spade on the WSJ site turned me on to this store – actually, more than a store; a grand concept, but on a small and human scale. Spade had this to say about the venture, which is pioneered by writer Dave Eggers: “He sells things like invisible paint. In Brooklyn, you have to swear in, and say you’re a superhero and will abide by the rules.”

Confused? Go check out the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. webshop, where they stock an array of products that may shed some light. Some are tangible, like a Secret Identity t-shirt emblazoned with the words Strive To Be Boring. Some, like the Invisible Plane, are not. In case you were wondering, The Invisible Plane can be purchased for the tidy sum of four million dollars.

While this all looks very cute, Eggers’ goal may not be immediately clear beyond the simple scope of curating comic book and cartoon-type children’s costumes and novelty knick-knacks. But if you look deeper, you’ll find the interesting tie to 826NYC, the New York chapter of a nationwide, youth-oriented non-profit creative writing program. All money going into the Supply Co. ultimately flows into the writing program.

The storefront, in effect, is the Secret Identity – but not too secret, it turns out. The whole point is to get passersby stopping by the store to pop into the writing center and see the work they’re doing with the kids. True superhero work indeed.

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