Mind’s Eye Comics (MEC) carries all of the comic books you’d expect from any other store but there’s a twist: it’s the only Black owned comic book store in the entire state of Minnesota. It’s the sort of place that a comic enthusiast can fall in love with but also, the type of place that one can find a graphic novel about the life of James Brown. Mind’s Eye has been in business for over two decades and with each sale, it is bringing imagination and education to the culture.
While MEC is stacked with Superman, Batman and X-Men comics, it also features a healthy selection of books and animated works that cover the history of Black people. According to owner Eric Childs, his store has a unique opportunity to present Black history to children, in a different way. Visual art allows Childs to present Black history in a way children will more readily accept and he takes that opportunity seriously. Childs is intentional about displaying graphic novels that cover Black history and that commitment extends well beyond February.
MEC was established in 1998 by Andrew Troth. Troth had one simple determination, to create the best comic book store. He wanted to open the kind of store that he’d enjoy shopping at. It would be a sort of mythical place that only existed in his “Mind’s Eye.” MEC is noticeably welcoming and courteous, catering to the most seasoned collectors and novices, alike. Andrew retired after 20 years of successfully running the business but the store would live on. Erich Childs, who’d been a longtime customer, stepped in and runs the business to this day.
There are many ways to present Black history to children and a variety of settings to do so. Eric Childs has merged his love of comics with the love of history and in doing so, is educating a new generation, in an entirely new way. MEC is catering to the child in all of us and at the same time, nurturing the mind. Comics are not just fun and games, at MEC.