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Projections — 7/30/2014

What a week. Sometimes I get burnt out working so much. I even joked with others that I didn’t close this year because I signed a two year lease. Been trying to figure out what to do for the anniversary of the store come Oct 4th. And then comic legend Bob Layton returned an email and said he is good to go to show up here on Oct 4th. I was shocked I tried to get him for this years free comic day but he was already booked. He has never been to Iowa. Hopefully we will show him a great big welcome for his first visit.
His upcoming visit has really gotten me fired up. A feather in my cap.
Here is Bob Layton’s bio from his webpage http://www.boblayton.com/
Bob Layton has a large body of work in the comics field. Though he is most known for his work on Iron Man he has many accomplishments. He wrote and drew Marvel’s first limited series Hercules Prince of Power.
Help create the Huntress for DC with Paul Levitz and Joe Staton.
Designed the Secret Wars toy line for Marvel. I loved those things as a kid.
Help turn Valiant Comics from a company losing money to profitability.
Launched the first X Factor series.
And much more.
On Iron Man he and David Michelinie turned a once low selling title around. Armors Wars is my favorite Iron Man storyline. Ever.
The famous Demon in the Bottle Iron Man 128 cover was done by him and David Micheline. He was part of the Iron man creative team that brought the well received alcoholism storyline in the pages of Iron Man.
On the first two Iron Man movies he was a consultant. Even talking with movie star Robert Downey Jr. How cool would that be?
And he is going to be at Rodman Comics October 4th.
Warner Bros released a picture of Wonder Woman from the upcoming Superman Batman film. I like it!
This weekend the Guardians of the Galaxy hits the big screen. We will be having a private showing Saturday morning.
August 2nd was the Con In Your Store Program for Heroclixs. It was all ready to go and signed up for on their website and so long as Wizkids didn’t drop the ball yet again we were good to go. Which of course they did. I have lost count on how many delays Wizkids has had. Since the Con In Your Store Program material failed to make it in time for Wizkids, even though Wizkids would only allow stores to run it in August originally, we will reschedule it for August 16th. War of Light round 3 is already locked in for the 9th. August 2nd we will have a two booster draft and some cool prizes. I am betting that the new Guardians of the Galaxy set will be delayed at least a week so Wizkids can sell it exclusively at the convention that they are at on the 16th. They did that last year with Wolverine and the X Men. Really shafted the stores last year that were unfortunate enough to be near last years con. Meaning people bought the Wolverine and X Men heroclixs from the con while the stores could not sell it till next week. Wizkids made money being the only ones able to sell them that weekend while lessening demand for the set for local retailers. Learn to read a calendar Wizkids.
As I have stated plenty of times Wizkids is the worst company I order product from. Just like their “surprise and delights” I never know what all I will be getting, when, or how much.
I already paid a grand for the material that a store had to buy to qualify for their program. It was quite rushed on Wizkids part. And again it was Wizkids who said the Con Program originally had to happen in August.  By delaying it I will have to wait longer to try to make up the money spent to qualify for this program. A reverse loan somewhat.
And only announcing the delay days before stores were suppose to be able start it that will most likely mean people showing up only to be surprised it has been delayed. I have contacted who I could, posted this article on the website, and announced on our Facebook page. But I do not have contact info for all our regular heroclix players.
I am also using up time to get the word out about the delay when I could actually be doing something more productive. Like selling stuff.
I miss the days when Topps owned Wizkids. Prize support was provided for free to comic stores. Players would get free heroclixs in the mail. Damaged heroclixs could be sent away for replacements. Large retailers did not get exclusive heroclixs that comic stores couldn’t. I was just a player and not a retailer. Heck, I even received a free heroclix in the mail. The good old days.
Now programs such as the very popular mail away Buy it by the Brick program have been done away with to save current owners NECA money. That program did help people to buy from brick and mortar stores instead of online. If you bought a brick (ten heroclix boosters) from a brick and mortar store one would cut the UPC codes off the boxes and sent them along with their receipt to Wizkids to get the Buy it by the Brick figure. Now comic book retailers get to look forward to NECA encouraging people to buy from huge mass retailers for exclusive Heroclix that comic stores can not get.
Wizkids makes it very difficult to carry their product.
Lots of talk about Star Wars X Wing miniatures gaming returning. It’s summer still. So I am trying to hold off.
The website’s marketplace make over is almost done. As soon as I have some more product listed we will make the switch. Right now I am listing product but it has not gone live yet. So far it looks great. It may go live later this week. Feel free to check it out.
It been a good few weeks for me. Other than dealing with Wizkids of course. Talked with Jeff former owner of Dragonfire and shared stories about owning a comic store. Always good to talk shop with someone who has been in the business. And who knows, if Jeff hadn’t moved back to Nebraska maybe Dragonfire would still be around. If Dragonfire had still been open I most likely would never have opened Rodman Comics. I missed hanging out at Dragonfire and thought if I could create a place where it is fun to go and buy comics and talk comics that would be so cool. So if you hate Rodman Comics blame Jeff!
Even had an old friend stop in that I had not talked to in years. Used to go over to his place and play Magic the Gathering and other games. The good old days of being young and having no responsibilities. Sadly I had a customer come up to me and he end up leaving before I could get his contact info. But that is what Facebook for.
My goal for the next month is to get out and play more golf. Been playing well. Was worried for a week. I managed to hurt my back. Lasted a week. Usually in a day or two I am back to normal. This getting old stuff bites. Hoping to get as much time in by the middle of August since I will be playing in a tournament. It is just for fun. I think me and roughly the same group of friends have been playing in it for about a decade. I will have to ask them when we started next month. If memory serves correctly we have only won in our flight once. One of them is coming up from Arizona.
Sadly we say the same thing every year after we are done. We will play more next year and practice up but we never do. Just not enough time. We are all ready talking about October for goodness sakes. I may take time off from the day job to get some more golf in August.
Last year one of my friends had Team Rodman shirts made up for our golfing group. Have to see if I can find the shirt again. It put in my head to have new t shirts made up last year. So if I get Rodman Comics golf balls this year watch out!
We are on Facebook. Feel free to “like” us.
It is scary talking about October already. Wow, people still remember the cake from last year and have been asking if I will have it for this year. They are still open so yes. Good cake and Bob Layton for October 4th. What more could a person ask for?

Projections — 7/23/2014

Wow, Marvel has been on a roll with shake ups for their titles. Thor is to be replaced by a woman. Captain America will be replaced by Falcon. Iron Man is rumored to be replaced by Tony Stark being more of a jerk and the title will be called Superior Iron Man. As I stated last week I am all for strong female leads. I am also for characters of every race to be heroes. What I am not a fan of is change for the shake of change. Years ago (ago being a lot of years ago) the New Titans title had a shake up in their title called Titans Hunt. Great storyline. Really changed their status quo. But after it was done the changes weren’t really explored. The changes were replaced with more changes. It became a series where every issue was a change just for the sake of change. After a great sales boom it was cancelled years later. Marvel seems okay with this as long as they get their short term sales boost.
Thor being replaced with a woman who was rescued by the original Thor and then takes up his name doesn’t sound to me like something women will be drawn into reading. Captain America’s sidekick Falcon stepping into his white partner’s role doesn’t sound like something that is going to make african americans line up to read Captain America. And Iron Man we will have to wait and see what goes down.
Right now with creator’s holding back new characters from the big two it may be quite awhile before we see truly good new characters. Why would writers not introduce the next generation of heroes to the next generation of readers? Because the writers will make more money owning new characters themselves for possible movie and other media deals. Past new comic companies were created for that purpose such as Gorilla Comics.
Marvel’s Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man are easily some of their biggest characters but haven’t been lighting up the sales charts. Thor has had some well received storylines but Captain America and Iron Man have had some real let us say less than well received storylines. Seriously do Marvel editor’s not have the power to stop a writer from introducing Dr Mindbubble in this day in age? In Iron Man it has been revealed that the Mandrian’s rings have personalities, can talk, and can pick their next person to wear them. Hmm, did someone like DC’s War of Light a little to much? The storylines hurt Captain America and Iron Man sales. The writers failed to come up with good storylines. The characters aren’t at fault. Iron Man has had three hit movies. Captain America has had two.
The market is over flowing with various titles. The readership has not grown this year but new titles keep being thrown at the current readership hoping something will stick even though new titles get hyped by the company putting them out after the first issue the marketing and hype goes to the next new title. Practically forgetting the last new title that was so hyped before it.
Do I want to see more female leads? Yes, I think the upcoming title Storm would have been a better comic to hype on the View. Storm has been in various movies. The general public knows who she is. And people wouldn’t be confused or freak that Thor is being replaced by a woman. Though that is exactly why Marvel did it. For the shock value.
The Falcon I would like to see him get his own title. He was featured in the latest Captain America movie. Again he would be a character the average movie goer would know.
With there being a new Avengers movie next year and with Marvel’s current line of thinking that their comic characters have to match those of the movies I do not see these changes as being anything more than short term.
Meaning what I object to with the all the changes to Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man is to me it seems a desperate grab for attention. A quick buck instead of telling good stories. Not a well thought out natural extension of storytelling. Seriously all three of the characters have sudden changes at once? What are the odds of that? Their sales are not that good which is again very sad because of their movie tie ins. Millions have seen movies with the characters but don’t want to read their comics? The average movie goer doesn’t even know there are monthly comics available to read based on what they just watched. Marvel never wants to advertise their own product outside venues that current comic readers use. They do not want to advertise into the mainstream.
Captain America’s current series has the average comic fan staying away from it. It’s re launch pushed people away from the series.
Same thing with Iron Man. People picked up various Iron Man issues wanting to enjoy it then stopped after their one issue buy of the series.
Thor outsells Captain America and Iron Man here at the store. But so far the announced change to Thor has the average reader saying “seriously?” No one has called or asked to have the upcoming new Thor series added to their pull box.
What I am trying to say is Marvel made the changes to get the shock value. To get people talking about Thor and Captain America again. A shortcut to get sales instead of solid books that people want to check out.
I want Marvel to put out a good Thor stories. A good Captain America series. A good Iron Man series. Captain America was already replaced by Bucky recently. Another replacement is too soon. Put out a good Falcon series if you want more diversity. A good series with a strong female lead will get people interested. In short Marvel if you want to put out a title featuring a female or a character of diversity make it a good one.
Marvel if you want new readers to follow your books come up with new characters for this generation. Yes, the population is more diverse and it should be time to make a new hero that a younger generation can enjoy reading and relate to. Find a creative team that is willing to do just that. Be the leader of the comic industry. Do something truly different. Be the “house of ideas” again.
One of the few T.V. shows I watch sometimes is NCIS. I like the characters. It isn’t rocket science. It doesn’t advertise every other month that an upcoming episode will change everything! Or that one of the main cast members dies! Yes, it has changed over the years and a main cast member has died. It’s the simple formula of who killed the victim of the week? Take the Marvel way of doing comics and apply it to the show and every member of the cast would have been killed, replaced, and brought back for the twelfth time and they would be working for the Russian government and would fight one another more than the bad guys along with doing worse things than the bad guys they are suppose to be against do.
Ant Man thanks to his upcoming movie will be getting more focus in the Marvel Universe.
Angela will be getting her own ongoing series. Can’t we just let the 90s be?
As I have stated before there is just to many titles and not enough talent for all of them.
Marvel’s Tom Brevoort has taken to tumblrbetting people that Marvel will not reverse the changes made to Thor, Captain American, and Iron Man by the time the next Avengers movie comes out. He is betting $100. Now does that mean maybe one of the character changes will still be around or all three of them? I will gladly take on that bet of $100 if he is saying all three will stay the same by the time the second Avengers comes out.
Speaking of the Age of Ultron movie lots of customers are disappointed that Henry Pym will have nothing to do with Ultron since he created Ultron in the comics. Will it be a hit? Easily. But will it be another X Men III Last stand movie? Makes tons of money but leaves most of the comic fandom feeling let down.
Whew, it is all Marvel, Marvel, and more Marvel so far.
So let us make it about Rodman Comics.
August 2nd lots of things going on. The private showing for Guardians of the Galaxy is on!
A Con in Your Store is going on that day also. Don’t want to travel for miles? Wait in long lines? Get tickets to see if you can buy something. Neither do I. Thus the reason I don’t go to conventions for Heroclixs. August 2nd is your chance to win the Batman Vampire Heroclix. It will be a first for the store or any store for that matter. And Wizkids will not let the stores know everything they will be getting till a few days before August. So things may need to change for the Con in Your Store program depending on what is sent and how many show up and who. Basically I will change things up if need be that day. It’s that easy. If you own the store you can make the rules. Can’t handle that? Then don’t show. Or buy the business for a million and do whatever you want. Basically I hope the regulars who play heroclixs here can make it even though some have already let me know they will be out of town that weekend. Hopefully any new people that show will be people who play for fun. It will be a fun event. Not a prize sharking opportunity. Our very first month of War of Light went great and I hope to repeat that.
Due to the fact that the State Fair is also in August and summer will almost be over a lot of people will be busy. So I have decided to have multiple chances to win Con in Your Store heroclixs through out August. As stated by Wizkids the rules for prize support do not cover or have anything to do with the Con in Your Store program. Meaning a store may sell what they receive through the Con in Your Store program or do whatever they want.
There will be three chances to win Con In Your store material in August thanks to Rodman Comics. So those that wanted to make it but couldn’t on August 2nd will have at least two more chances. War of Light will still happen in August. And the new Guardians of the Galaxy based on the Marvel Comics characters are also due out that month. Unless of course Wizkids delays it. There are five Saturdays in the month of August so it will be a busy heroclix month here. Wizkids will make it all that much more interesting I am sure.
Go to the website and check out the heroclix schedule if interested.
A.J. was nice enough to help me this Sunday get some of the huge back issue stock we have organized. There are still a lot more to get into the back issues bins. Restocked on mostly Action Comics, Batman, Robin, Superior Foes of Spiderman, West Coast Avengers (I just had someone in earlier in the week purchasing West Cost Avengers comics and promised her we would have more on hand),Wonder Woman, X Men, and more.
I hope come next weekend on Sunday to get more back issue stock in the bins. There may be another “Organization Party” if you are interested let me know.
We have a lot of single Magic cards in stock now. Unless you have original dual lands or something truly worth something worth trading we are done trading for cards for awhile. A full set of 2015 is currently in the binder. Or was as of this weekend.
M15 is selling very well.
The new D&D box set is in stock. There will also be D&D dice masters out come December.
We have more AVX Dicemasters in stock and will be receiving the prize kit for that. If interested in playing let me know. Right now there are currently not enough starters in player’s hand due to demand being far more than the supply is.
Wow Oct 4th is getting closer. The Anniversary of the store. Still trying to get everything finalized before announcing anything.
Popular movie star the Rock has strongly hinted that he will be involved in an upcoming Shazam movie. I hope he is Black Adam. I think he would be very good for the role.
And of course a plug for our Facebook page. Feel free to “like” us.
Much more important of course. Always feel free to stop in and buy your favorite collectibles from Rodman Comics!

Projections — 7/16/2014

July is clicking along. The M15 Magic prerelease is done. It went pretty good. Come Friday we will have singles for sale from the newest set. I have also been stocking more singles of Modern Masters cards along with a full set of Theros in our binders currently.
I found out what some of the convention exclusives will cost me for the “A Con In Your Store” program by Wizkids for Heroclix. And they are not cheap. Let me just say that the suggested retail price of the Shuma Gorath Heroclix is $50. The price I am suppose to charge you. Yeah, I jumped head first into the shallow end of the pool. That said we will stick to what I have already posted for the August schuduel of Heroclix. But look for updates as I learn more. August 2nd will indeed be the official Con In Your Store day here at Rodman Comics. Feel free to see if you can win the Amazing Spiderman and his friends team base along with other prizes. If you don’t win you may still buy various convention exclusives. Why did I say “other” prizes in the previous sentence? Because in true Wizkid fashion I will not know what all I will be receiving till July 30th. Then why have August be the month that am I holding the Con In Your Store program? Because Wizkids dictates August as the month to have it. August 2nd is the first Saturday we can hold it so we will. War of Light the second wave (also known as month three) will still be on August 9th. The comic version of Galactic Guardians regular boosters are also due out next month. August will be a very busy month for heroclixs. Thankfully there are five Saturdays in August for all the heroclix events.
Marvel has announced Thor will no longer be worthy of his mighty hammer. He will be replaced by a woman who will be Thor. This was announced on ABC’s show the View. If I may be so bold. The View is watched mostly by women. So was the theory of announcing it on the show was that more women would be interested in Thor with the change? Really women are going to be like oh wow! Thor was a hot guy and now a woman takes his place. Um, okay. Why not talk about Storm’s upcoming series? I am all for strong female characters. If Thor’s sudden long lost sister Angela is the new Thor it will just feel like Marvel is trying to hard to get Angela shoe horned into the Marvel Universe.
Just why the heck did Marvel purchase the rights to Angela from Neil Gaiman anyway? What was their thought process behind that? A character from Image would help their sales? A character from the 1990s? The Age of Ultron crossover introduced her into the Marvel Universe. She is featured in Marvel’s popular Guardians of the Galaxy series. And now she is revealed to be Thor’s sister. All the marketing and work into trying to make Angela popular should have went to another character.
Jenny McCarthy during the View announcement stated that the new Thor is a character who once was saved by her predecessor, the male Thor, at one point and has somehow remade herself, taking over his heroic role. Yeah, that really makes women want to read the new adventures of Thor. It doesn’t sound sexist or anything. A woman being saved by a man whose name she will later take on. At least it isn’t Angela.
Marvel has since revealed that the new “Thor” #1 will debut in October, from the creative team of Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman. Groan, another first issue? Rodman Comics has only been open nearly four years and I have multiple first issues of various Thor runs. I still have the first issues of the past runs in the back issue bin. Meaning I over ordered on them. Not this time.
And after the “death” of Spiderman where Dan Slott claimed Peter Parker was really gone but it was revealed that Dan knew the whole time Parker would come back will anyone believe that a female Thor isn’t a short term sales gimmick? With the second Avengers movie due out next year who doesn’t believe Thor will be back to his old shelf before the movie releases in the summer?
Marvel has Wolverine “dying” in September. Another stunt. Marvel was tired of losing to DC in September so Wolverine has to “die” in September to beat DC sales wise.
Heck, even Archie “died” this week. The comic market is all about stunts.
Marvel to me is to much about hype and a quick buck currently. Crossovers sell still but when was the last Marvel crossover that was well received by fans? Marvel needs a shot in the arm for creativity. They need to be all they can be. The leaders of the comic industry. The house of ideas. The company that brings excitement to comics. Not just movies.
DC has announced Deathstroke is returning to his own solo title. And he will still be a man.
After DC’s sales spike with their bombshell variants. The next few months will see more variants from DC done the same way. Meaning retailers can order as many as they think they can sell without having to meet any conditions. Such as order 100 copies of this and you may order one variant. Which if variants are going to be done I prefer the easier way of just ordering what I want. This month is Batman variant covers. DCU Selfie variants are in August. While in October is monster themed variants.
The DCU Selfie variants I will go out on a limb and say they will not be that popular.
But again variants got DC a sales spike. Not what was in the actual comic book but the cover.
The comic industry needs to get people fired up about actually reading comics. Getting them to want to pick up the next chapter of their favorite comic to read it.
Marvel is the leader of the comic industry. For better or for worse. DC will for the most part follow Marvel’s lead. Though DC has shown some unique thoughts. Such as having weekly series.
Surprisingly the lessons of the 90s comic bust seem to be largely forgotten. The 1990s were a lot of flash and dazzle. Not comics where people really enjoyed reading them. This is the time that Image thrived in. Their comics were all about the art. Writing was an after thought. Gimmick covers were common. Characters “died”. Some would say the 90s were so bad that the comic industry lost the next generation of comic fans.
The newest X Men movie had millions go see it. The various X Men comics saw no new readers even though millions enjoyed the last X Men movie. That is pretty sad.
I do not want to see the collapse of the comic market such as was seen in the 90s by any means. I just don’t see how it will be much different. Marvel is already hyping their next crossover even though their current is not done. Wolverine is going to “die”. Then after a year if that long he will come back such as Captain America, Human Torch, and Spiderman did.
Variants are done by a vast majority of the comic companies.
First issues sell but the following issues usually have a steap drop off. The comic companies are teaching people to just buy first issues and gimmicks.
That isn’t healthy for the long term market.
Valiant surprised me with the announcement that Archer & Armstrong will be getting made into a movie. Get those back issues now.
Speaking of movies. The news about the upcoming Fantastic Four movie is leaving more and more put off.
Such as this interview with actress Kate Mara who plays Sue Storm the Invisible Woman in the upcoming movie:
“I’ve never been a fan of comics, I’ve never actually read one,” Mara told Esquire Mexico in an interview presented by ComicBookMovie using Google Translate. “I was going to for this movie but the director said it wasn’t necessary. Well, actually he told us that we shouldn’t do it because the plot won’t be based on any history of anything already published. So I chose to follow his instructions. The one fact is I am a fan of comic book movies, so it’s very exciting to be part of a movie like this.”
She also said she understands the character has a lot of fans, but that doesn’t make the role more intimidating than any other.
“I don’t feel more responsibility with this role that I’ve felt with others,” said the House of Cards star. “I understand that there are many fans of Fantastic Four, and I guess they expect a lot from me, but I prefer not to be pressured by that. We are also trying to create a new way of seeing these superheroes, I’m focusing on making her [Susan Storm] as real as possible.”
Wow, the director tells her she shouldn’t read any Fantastic Four comics. That just seems wrong. If you don’t believe in the source material then why do it? It would be like me telling a person to open a comic store with out ever having read comics. It just doesn’t make sense.
The Fantastic Four gets no love by Marvel or Fox Studios which is the studio producing the next Fantastic Four movie. Very odd since Fox was responsible for the most recent X Men movie. Which was a hit and did work with the source material from the comics while still being its own story.
Whew, lots of gloom and doom in this Projections newsletter this week.
As always we are on Facebook. “Like” us to see all our witty Facebook posts and to be in on  various Rodman Comics news.
Believe it or not I am in a good mood. And I will be even in a better mood if I see you at Rodman Comics!

 

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