December 10th is almost here. Rod Deals! 20 percent off storewide. Auctions on everything from comics to boardgames. Free gift wrapping for all items bought in store. $3.00 gift wrapping for outside items. And of course fun. They say it is better to give than it is to receive so we will be giving away products!
For Rod Deals we will have more auctions than we ever have had before. Wide range of products. Comics of course. Various games. Board games, Heroclixs, Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, Pathfinder, D & D, and tons more of games. Action figures. Lots of Star Wars related material. The Star Wars life size stands. Star Wars Destiny starters. With the Star Wars Rogue One movie coming out I figured now would be a good time to focus on Star Wars. Harley Quinn is still the most popular character here in the store so of course we will have tons of Harley Quinn material for sale.
My goal is for December 10th is to break all previous sales records. The plan is to have one person handling gift wrapping and "Rodbay". Rodbay being the listing of our auctions on Facebook. One person working the checkout and helping costumers. And some wild and crazy guy named Rod working the floor and hosting our legendary Rod Deals. I am being told people are taking time off to be here for it. Yes, people do work on Saturdays. We will rock you!
Star Wars Rogue One comes out December 16th. We will have a private showing on Saturday December 17th.
Wednesday December 21st Justice League vs Suicide Squad 1 comes out. We will have an exclusive Rodman Comics cover by Ed Benes out that day. A colored and black and white variant version.
The black and white variant here for $29.99:
Get all three of our Ed Benes variants for $49.99 here:
Had an Eternal Masters Magic draft Sunday. It went very well. I guessed we would have Eternal Masters by December 4th for a draft and we did. I even played to make it an even amount of players. Yes, I did have an employee on hand to take care of everything. With the weather Sunday people were staying in. Typical first snowfall of Iowa. Oh no there's snow! So we mostly had the store to ourselves. I played poorly. Though I drafted a Mana Crypt which went to the store so I can live with that. Everyone was in good spirits and had fun. Of course drafting cards such as Jace, the Mind Sculptor helps. Come January could be the next Eternal Masters draft. If we have enough stock left. And with the next Magic set due out in January we would have to try to have it either early in the month or later so it wouldn't be a strain on the players' budgets.
Our computer that had the Magic Event System finally died. I never would have guessed it would be such a headache. Apparently for reasons that make no sense to me if a person played here and only here their info is now lost. But the whole reason for the Magic Event System was so players from one store that played at another would get credit. But yet somehow that info was somehow lost with the hardrive. But that info was on a network to pull that info. Other stores were not getting into our hardrive to get that info.
Wasted way to much time with getting the Magic Event System uploaded on another computer and trying to get past Magic drafts uploaded. I took the computer in to see if it could be fixed and after two weeks found out it couldn't. Learned the hard way if you didn't click on something after not uploading it on the same day and tried to load an event the ability to upload them were lost. And we were also told to better train on the Magic Event System. We have been using it for years. I guess I failed to have a class teaching in case the hardrive crashes course be ready to waste a lot of time. I thought about just not using the Magic Event System after all the time lost. Almost said on the phone with Wizards of the Coast this is a lot of work just to get Friday Night cards that no one cares about. But we are listed for free on their website and that does result in business for us. And Wizards has set it up that products such as Modern Masters and From the Vaults are tied in to the Event System. So I bit my toungue.
Walked away more annoyed with Wizards of the Coast after the Eternal Masters rush to get out the doors fumbling and now this. Hey Wizards of the Coast after your 5 percent cost increase to us and don't pass it along to the customers along with watching big chains break street dates while we have to watch and lose sales along with all this my enthusiasm to sell Magic has taken a hit.
A busy month.
Working on the comic ordering for Feb. Marvel has surprised me with their new comic announcements. Kingpin as a monthly ongoing? Seriously? I know Marvel's "ongoing monthly" titles are basically a 12 issue limited series or less but why not just have it be a limited series instead of something that will get canceled? Bullseye is at least a 5 issue limited series. Elektra gets yet another ongoing series. And it will be another Elektra series that gets cancel like all her previous ongoing titles.
Looks like come February Marvel will start taking a page out of DC's playbook and have some of their titles ship bi weekly. As long as they sell I am all for it.
Marvel has done one good thing at least for us local comic stores. The one per store comic variants. They are a nice little bonus.
They are also over shipping us product for free. Which make no mistake is very nice of them. It's just what they over ship me I am in no danger of selling out of what I ordered. Avengers 3 was over shipped to us. The re launch had no sales spike for a first issue for us. Zip, scary zip. I over ordered believing the typical first issue bump would happen. It didn't. The extra copies of Avengers issue 3 are sadly a waste. Just like the over shipping of Fearless Defenders, Red She Hulk, Red Wolf, and the others it is a nice thought but not needed. I am not under ordering Marvel products. The demand isn't there for the extra copies. So what will I do with the extra free copies of Avengers 3? Give them away this Saturday as part of Rod Deals!
Marvel is also sending us extra copies of some of their titles next week. I really would like to sell the extra copies but again I do not see a sudden increase in people buying the over shipped comics. I am not that bad at ordering. Yes, I do not order a 100 percent right but that could be due to things out of my control.
But how could I not know the magic number to order of a comic? Anything could happen. I could get shorted what I ordered. Or a lot of copies of a title could be damaged. Meaning what I ordered I am basically shorted. Yes, odds are I will get replacement copies. But now that issues sales are off. There will be people who came in here on a Wednesday to get said title but we don't have it available through no fault of our own and they will get it elsewhere instead of waiting. It doesn't make them bad people. They already had to wait for the release date so why wait longer in their mind? A shorted or damaged shipment to another store could cause our sales on a title to spike because we have it and they don't again through no fault of ours or the other stores. I have many times went what the heck? How could a title sell out on the Wednesday it comes out when I ordered just as much of the previous issue and still have a copy (or more) on the shelf left.
And sometimes I make a mistake. Next week's Old Man Logan I looked at the invoice and am quite puzzled why the number is so low. The trailer for the upcoming Logan movie has increased interest. But yet according to the invoice somehow I ordered less on Old Man Logan than I would have liked. A typo that I didn't notice? Did I order a bunch of the variants on the issue but not qualify to get them? No idea. I did order more and the order went through so at least I should be able to correct it the week after.
Ordering non returnable products is not fun. Not getting non returnable products but getting invoiced for them even less fun. That is the world of comic ordering.
In a few weeks I will type up the goals for 2017. My thoughts on 2017. And my hopes. I will not lie. Lease renewal could make 2017 very interesting.
With the year getting so close to ending what did I like about 2016? What did I not like?
What I liked most? 2016 with out a doubt was all about DC's Rebirth. 2016 started as I thought it would. Slow and cold. January 2015 had the launch of the then red hot Star Wars. January of 2016 didn't have anything hot sadly. I even had a staff meeting letting them know I thought it would be a slow and cold start of the year. While DC's Rebirth was a success for us Marvel was starting to have trouble. That trouble increased. Marvel went down the path that DC did with their DC You. Third string characters by little known creators. While DC went back to their big name characters and the basics. Marvel went further off and used hardly heard of or used characters. Solo, Nighthawk, Mockingbird, Hyperion, Red Wolf, Foolkiller, and more were terrible sellers. While DC was increasing sales and helping us by letting us return unsold stock Marvel weighed down our sales with dead weight. We still have Marvel customers. Make no mistake we want Marvel customers. We of course want more Marvel customers. Series that get the Marvel stealth cancellation is no way to go. It only confuses the loyal readers that were picking up the title along with us. Is it still going on? Did Marvel cancel it and not say anything again? I shouldn't have to look at future orders to see if there are anymore issues of a series coming out or not.
What I liked least? Marvel's never ending re launching has caught up to them. Avengers 1 of this year had no increase of sales over the previous "last" issue of the previous Avengers issue at all for us. We ordered more so Marvel made more money but we lost money on Avengers 1. And then having Avengers 1.1 come out right after the first issue really didn't help. Readership now tends to skip issues with the 1.1 or 1 point whatever. Amazing Spider-man was doing it but people have lost interest in the point whatever. Just make it a limited series.
Deadpool has had a terrible drop in popularity. Marvel just milked out the character too much. Really Deadpool is a member of Uncanny Avengers? The merc with a month who killed anyone for money is an Avenger now. That wasn't forced at all. The old Deadpool's popular so put him on the team so we will sell more copies. The multiple times Deadpool's ongoing series has had $9.99 priced issues did not help. The biggest drain on Deadpool's popularity? The multiple ongoing and limited series going on at the same time.
In my mind Deadpool should be as popular as Harley Quinn. Marvel just milked out Deadpool to much. Harley Quinn has one ongoing title. And one bi monthly (well even less than bi monthly) her Little Black Book title. And yes she is a member of the Suicide Squad. Though her being a member makes more sense than Deadpool being an Avenger. Can you imagine Harley Quinn on the Justice League? Hopefully no one at DC reads that and thinks it is a good idea. Right now she currently has no limited series going on. She is still the most popular character currently at the store. We can sell comics and statues of Harley Quinn all day long. Deadpool was the same way right up roughly to a month after his movie came out. Deadpool life size cut out, statues, comics, all were hot then took a dive.
The Clone Conspiracy over in the Spider-man title has not been hit. Amazing Spider-man sales well still at good level has lowered thanks to the current story line. It just isn't a hit with Spider-man fans. Hopefully the next story arc will be a big hit.
Other than Walking Dead Image has never really blazed a trail here at Rodman Comics. My issue with Image is so much material comes out and most if it is forgotten by the creative team (looking at Wytches). How many different titles did Image pump out over the years just to see them slowly come out and keep getting slower to the point where they didn't come out at all? Robert Kirkman doesn't have to keep putting out the Walking Dead comic. I can only imagine how well off he is now with T.V. deals and so forth based on his work. But he does keep writing the Walking Dead. Which I thank him for. I wish the rest of the creative staff a with Image would keep putting out regular comics. By that I mean actual monthly comics.
There will be a 25 cent cover price issue of Walking Dead in February. Dynamite is having a 25 cent Red Sonja comic come out next week months before the 25 cent Walking Dead comic comes out. I have been around long enough I seen in the past a 10 cent Batman comic, a 9 cent Fantastic Four comic,the Fantastic Four Unlimited 99 cent comic, and so on. Personally I feel they are a waste of time. The comic book will either be in demand or it won't. Having a 25 cent Walking Dead comic will sell well. But it's 25 cents. How much will I be be making off each copy sold? 5 five cents. That's a lot of nickels. 5 cents on each comic sold is not enough to pay off any of the store's bills. Image is having a regular priced Walking Dead issue come out in the same month so that is good.
And we will see if the 25 cent issue of Walking Dead does actually get new ongoing readers for Walking Dead. I hope I am proven wrong. I have to go along with it. My options are not to carry the comic and have our Walking Dead fans upset with me or order it and see what happens.
Marvel's collecting of the first three issues of their various titles for $3 didn't help their sales at all. And right after I received them I learned that Marvel was re launching again. Makes little sense.
In my mind reprinting comics for less than their original price seems to say we over charged you for buying this for a higher price the first time. Something I could do with out.
DC's Rebirth is holding sales. By that I mean as time goes on issue to issue usually there is a slow bleed out of readership. Some Rebirth titles are having a slow drop off. Constantine oddly enough is doing exactly what it did when it was previously launched. First two issues sold well and then a drop with the third issue. Cyborg's sales are trying to fight the good fight. I underorded the recent issues but was able to reorder them and people did wait for the reorders. Often times I will "correct" an order on a title by upping my orders to meet that month's sales and then the title will drop below what I "corrected" it to. I like Cyborg and the previous series but in the sea of new comic titles it does seem to get overlooked.
All Star Batman is blazing hot. Been reordering the last few issues and the reorders still fly out the door. Batman's main title still does well. Detective Comics went from being the red headed step child of the Bat books to well liked and a good selling title. I enjoy Detective Comics more than the main Batman title. Action Comics and Superman both sell much better than their new 52 versions. Same story with Wonder Woman. Though buzz of her upcoming Wonder Woman movie is helping a bit. And Justice League? Wow, it is like All Star Batman. Keep reordering it and it keeps selling. Blue Beetle's first issue sold good but now it is dropping off and is looking to be a repeat of the New 52 Blue Beetle sales wise. Meaning it is looking like there are not enough readers to keep it from cancellation for much longer.
2016 was a strong year for comics. Though it was strong thanks to DC's Rebirth. Marvel's repeating what has worked so well for them over the years has lost its appeal. The non stop re launches. The non stop events. Killing characters. The Hulk was killed in Civil War II issue 3 and it didn't even sell out. I could keep reordering if for weeks afterwards. Heck, as of me typing this up I can still order it. The non stop Deadpool various comics all coming out at once over whelming readers. The spin offs. At this rate Marvel will kill Deadpool like it did with Wolverine. Remember there was a time Wolverine was everywhere. Multiple titles. Granted bad ones such as Best there is. On multiple teams such as Uncanny Avengers just like Deadpool is currently. Over milking out a character.
It is the truth. Marvel has hit the greed button and can not stop themselves.
As regular readers know I did not care for the way the Eternal Masters reprint was handled. Magic the Gathering has really cooled here at the end of 2016. And Wizards of the Coast the makers of Magic the Gathering had a large part to do with it thanks to the huge amount of material released in such a sort amount of time. After talking with Wizards of the Coast after our player info was lost with our hardrive I lost a lot of respect for them. They acted like they still are the hottest stuff on the planet while in reality they have been cooling off for quite a while. Magic supply has over taken demand. Theros for goodness sake is now available for order. So much product now litters the playing field.
Pokemon had a surge in popularity this year. That was great.
The new Star Wars Destiny game is a great way to end the year. A super hot new game with a Star Wars movie coming out this month.
As always we hope to see you at Rodman Comics! Especially this Saturday for Rod Deals!
Interested in rare hard to find comics? Then check these out.