Just when I think I have seen or heard it all I am proved wrong. Back in May on our Facebook I had a trivia question about who was Iowa's first superhero. No one knew. It was a tough question. When I finally gave the answer the replies were who? Iowa's first superhero is Wild Dog. And it now has been announced that Wild Dog is going to be on the T.V. show Arrow. Never would have guessed that.
Rebirth is blazing hot and the ongoing bi weekly first issues have also been hot. I enjoyed the ongoing series of Green Arrow 1, along with Green Lanterns 1, Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Batman 1. I think it is safe to say that the new Gotham heroes are not Night Owl and Silk Specter as was being humored.
Been getting ready for August 27th! The next Rod Deals. They have been hits with customers so we will keep having them. 20 percent off. Freebies. Silent auctions. And fun! They are heavily rumored to be rigged though. I can neither deny nor conform that.
June 18th was Free RPG Day and I didn't even know it. No one asked about it either. Having free gaming has always been a thorny issue. To often people that play or played here for free would for whatever reason think costing the store money was alright. How can people that hang out for free cost a store money? To nitpick the utilities aren't free. That heating or air condition isn't free. The water isn't free. The wear and tear on furniture and fixtures isn't free. Then too often it leads to pull boxes having comics with months old comics in them. Or worse, ordering something that the store had no intention of ordering and then holding if for months only to decide not to get it. Thus sticking the store with it. At times it is like dealing with little kids. Give an inch and they want to take a mile. The attitude some adopt seems to be we are lucky they play here for free. Then group think over takes the group of players. If so and so is cheap and hangs out for free then sticks Rodman with product I should be able to also. Then the game days get cut back and then the game ends and all those free great times of hanging out at Rodman Comics turns to I hate Rodman Comics because he was trying to run a business.
If you couldn't tell the pull boxes are starting to become a headache again. Some people are starting to fall behind. Some that only get one or two titles and have been in the store to game but still leave their pull boxes. Starting to look at some improvements for the pull boxes. Such as having a minimum order. Having a hard stop in the store at least once a month rule. If just stopping in twelve times a year is too much then so be it.
So what happen to make me take notice of the pull boxes? One I went through some the pull boxes last week and noticed it was becoming an issue. Another is Rebirth. It is super hot right now. Flash Rebirth 1 the regular and variant cover is going for roughly $20 online. I have been selling it to people who actually want to read it for cover price. As most already know the new DC titles that launched out of Rebirth are going bi weekly. I need to get copies of what people want to read and collect into their hands as much as possible. Rebirth and the first issues have been selling out at Diamond (the only distributor of comics) currently before they even come out. Meaning having Batman, Green Arrow, Superman, Flash, or even the very first one shot Rebirth or first issues sitting in someone's pull box that has no interest in actually picking them up and waiting months from now to cancel and then finally put the books on the shelf is bad business. Too often people view the pull boxes as comics that are theirs. They are the stores since the store actually purchased them. When someone else purchases those comics they become theirs.
Jeff, the former owner of Dragonfire Comics keeps telling me he wishes they never had pull boxes. It just wasn't worth it for them. Heck, I still remember running into a former customer of Dragonfire Comics at Target years ago and that customer telling me how he had a pull box and he had months of comics left at Dragonfire that he didn't bother to pick up them up and left them clear up to when they closed and joked that he put Dragonfire Comics out of business. I didn't say anything. I just thought wow you hurt a business by not being responsible. A small business. I understand things happen. But I don't tell someone to pick me up a pizza then tell them I don't want it and stick them with the bill. I don't hurt any one's business or someone's income. Yet some people have no problem doing that to other people. So I need to shield this business as much as possible from that.
With in one week alone I spent over $900 dollars to fix the store's air. And it isn't even mine since I rent. Along with over a grand on rebuilding the website. And that is on top of all the regular expenses that the store incurs.
Not trying to be a jerk. Just don't want to be one of those comic stores that closes because they didn't do enough to stop the bleeding of money caused by people that just don't care. The first step we most likely will do when it comes to pull boxes is have new people wait to get one. Meaning get people in the habit of actually coming in and picking up their comics and after a few months if they are doing well let them have a pull box. Then we need to have a hard once a month rule. Meaning people need to come in here once a month and pick up their pull box. Not just buy one title and leave the rest but clear it out once a month.
Rodman Comics right now is doing great. It's summer time and school is out. Which means more free time for people which means more time to read comics, play games, hunt down collectables, ect. Which means more business. Rebirth 1 the 80 page one shot holds the record as the comic we have sold the most of. As I have stated in previous Projections I tend to push and work harder when things are going not so good and when things are going good. My hope is to make the most of the good times so we have a windfall when things are not so good. Such as during this January. It historically is the slowest month of the year for retail. This year there was no Star Wars 1 or any title close to it's popularity coming out in January so I planed on it being a slow cold beginning to the year. And I was right. Wish I wasn't but I was. Now summer has come and Rebirth is proving to be a big hit and sales are great.
Civil War II issues zero and one sold well for us. Issue two hopefully has some legs. It is a little sluggish at the moment sales wise. Bendis will hopefully do better with Civil War II than he did with Age of Ultron. As it stand right now Marvel might hit a bit of a rough patch for themselves. The whole reusing the Marvel Now from years ago again later this year is just not exciting the fan base or even the online comic news sites that some have already taken digs at the fact that Marvel couldn't even be bothered to think of a new slogan. Plus the whole earth shattering "everything changes" yet again is starting to fall flat since for at least once each year over the last few years Marvel keeps saying that.
Hardly the end of the world for Marvel. They just need a kick in the pants creativity and they will be back on track. Hoping they learn a trick or two from DC. Such as having their storylines actually have something to do with future storylines. Does the past crossovers Age of Ultron, Infinity, Original Sin, and more have anything do with anything in the current Marvel Universe? A company doesn't have to be a slave to continuity but when having the constant crossovers they better at least have continuity with in the crossover itself. Continuity could be as simple as Iron Fist reading an online news site and there being a news article about Spiderman's latest battle. Doesn't take away from the story but makes for a nice little easter egg for Spiderman readers or might even get Iron Fist fans curious about the actual battle and they go and pick up the issue. I sold more Before Watchmen comics this week thanks to Rebirth. Sold more with in the time span of after the 80 page Rebirth One Shot came out then all of last year and the months before Rebirth came out. The Watchmen trade is selling thanks to Rebirth. Flashpoint trades are also selling thanks to Rebirth.
Currently from what I have read online a lot of stores need the newest comic to sell with in the month it comes out some even claim the week it comes out or odds are it becomes dead stock. Why is that? Because the companies are already hyping the next new comic that comes out months from now. In their mind they sold the comics to us got our money and need to focus on the future comics coming out so we buy them. Often times a new writer and artist comes on a title and it goes in a whole new direction. Meaning having little to nothing to do with the previous creative teams stories. As I have often stated I have multiple Thor, Captain America, various Avengers titles first issues but no one wants the previous runs because they have no baring on the current or future stories being told.
In my humble opinion some people have decided that if past storylines have no baring on current storylines then when the current storylines they now read become past ones and are never brought up again then what is the point of reading them. Continuity can be a blessing or a curse.
DC You had no continuity between the books. The writers pretty much seemed to be able to do what ever they wanted. And not only did DC's sales drop but so did the fans. This is the were Marvel is right now again in my humble opinion. But just like what DC did with Rebirth to regain sales and fans there isn't nothing stopping Marvel from doing the same.
The biggest surprise about Rebirth to me? Young kids that I have never seen before are coming in to read the various issues. I would like to know how they know about Rebirth but if I was a kid and it was my first time at a comic store and an adult asked how I heard of Rebirth or asked why are you buying this I would be a little put off and most likely think what a weirdo. Hopefully they come back and maybe I will find out.
Invested some of the money made and bought some older Magic cards and people are impressed with our selection of cards that we bought.
Pre release for Force of Will is coming up this Saturday June 25th! Next month the pre release for the next Magic set will be here already.
Been working a lot. Trying to get ready for August 3rd our Suicide Squad/Harley Quinn party. Am I nervous? A little. I was worried about the Rodman Comics Ed Benes Harley Quinn exclusive cover we are doing. I joked that it could be super cool or a close up of Harley Quinn's teeth. Received a thumbnail of the cover and replied two thumbs up. I like it! It has Batman on it along with Harley so that will get the Batman fans excited. Right now looking at $29.99 per copy. It wasn't cheap to have done. Hopefully everyone will find it worth it since it will only be available through us. We will also be getting a Suicide Squad Rebirth exclusive cover by Paul Pelliter that he did for Rock Shop Music and Comics in Georgia the following week. I first met the owner of Rock Shop Music and Comics, Brad back at the first Las Vegas Diamond Summit I attended. His store opened the same day and year as mine so we hit it off. His exclusive cover features Killer Croc and Harley Quinn along with the rest of the Squad in the background.
As always hope to see you at Rodman Comics!