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Projections — 6/24/2015

Not much to report on this week. I went on vacation. Had fun. I know that is the whole point of a vacation. Already planning my next vacation.
Of course I went to a comic store while on vacation. While I was in the store a person came in with 1960s and 1970s material. One of the comics was Giant Size X Men 1. I couldn’t believe it. That never happens for me. The store I was at bought the stack of comics for $30  if I over heard correctly. The issue of Giant Size X Men 1 was missing a coupon out of it so it wasn’t in great shape. Much better than the 1990s comics that people usually bring in. Granted there are 1990 comics worth money such as New Mutants 98 the first appearance of Deadpool but they are few and far between.  I ended up buying a near mint copy of Daredevil 43 from the 1960s while at the store. The issue features Daredevil fighting Captain America.
Did receive emails and people contacting me about not posting anything on the business Facebook page for a few days. Yes, I was alive still. When I go on vacation at times I even leave my cell phone behind. I don’t want to be addicted to technology. Some people are addicted. It effects peoples communication skills even. Talking, actual talking is still the best form of communication. Some people would rather text because talking to people is uncomfortable to them. I don’t want to be one of those people. Texting, Facebook, and so forth at times seems like a distraction so I just leave it all behind and enjoy an actual vacation.
Returned and the store is still here. The crew did good while I was gone. The crew did so good I am quite comfortable taking another vacation.
The new floor is in. Looks a lot better than the old stuff.
This Sunday at 1 Magic the Gathering EDH returns. In honor of Jesse! Who will win?
Friday Night Magic Draft is on at 7! Who will win?
Monday Night Magic Draft at 6.
Next month the new Magic set Origins comes out on July 17th. Pre release will be Saturday July 11th at midnight (right after Friday is done) Saturday morning, Saturday at noon, and Saturday at 8 p.m. All pre releases will be $25. Magic Origins Gameday will  return to 8 p.m. on August 8th which of course will be Standard. Entry fee will be $6 for Gameday. Who will win the game mat?
Reality is creeping in after returning from vacation. Moving furniture around after getting new flooring followed by a lot of physical activity this week has left me hurting. Our new comics shipment was held up by UPS once again. The new comics have now arrived at least and we are good to go. After nearly five years of being open Diamond is now telling me if I want UPS credit  when they are late not only do I have to tell them when it is late I have to tell them when the late product arrives so I can get credit. I just roll my eyes since I kept asking for credit from the May UPS late shipping incident and now I am told I need to also let them know when it arrives. It isn’t like I don’t give them the tracking numbers and they don’t have them already. Basically it sounds like even though I emailed multiple times about the May lateness incident and being blown off this is an excuse as to why I didn’t get credit. I am also suppose to call. News to me.
Diamond really needs a competitor. They know a comic store’s options are deal with Diamond or don’t sell comics.
We have had some questions about how we do pull boxes.
It’s pretty simple.
There is no minimal amount of comics for a pull box. If one wants one comic held back each month so be it.
Once every thirty days from ones last trip into our store one must come in and clear out their pull box.
Basically to have a pull box you have to stop in here twelve times a year. Pretty simple. Pretty easy.
I have had people not stop in to take care of their pull boxes but have seen them across the street at McDonalds. Thanks.
The comics are not yours till you actually pay for them. So till they are bought from the store they are the store’s.
Pull boxes are a slippery slope. Some people think since comics are in “their” pull box the comics are “theirs” even though they haven’t paid for them. And then they wait for months and” their” pull box gets too full and then they don’t want to spend the amount of money to get “their” pull box taken care of. Meaning all the sudden “their” comics in “their” pull box are left to be my headache.  Some people have told me just go ahead and sell them. Like I under order and all the comics that have been in a person’s pull box for over a month is an instant sale.
We have people that show up months later and wonder why we sold the comics in “their” pull box. Because the store paid for them and we have not heard anything about taking care of it.  Once the store pays for the comics the store is  in the negative till those comics actual sell.
Currently the pull box hold list goes pretty good. Which is great. We have more pull box customers than we have ever had and less headaches with it than we ever have. Knock on wood.
In the past we have been stuck with comics that were in someone’s pull box that decided they didn’t want to get them anymore. Sadly the way we find this out a lot is by trying to contact the person several times and getting ignored. I have even had people order something and then when it arrives just stick me with it knowing full well it isn’t returnable. Not cool.
In summary to have a pull box come in at least monthly. Twelve times a year. There will be times when what you wanted pulled doesn’t get pulled. What how could that happen? Pretty easy sadly. Diamond Comics is the only vendor that supplies comics to comic stores. I have had plenty of times where comics are shorted by them. Or damaged in shipping. It happens and it will happen in the future. It just happend last Wednesday actually. Diamond billed me for comics that I never received. The invoice shows I ordered them but for whatever reason they didn’t actually get shipped.
But no matter what I do make sure to get whatever is on someone’s list for a pull box. It may take a few weeks more than it should have due to events out of our hands but it will be taken care of. And sometimes we make mistakes. What we are human?
There is also the ever changing nature of the comic business. Meaning Marvel’s none stop re launches. The previous Thor series made it up to issue 8 and now is done while Secret Wars is going. Marvel launched Thors, yes Thors plural currently. Does that mean everyone who had Thor on their pull list is going to carry on to Thors with the different creative team and direction? Take that example and apply it across all of Marvel’s line currently. After Secret Wars is over with it has been announced that Miles Morales from the Ultimate Spiderman series will take over as the main character in Spiderman with Peter Parker serving as a mentor to Miles. To be quite honest I have no idea how many Amazing Spiderman fans will carry over with Miles being the main character. Ultimate Spiderman sold quite poorly here at the store while Amazing Spiderman was on fire for awhile. Amazing still badly outsells what Ultimate Spiderman did. So how many pull customers with Amazing on their list will want the new Spiderman title? With the new re launch still being so far away I doubt if even they know yet.
This is a touchy subject. Trying to diversify comics to gain more readership. Falcon becoming Captain America did not help sales here at the store while the new female Thor had Thor sales see a great increase from the previous series.
Starting to get off track. Back to pull boxes. When Diamond makes a mistake I still get invoiced for it. Meaning I still have to pay for it and then finally get the actual product later. Hopefully.
This is why I do not do a prepay. This means when something goes wrong with the pull box only the store is out any money.
Now when a person sticks us with product through having us order it for them that does cost me money. Which I view like this. Would that same person take a pay cut or lose money out of their pocket willingly due to being mislead? No, so that is why we can’t just keep pulling comics to be pulling them hoping that someday they will be picked up and then finally giving up.
If you have a pull box and come in once a month or more than you are aces with us. It is that simple. You are a valued customer.
Again the pull boxes currently go well over all. We have to be on top of things to avoid getting stuck with hundreds of dollars worth of comics.
Jeff keeps telling me having pull boxes was a mistake for his old store Dragonfire Comics. At times I understand where he is coming from. We have been burnt a few times by pull boxes.
Look at it this way we are trying to do smart business things so we stay in business. If we stay in business we can still take care of all your collecting needs.
As always we are on Facebook. Feel free to “like” us. I still have people that have been customers for years be shocked that the store is on Facebook.
We have an online marketplace on our website that has a sample of what we carry. Also we offer free shipping with in the good old USA.
Marvel has announced their September releases. A Star Wars limited series that bridges the gap between Return of the Jedi and the upcoming Star Wars film in December sounds like a winner. I can see that easily being the number one selling comic for the month. DC after being number one for a few years in September looks like they are giving this years September to Marvel. No 3D covers this year. Which as much as some people complained about them they always sold well here at the store. Wish they would do it again. Now it sounds like October is the month DC is going to try to be the top dog.
October you say? Why that’s when a certain little comic store that beat the odds celebrates five years! It should be a great month indeed.
Mark October 3rd down on your calendar. There will be a celebration! There will be freebies! And cake of course. Darn good cake. The Rodman Comics cut out will be on hand for picture taking. I am also currently brainstorming ideas to make it the best anniversary it can possibly be. Five years. We will be the longest, best stocked, most profitable, game store Ankeny has ever seen. Ankeny has never had a comic store last five years. Right now everything is looking great for the store. The crew is great. The customers are great. It’s all great. I feel great. I am entertaining having a comic pro on hand for the five year anniversary party. The question is who should it be if I do have one? Currently the way the first year anniversary party went was the best. And that did not have any comic pros involved. Would love to have someone that has not been to Iowa before. Which is the comic fan in me speaking instead of the business side of me. Such as Dan Jurgens. The man who killed Superman. To my knowlege he has not been to Iowa before. Jim Balent is an artist I really liked for his work on Catwoman years ago. I might give him a shout out and see if he would be interested. Would love to have Jim Lee and/or Geoff Johns but I doubt that would be possible. But a man can dream right?
Thinking of the past reminds me of this.
Almost five years ago Mathew helped create the Rodman Comic’s Facebook and website. With these words he summarized the store

“Rodman Comics is Ankeny’s premier destination for new and back-issue comic books, toys, Heroclix, and original comic artwork.www.rodmancomics.com FREE BAGS AND BOARDS WITH EVERY COMICS PURCHASE EVERY DAY!”
Mathew was a great help getting Rodman Comics on Facebook and getting the website up and running. Why did he do it? He was thrilled that a comic store was coming to Ankeny. Nearly five years later he still helps us out. That’s a pretty good person.
The free bags and boards is a great bonus for customers. It was part of the reason I started my years long shopping at Dragonfire Comics. They offered free bags and boards with every purchase. Something I should promote more heavily.
As always we look forward to seeing you at Rodman Comics!