Comic Store In Your Future: Vacations For Comic Shop Owners

Posted by September 6, 2018 Comment

Rod Lamberti of Rodman Comics writes weekly for Bleeding Cool. Find previous columns here.

In a sign that I think too much about the store, when I flew out to Vegas for a much-needed vacation, what was the first thing I do after getting off the plane? I stopped at a comic store. I drove up to Alternate Reality Comics.

Nearly planted my face in their parking lot getting out of the truck. I am so used to the Camaro and getting out from a low sitting vehicle getting out of the truck was much different. The rental place upgraded the vehicle. Spent over $50 at Alternate Reality Comics. I was surprised. Now I know how comic customers feel. I am so used to buying comics directly from Diamond at a discount. Alternate Reality Comics had some much-needed issues for our customers. Seeing a stack of Amazing Spider-Man #2 first printings was a pleasant surprise. I bought a few of course. Not sure if most or all the stores in central Iowa are sold out but, that issue and Venom issues are the most in-demand issues currently at our store. I picked up those along with a few Immortal Hulk issues. Diamond currently doesn’t have them available to order. I say currently because, before I left and even though Amazing Spider-Man #1 went to another printing, first printings of Amazing Spider-Man #1 were available again, which of course I ordered. Was hoping to talk with the owner who I had met but he was not in. Talked with his employee briefly who did know where everything was and she was polite. Did ask her to tell the owner I said hi. Left impressed. The store is very clean, good lighting, and well maintained.

I read Rich Johnston’s write up about Bill Jemas and Axel Alonso‘s new company. This line stuck out at me the most:

“Expect some kind of comics publisher that is pitched as an IP farm, a place to create ideas independent of medium, some big familiar names hired, with comic book pages positioned as acting as storyboards, and an aim of eventually selling off to Amazon Prime, Hulu or the like…”

I just shake my head and think is that why so many comics are being published currently? So many that don’t sell or last? Just for the off chance of making a ton of money by becoming a movie or TV series? Such as Men In Black did? It wasn’t a known property when it first started as a comic but took off at the movie theater, which I am sure made everyone involved with the creation of MIB a lot of money. Image is a launching pad for short-term projects. Nothing wrong with making money, I myself just would like to see more creativity and work into the actual comics.  So many forgotten comics and characters are out there. Anyone remember Gorilla Comics? Launched in 2000 and quickly forgotten.  When a new comic is launched and the hope and main goal is to get it noticed for a movie or TV deal I think that is a mistake. The goal should be to put out as good as a comic as possible. An entertaining comic with quality as its focus that gets people excited. This also increases the chance of becoming the comic becoming a movie or TV project.

The day I returned from Vegas I went up to my store with the comics I bought. After walking in, one of the people there saw some of the comics I bought and that Amazing Spider-Man #2 was among them. Asked me if he could buy the issue, I chuckled and said yes.

Stopped by the local Walmart. Seen plenty of the exclusive DC Walmart issues. Talked with a friend who was in Kansas City who told me they were plentiful along with a few others around the nation, letting me know their Walmarts are stocked up with them and no one seems to be buying them. No one seems upset now that they are easy to get. Not near a Walmart? Online there are plenty being sold for cheap as long as you are in the good old USA.

School has started up. Which means we will have lost customers who shopped with us though have now moved to go to college elsewhere. This helps fuel our never-ending battle to bring in new customers. Many customers will leave, not due to any issue with the store, but due to life. Meaning moving for a job, a girlfriend or boyfriend, school, or other reasons.

New customers will come in thanks to the community college we have nearby. The challenge will be figuring out what the new customers will want. Be it comics or other collectables.

There will be a prerelease for Magic in September. It will show us who is still coming to Magic prereleases here and if we are able to attract new people. Same with Heroclixs come October.

October 6th we will celebrate 8 years of Rodman Comics. Which means there will be a lot of planning and work. Rod Deals will be going down along with some good cake for all. I did forget that our private showing for Venom the movie is that morning so that will make things more challenging. Usually, the morning of Rod Deals, before we open we get everything set up. That said I will try to use the private showing as a launch for the anniversary. Try to get as many people as possible that join us to see the movie to then stop by the store afterwards. Hopefully the movie is a hit with our group and people will be excited for various Venom material.

The time off did me a world of good. Had a blast and hope to make it back to Vegas next year. Time off does help recharge the batteries and shows that Rodman Comics can survive without me. Which of course it should.

Maybe next week the publishers will announce something really exciting and surprising that I will be able to write about.

Such as DC announces that Kevin Smith has finished the follow up on his project Batman: The Widening Gyre! Finally that cliffhanger will be wrapped up.

Or DC announces Alan Moore is returning to write more Watchmen stories!

Maybe Joe Quesada apologizes to Paul Levitz for comparing DC to a porn star that is unable to get it up while Marvel now has the same problem that he poked fun at DC for?

Perhaps I report on how we sold a thousand copies of the cancelled Marvel Solo series?

A man can dream right?

Tune in next week and find out!

(Last Updated September 6, 2018 12:17 pm )

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