28 December 2016

Its the last notes of the year!

We are finishing up on a really great year of comics and a really bad year of comics all at the same time.

DC blew it out of the water with their entire Rebirth line with even 2nd and 3rd tier characters getting some great books. There were several stinkers mixed in there as well but it was by far the best retooling of an entire universe in comics history. Even titles like Superman which was generally a mid sales level book is still selling more than 2x its pre Rebirth numbers. Green Arrow who has always been a character with lots of potential but seldom realized has for the first time since the early 70’s been selling a lot of comics as DC finally realized when push comes to shove, all people really want from their books is a good solid story with decent art. You would think that would be on a plaque in the publishers office but … not so much.

Marvel has some huge hits like Civil War and uhhhh …. give me a few minutes and I could probably come up with something else but they seem to be a lot of fantastic characters in search of a story and a direction. Most of their line has been gender or race switched in search of a new audience at the expense of supporting their base. We have also gone through another year without Wolverine and the Fantastic Four and Marvel attempting to pull attention away from the X-men and put it on the Inhumans and Avengers all due to whats happening with movies and movies rights ownership. Hopefully they will realize that comics really dont influence box office receipts and get back to producing comics on their core books with writers who can deliver some decent stories. Daredevil. Theres one thats been better than it has been in awhile and the new Hawkeye is fun. See, I knew there were a few.

Wolverine has been “dead” for a couple years now and we are getting dangerously close to an entire group of new comic readers who have never seen a Wolverine comic on the stands and so it will not ever be part of their comic habit or memory. They will know who the character is and maybe have read a graphic novel or two but at that point he is just an old character who used to have a book. Like Captain Britain or Blue Devil.

I am getting ready to make a few changes in the stores for the year and have opened some new accounts with distributors to try out new product lines. Dont be too shocked if you come in and see some new stuff. Change is good. The mall store will get a lot of new product but Division will be adding new lines as well. It will be like a party! A party of happiness and stuff!

29 November and 6 December

Three weeks until Christmas! Black Friday was massive at the mall, beating last years sales which is always a nice thing to have happen. Division was about normal as it normally doesnt get a huge Christmas bump until the frantic week before Christmas Day stocking stuffer and gift certificate rush.
We just received another huge shipment of Gundam for both stores – If you like hiding in your house during the winter and have already read all your comics, building a really cool Japanese Mech is a great time killer. They are all snap together but the higher the grade the more difficult and the upperlevels even have individually articulated fingers among other really intricate designs. The instructions are all in that universal language of pictures and all you need is some needle nose pliers, time and patience.
We have had several large shipments of POP figures arriving in the past couple of weeks including multiple exclusives that you wont find at Hot Topic or Walmart. Its nice to get some love from Funko every once in awhile.
Lots more back issues priced and put out and two more shipments of CGC books including two more copies of Preacher #1, Hulk #5, Batman and Green Arrow Rebirth #1’s and other assorted goodies.
We have a massive order of mounted posters coming in this week. Two Hundred from one company and about 150 more from another – You should have no problem finding something cool to put up on your walls.
The mall lease thing is still dragging on and on. Since they had a deadline of the 30th, they will hopefully get their act in gear. Its odd dealing with a company as large as the mall management in Chicago. One part of the company is gung ho, one part is vaguely interested and another seems to be looking out the window daydreaming. Some of them dont seem to understand that since day one, 10 years ago when we first opened a store in the mall, they approached me and each change after is something they approached me about and not the reverse. Even this new project is something they came to me with and then they alter and change it and complain about it and drag their feet and act like I am asking for the world. Its frustrating and funny all at the same time. Oh well. We will see if they resolve everything by today. -Craig!

The Mall lease is all done, finalized and wrapped up! We are there for another 5 years and its looking like they will have to build us the new store sometime next year around the corner from where we are currently. It ended up being an agreement that neither the mall nor I was extremely happy with so I figure it was as probably as close to fair as I could get it.
If the current deal the mall has for the store that is supposed to make us move falls through, we will stay in our current location and use some of their money to make improvements on the space. That part is a win/win for us.
Our Candy Store which is also located in the mall is signing a new lease this week as well although that one is for two years. We will have the option of another lease then or just move it to another location which I already have in mind. Why can I plot 2 years out and cant seem to figure out what to do next week?
We are down to 19 days until Christmas which is always an interesting time when you see how you ordered too much of something and have already sold out of something else and are scrambling to get more in.
We will be hosting a Christmas Magic Tournament at the mall location on Friday the 16th with free entry for everyone and about $300 in prizes that we are putting in. If you play, this is your opportunity to play competitively on our dime!
The Division location will be closing at 4:00 on Christmas Eve and the mall will be closing at 6:00 and both will be closed Christmas day. -Craig!