2021 Is Proving To Be Interesting So Far – Comic Store In Your Future

Rod Lamberti of Rodman Comics of Ankeny, Iowa, writes Comic Store In Your Future weekly for Bleeding Cool. Find previous columns here. And it's time to look at 2021.

2021, the year of firsts. Roughly over a week ago, I was thinking there really isn't much super-hot comic-wise coming out anytime soon. Then I read the upcoming Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point issue 3 will have G.I. Joe's Snake Eyes vs. Batman. I was quite surprised. I posted about it on Facebook, and within a few days, we have had multiple people add it to their pull lists. One person posted on our Facebook page, "That might actually get me to buy a comic book again." I confess I know nothing about Fortnite. I even had to look up Fortnite to make sure I was typing it correctly; I originally typed it as Fornite. Whoops. Yes, I am the one person who has never played it. I know having the most popular G.I. Joe vs. the most popular DC character is pretty cool and not anything I thought I would ever see in actual print. Now, I just hope it is a cool fight and a cool read. DC has even made the Fortnite limited series returnable. For the third issue, I would have ordered big even without it being returnable. Making the whole limited series returnable did get me to increase my orders on the other issues. Now I know I look forward to reading at least the first three issues.

2021 Is Proving To Be Interesting So Far - Comic Store In Your Future
2021 Is Proving To Be Interesting So Far – Comic Store In Your Future Credit: Epic Games

Scout Comics announced they are going to be distributed by both Diamond Comics and Lunar Distribution. I did not see that coming. I would say it would help Scout Comics. Diamond still has tons of different comic publishers and tons of comics they distribute. Lunar, who just has DC, has a much lower amount of comic material to deal with. When I order, or I click on a FOC date in Lunar, and Scout Comics titles and DC titles are the only ones to populate; they are not lost in a sea of other titles like they would be with just Diamond. I would say the odds of me or other publishers ordering Scout Comics material in the future have just gone up. Their announcement alone gives them publicity.

I've been letting the Magic the Gathering players know about the upcoming new Magic comic book. Most had no idea one was coming out, so trying to get them interested. Come the release day for the new Magic comic, we will, of course, learn the hard way how well it is received.

Only a few comic-related movies during 2020 (Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey, Bloodshot, and Wonder Woman 84) show comic-related movies do almost nothing for comic sales. In-store I noticed no new business thanks to the three movies. At least Wandavision did cause the few back issues of the Vision and Scarlet Witch we had to sell this year.

The Justice League movie returned under the Zack Snyder cut. Last year when this was announced, I was quite surprised; before the announcement, I never thought it would actually happen. With it coming to HBO Max, I will not see it. I am too cheap to pay for streaming services. For me, there are just too many out there, and I am a movie theater person. Sitting at home watching something is a rarity for me. If I am at home, I am usually working or typing up one of these columns.

I am way behind on the store's website. I've been getting ready for the first Rod Deals of the year. We are going to have Pokémon material for auction for the first time. That could prove interesting. Trying a wide range of various products for this sale. Various comics will be up for auction: some old comics, variant covers, hard-to-get comics, and more. Magic the Gathering single cards were popular last time, so we will try it again. Action figures are always a hit. Star Wars has become hot again, so pushing various Star Wars material. Heroclix has always done well. Statues for us, for whatever reason, toward the end of last year cooled off, hoping for a turnaround on statues this time. I am somewhat concerned I may have too wide of a range of products. As usual, I will learn the hard way.

With a little luck, I hope things will get better this year. July 4th may truly be an even bigger event than usual. It may be the first major holiday when it is safe to have people gather. Heck, if the weather holds, I may even try to have people over for the 4th and fire up the grill if the vaccine rollout is successful. Hoping everyone can get vaccinated as soon as possible.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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