Comic Store In Your Future – A Look Back At The 2019 Past

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

What a year. Wizards of the Coast, the company behind Magic the Gathering threw a wrench into our sales by simply not selling as much to us as we would have liked. One cannot sell what one does not have. Now we are prepared and focusing more on comics and other gaming. Comics ended on a high note. One of the many things I have noticed, at least for us, when a high-profile comic arrives on new comic day, it pulls in people and gets them excited which in turn means more customers. More excitement means more money spent.

2019 is the year we are having a sale after Christmas. The day after Christmas is supposed to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year. We are hoping to tap into that to bring people in who have received Christmas money and get them to spend money here. With the low amount of new comics due out for the week, I am very glad we are doing a day after Christmas sale. [Rich adds – the rest of the English-speaking world call this Boxing Day. Come join us, America.]

I have been putting a lot of work in during this month. The goal, of course, is to sell and make money. At the end of the year I will find out how well it worked. Sales after the end of summer had more of a drop off than usual for us. To make up for it I pushed the products we had along with pushing our sales days harder. I'm hoping to slow down enough after the new year to plan things out for next year. What do we invest in? What marketing directions do we go in? What experiments do we try? What changes do we make? 2020 is all about making it a better year than 2019. Improving over the previous year is always a goal here.

Already there is talk about 2020's Free Comic Book Day. Are we going to have it in 2020? I have written about Free Comic Book Day in the past, about how for us we have a successful sales days and great marketing without having to buy comics to give away. Free Comic Book Day has not changed or tried to improve in years. We may try something else instead of Free Comic Book Day. There are other comic stores in the area hosting it so if people need to have free comics, they are able to. Having Free Comic Book Day because other stores do is not a good reason. I have some ideas as alternatives to Free Comic Book Day and hope to get feedback from customers and employees on what they think about Free Comic Book Day and what they would be interested in as options to Free Comic Book Day.

2019 had good things happen for us. As I call them "mental fuel". Things that make it meaningful to keep going other than money. Such as when a child's face lights up after getting a comic. When Geoff Johns surprised the heck out of us and was kind enough to send a signed Doomsday Clock poster along with signed comics and hardcovers and trades. That was really nice of him.

Comic Store In Your Future – A Look Back At The 2019 Past

Steve Lieber sent us a postcard thanking us for promoting Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. Steve and Matt Fraction's work on the book is a hidden gem in the heavy number of comics that comes out every month.

Comic Store In Your Future – A Look Back At The 2019 Past

Matthew Rosenberg sent us a video promoting his upcoming Hawkeye Freefall comic that we have up on our Facebook page. All very neat stuff that gets to the fan in me.


Keeping the fanboy in me happy along with the businessman in me happy is always a challenge. In 2019 I started writing about the research I did into back issues, 25 hot comics for Bleeding Cool. It worked out that I really enjoy them and from what I have been told there are people out them that also enjoy reading them.

2019 has seen growth in back issue sales here. 1st volumes of old series have seen a big increase in demand. Our first volume issues of Amazing Spider-Man are very sparse. I would like to restock better, though people are currently bringing in copies of issues such as Turok 1, the foil cover instead of comics we could sell.

For the next Comic Store In Your Future 2020, what are we going do when the future gets here? Or formerly A Comic Store In Your Future before Rich cut the A off.

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.