Happy Tenth Birthday To Rodman Comics – 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.

On October 10th, we celebrated ten years of Rodman Comics! It went very well. There were things I would have liked to have done, such as a group picture of our customers; of course, with the coronavirus, that would be foolish. I am getting more and more used to the masks.

I started off the day, running to the bank and post office to ship off items that had been purchased online. I went through my closet and found what I believed was the first Rodman Comics T-shirt we had done for the store. One person told me it was not the very first one, though it was still old. I wore the shirt to the store, ready to start the day. The first thing I hear is that shirt looks a little tight. I laughed, "Yeah, I am a few more pounds heavier than when I first got this shirt." Then I was asked why aren't you wearing one of the new T-shirts. I said I wanted to remember the past with it being the 10th anniversary of the store.

Happy Tenth Birthday To Rodman Comics - Comic Store In Your Future
Happy Tenth Birthday To Rodman Comics – Comic Store In Your Future

I was worried. We wanted people to come yet, not too many at once in these times. It was a few minutes before we opened, and no one was there. Was our tenth anniversary going to be a bust? We opened, and sure enough, people came—a nice steady stream of people for most of the day. We, of course, had a sale, 20 percent off everything not already discounted. Rod Deals was on; auctions were done on a wide range of material. Usually, when dealing with a lot of people throughout the day, something goes wrong. To my knowledge, everything went pretty well. Almost everyone seemed happy. One person did complain the day after about not winning the item they had bid on. I even received some gifts, which was very nice.

The day went great. A lot of work went into the day, though when the work pays off, it is very much worth it. We did the "return a coupon" idea again that we did on Rodman Comics Day. We had more people come to our anniversary than we did Rodman Comics Day, so when we ran out of coupons, we had to have someone go and print more. Come next Saturday; we will see how many people return the coupon for a chance to get one of ten gift bags and who gets a graded comic book.

Years ago, when I extended our lease, I wondered what the future would bring. Things were going well, though I knew life has a habit of throwing twists, turns, and even roadblocks up at times. April of 2020, when we were mandated to shut down, I wondered if there would be a 10th anniversary for the store. At the time, there was talk the shutdown could last a year. Then we suddenly could reopen again, leaving many wondering why we even closed to start with. There currently is a lot of chaos with the economy.

Rodman Comics did indeed celebrate ten years. A small part of me is still surprised it happened. The fact that I have owned Rodman Comics for ten straight years is difficult for me to grasp. Ten years of being open is also difficult for some others to grasp. After all, for how many decades have some claimed digital will put physical comic stores out of business? Digital is far and away, not an issue to me. Three Jokers just sold hundreds of thousands of copies showing physical comic sales still have plenty of life. Our sales for our anniversary were fantastic, showing me plenty of hope for the future. Our customer base has never been better. Our customers are a great group of people, and they give me an abundance of enjoyment to keep the store going!

Our anniversary was a great day, and hopefully, we will have plenty more of them.

Stay safe, everyone!

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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