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With Tolerance for…: A Feeding Frenzy

Written by GCom on Thursday, March 15 2007 and posted in Features
Written by GCom Okay. Captain America #25. How did that go for me and my store? Wednesday, March 7th, 2007. While the rest of the world is finding out about Captain America dying from various news sources, myself and the Filthy Assistants are working on getting the books out to the public, so we are blissfully unaware [...]

Captain America 25Written by GCom

Okay. Captain America #25. How did that go for me and my store?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007. While the rest of the world is finding out about Captain America dying from various news sources, myself and the Filthy Assistants are working on getting the books out to the public, so we are blissfully unaware of the situation. We found out about 30 minutes after opening from several customers who were more in the know than us.

Most people on the street are of the opinion that retailers are more in the know than most. I hate to wreck that dream, but it’s just not true. Most of us are operating off of the same Previews catalog that the customers see, and that’s it. For the most part, both Marvel and DC don’t like to give out spoilers as to content of a book, for… okay, I’ve heard reasons, but they just don’t quite work for me, especially in situations like what happened with Captain America #25. There’s a couple of ways for retailers to get some tidbits of information here and there that are factual (as opposed to the rampant speculation that goes on endlessly), but they tend to be rare. The situation is a suitcase full of frustrating for me.

With Captain America, the only scrap of information I had about what was to come was a warning from David Gabriel at Marvel saying “You have not ordered enough of Captain America 25.” about 5 weeks before the book hit the stands. I was already ordering a lot of Captain America, due to the Civil War storyline, but on David’s warning, I called up Diamond Comics Distributors and doubled my order. Pow.

In retrospect, if I had known that there was going to be two covers to Captain America #25, I would have ordered more, since many of my reservists were emailing and calling saying “I want both covers!”, so in fact doubling my order didn’t do a whole lot.

By the time Filthy Assistants Susan and Dusty were done sorting the reserves, it wasn’t as big a stack of Captain America #25’s getting out onto the shelves as I would have liked. A half hour later an empty Captain America #25 slot said I just simply hadn’t gotten enough.

The phone calls were the worst. Filthy Assistant Susan was hit by the brunt of this, while I was fielding all the emails. Let me give an example of what Filthy Assistant Susan went through…
>BRING< “Hello, Gary’s Comics, this is Susan, how can I help you?”
“Yeah! You got that issue where Captain America dies?”
“We’ve sold out for the moment, but we will be getting more in later.”
“Okay!” >CLICK<
7 seconds go by.
>BRING< “Hello, Gary’s Comics, this is Susan, how can I help you?”
“Yeah! When are you getting in more Captain Americas?” (same person as before.)
“We’re hoping by next week. We have a reservation list if you want to have your name put down.” says Filthy Assistant Susan.
“Cool!” >CLICK< Filthy Assistant Susan looks at the phone in a puzzled manner for about 2 seconds, hangs up, then gives me an annoyed look.
>BRING< Filthy Assistant Susan sighs before she picks the phone up and says “Hello, Gary’s Comics, this is Susan, how can I help you?”
“Yeah, can I get on the list for a Captain America?” (same person for the third time)
“Certainly!” says Filthy Assistant Susan. “What’s your name?”
“And you think you’ll get them next week?”
“Yes. What’s your name?” asks Filthy Assistant Susan as she’s poised with a pen above the Captain America #25 list.
“Can I get one for my brother too?”
“Yes. What’s your name, and his name?” asks Filthy Assistant Susan as a paying customer appears in front of her wanting to check out with their comicy goodness.
“You want our names?” asks the third-time caller.
“Yes. So we know who to hold them for.” replies Filthy Assistant Susan.
“Oh. Okay. XXXX XXXXX and XXXX XXXXX.”
Filthy Assistant Susan does some fast writing on the Captain America reservation list while the customer waits patiently in front of her.
“All-right,” says Filthy Assistant Susan into the phone while now reaching for the customers items in front of her to scan the barcodes. “We’ll hold you a copy for both you and your brother.”
“Can you give me a call when they come in?” asks the voice on the other end.
Filthy Assistant Susan does a fast juggle of comics, papers and fingers in a hunt for a pen that she had just put down in front of her.
“Yes, what’s your number?” asks Filthy Assistant Susan as she finds the pen. Success!
“XXX-XXXX.” says the voice on the phone.
”All-right, we’ll give you a call when we get the Captain Americas.” Says Filthy Assistant Susan as she starts ringing up the customer in front of her.
“What about my brother?” asks the voice on the phone.
“What?” goes Filthy Assistant Susan as she’s in mid-placement of a comic into a bag.
”Do you want his number too?”
I actually hear in my head, as well as see it on her face when Filthy Assistant Susan silently screams.
“No, we’ll give you the call.” Says Filthy Assistant Susan with infinite patience.
“Oh. Okay.” >CLICK<
Filthy Assistant Susan spares another 2 seconds to stare at the phone in her hand before getting back to the customer in front of her.
10 seconds later the phone rang again. Filthy Assistant Susan just turned her head towards the phone and glared at it until I reached over and picked it up myself.
“Hello, Gary’s Comics, how can I help you?” I ask into the phone.
“Yes,” says the female voice in reply “Did Buffy #1 come out today?”

I knew enough to run away and not be a convenient target for any anger displays later. Filthy Assistant Susan was smoldering.

To discuss.


Posted originally: 2007-03-15 19:25:17

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