Sunday, October 30, 2011

The (Monthly) Shopping Report: Sell-Outs and Other Disappointments

Went to a different comic shop this month — Hot Comics and Collectibles (we'd been there a couple times before, once as a family for Free Comic Book Day and once just with my son where he picked out an action figure* for his birthday).  It's a little further than the store that I've come to think of as our local shop, but I had a coupon for 20% off your total purchase so the promise of savings trumped any sense of loyalty I may have had.

I took both kids and told them they could each get one comic and one toy as a reward for advancing to the next swimming level earlier that day.  My son picked out his comic right away (The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #12, a perfect choice with Halloween right around the corner) but my daughter took longer.  First she was disappointed because I'd told her the latest issue of Spongebob Comics had come out but we couldn't find it on the rack.  I asked the clerk (once he was done chatting with another customer) if they carried the series and he responded that he wasn't sure but, if they did, it would be on there.  "And the books are arranged alphabetically?" I asked to confirm the general vicinity where I should be looking.  "Yeah," he answered, "although it might not be in the right spot since kids move things around."  My daughter decided to browse through other comics, eventually deciding on Strawberry Shortcake #2.

We then moved over to the toy (really, action figure) section of the shop and once again my son was able to find something he wanted right away (the Justice League Unlimited version of Dr. Fate) but my daughter was unable to find anything that appealed to her.  Out of all the action figures available, only a tiny fraction were of female characters, and almost all of those seemed inappropriate for a first grader.  (Even if she'd been interested, I wouldn't have wanted her picking out any Blackest Night or Ane-Comi items.)  I told her we could stop at Target and she could pick out a toy later.

Finally, it was dad's turn.  I was looking forward to getting the latest issue of Daredevil, which had just come out that week.  Unfortunately, they were sold out already.  To their credit, they did offer to call their other location to see if it was still in stock but I decided to check out my "regular" shop instead.  So I took the kids home and headed out to the second shop while mom made them lunch.  Captain Jack's had both Spongebob #5 and Daredevil #5, but I noticed that they were out of TANBTBATB #12, which just goes to show that no shop is perfect, I guess.

Other observations:
  • We grabbed the last copy of TANBTBATB #12 at Hot Comics, which was also the only issue of the whole series available on the rack.  Captain Jack's most current issue available was #9, but they had older issues available on the rack for cover price.  I can only hope this means plenty of parents are reading this enjoyable series with their kids!
  • Hot Comics is currently running a sale of 50% off hardcovers and back issues.  I couldn't think of anything I was dying to have on my shelves, but check it out if you're in the area and have some collected editions on your wish list.
  • I don't expect a store to stock every possible item for every potential customer, but, man, did it break my heart when my daughter couldn't find one thing in the whole store she wanted to get.
  • Those Ane-Comi figurines are creepy.  And why is Nancy from Sin City part of the Ane-Comi line?
* First Appearance: Blue Beetle (Stealth), which my son calls "Invisible Blue Beetle" which is pretty close. **
** Dad also picked out an action figure that day: New Gods: Mister Miracle, because (1) it was on sale and (2) I couldn't resist the cool Kirby-based design.

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