Contest of Challengers

de Patrick Brower

CHALLENGERS comics + conversation

Episodios

Don’t Make Us Choose Between Your Money and Satan

por Patrick Brower

"Don’t Make Us Choose Between Your Money and Satan"
Wait… ARE we devil worshipers??
A full week of Molly Jane Challenger! And she did…?
This store is for the young at heart.
The first experience receiving Marvel Comics from Penguin Random House. It was…?
Marvel has changed their Final Order Cutoff lead time.
Getting Challengers to be what we hoped it could be.
Working with artists for store projects is an amazing thing to get to do.

Generally Managing

por Patrick Brower

"Generally Managing"
A brief, yet thorough, history of all past Challengers co-workers.
After months of hints and clues, probably the 4th biggest announcement we could make…
The futures of Challengers starts NOW!
Thanks, Patrons!
The performance aspect of selling comics to families.

Multiples of the Normal Cost

por Patrick Brower

"Multiples of the Normal Cost"
Please wear your mask over your mouth AND nose.
Patreon Free Comic Book Day questions (answered 1 month late).
DC, Lunar AND FedEx all have the potential to upset our weekly DC receiving schedule.
KickStarter survey woes.
Diamond’s Retailer Best Practice Awards are back for 2021.
Dal really like CRIMSON CAGE #1!
Dal also read some other yet-to-be-released comics.
IDW + PRH = acronym abundance!

It’s Soul-Crushing

por Patrick Brower

"It’s Soul-Crushing"
Playing with our new 1D, Bluetooth, cordless barcode scanner.
The overallocation of both subscriptions and special orders in ComicSuite.
Last episode we talked about having to do Final Order Cutoffs via Penguin Random House for the first time. This week we talk about actually having done them.
Current Initial Order hurdles.
Supply prices (bags) are going up AGAIN, as are Marvel Legends prices.
Full days of work, at the store and not at the store.
Trying to lessen the burden for the future.

Weirder and More Stable

por Patrick Brower

"Weirder and More Stable"
It’s the first week for Marvel Comics single issue Final Order Cutoffs thru Penguin Random House.
Manage Comics’ most recent thought stream makes our excitement build, even if the release date is pushed back.
Experimenting with Shopify’s point of sale system.
Supplies and Funko Pops trade places in the shop.

Please Choose Returnability

por Patrick Brower

"Please Choose Returnability"
Still no DC data in ComicSuite means no one can subscribe to November’s DC books (UPDATE: DC books have been added to the system after we recorded).
We’re kind of bad a promoting new comics and merchandise via social media.
Cover I.D. I don't remember what this refers to, but it was in my notes so it's here.
Have you heard about publishers printing multiple covers for the same comic?? Weird, right?
Customer Service isn’t for everybody...
Our new shirt Kickstarter campaign is in its last week! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/challengers/keep-reading-comics-t-shirt-designed-by-ali-cantarella

Broken Links in the Supply Chain

por Patrick Brower

"Broken Links in the Supply Chain"
The regular occurrence of graphic novels damaged in shipping.
Patrick has been doing this for 31 years.
Huge week for DC! So many stores did not get their new comics in time for Wednesday, AND DC is having to delay a lot of books for supply reasons.
Ingram is on top of it all!
2 of our upcoming store signings have been cancelled (Dave Scheidt “Mayor Good Boy” and Allyson Lassiter “Star Beasts”).
Trying to order Marvel graphic novels.
Retailers industry wide are feeling the stress.
We've still got a new shirt on Kickstarter right now! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/challengers/keep-reading-comics-t-shirt-designed-by-ali-cantarella

Pin-Tastic

por Patrick Brower

More Questions answered about Manage Comics.
Store improvements this week: door leak guards, 2 new door thresholds, new carpet runners and 17 new window banners!
Also new – Challengers Birthday card, I Love You But I’ve Chosen Comics enamel pin and the Patrick + Dal heads 2-pin set!
Our Free Comic Book Day aftermath.
Bad Idea’s latest disagreeable marketing decision.
Substack! What is it? Which creators are using it? How will it impact comic shops?
We've got a new shirt on Kickstarter right now! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/challengers/keep-reading-comics-t-shirt-designed-by-ali-cantarella

Carpet Diem

por Patrick Brower

Carpet Diem
Patrick is SO high strung right now. He can feel the cable starting to fray…
Free Comic Book Day is NOW! Although it’ll be over by the time you hear this.
Our last 7 days, in order. SO much stuff happened!
The process of getting the carpet installed.

Special thanks to:
Kent Challenger
Samantha Challenger, Vex and Steve
Drew and Ashleigh
Keith and Margie
Tad
And also…
Felix Challenger
Andrew Challenger
Benhur
Jackie
Erik

The Value Aspect

por Patrick Brower

"The Value Aspect"
Introducing ‘new’ publisher MarvelPRH! A good idea from Diamond!
Further adventures with Pullbox.
What our subscription service is supposed to be vs what it’s turned into.
“Curbside” vs “In-Store”.
The pitfalls of celebrity signings.
Our recommended offer to exchange.
You should really add Ed Brubaker’s Friday HC to you want list.
Our current stance on comic Kickstarters.
There is no Challengers TikTok.
People really want the “hot” Free Comic Book Day titles, but is it for the actual comic stories?

Changing the Calculus

por Patrick Brower

"Changing the Calculus"
Masks are once again required in-store.
Will these rising Covid numbers change Free Comic Book Day (Aug 14)?
DC = Doesn’t Care
Constantly having to apologize to subscribers for computer errors we can’t control is exhausting. Talking about it every week, even more so.
Thanks, Patrons!
The ever-changing due dates for Final Order Cutoff numbers.
We’ve finalized our new mid-windows banner design.

Minimizing Chances of Failure

por Patrick Brower

Minimizing Chances of Failure
Wearing a coat in July.
Seven Sagas vol 1’s.
Patrick is working on the last Marvel Comics order from Diamond.
Our (probable) switchover to Manage Comics looms ever closer.
I’m sorry, but we’re out of Pokémon cards. Again. Still.
The face of your disappointment.
New Challengers Greeting Card, singular.
Our new carpet installation has been pushed back by 1 week.
Who makes money in Comics?

Spatial Considerations

por Patrick Brower

Spatial Considerations
So many plans for updating the look of Challengers, but no time to implement them.
Challengers needs a deep cleaning!
As we get closer to the potential switch-over to Manage Comics, we’re finding more hardware we’ll need to upgrade.
Still hoping to change our Penguin Random House payment terms before we start ordering Marvel single issues.
As pop culture fans we sure buy a lot of pop culture stuff.

Parse That Data

por Patrick Brower

Parse That Data
Comics as commodities.
Manage Comics 2.0 is looking good for us.
The last word on Challengers Blue.
Finally… new carpet! And we can use your help moving all the shelves.
Say 10 things nice to 1 thing negative.

So Many Shipments

por Patrick Brower

Eternal racking questions.
How many covers is too many (hint: more than 2).
So many shipments from so many distributors.
June sales totals (an overview).
Water damage.
Primordial #1 (by the Gideon Falls team).
Don’t miss out on The Nice House on the Lake!

Is It Good or is it Spawn?

por Patrick Brower

Yotsuba&! is returning!
Calling back after we call you.
The weirdness of no masks.
Is it good or is it Spawn?
Patrick really digs Vinyl from Image.
Addressing the Warren Ellis in the room.
Hoarding the new Hawkguy collection.
The new Amazing Spider-Man writing team.
A controversial new figure from DoomCo Designs and Crocodile Jackson.
Introducing Felix Challenger.

This is a Dull Podcast

por Patrick Brower

This is a Dull Podcast
Upcoming DC books—more hits than not!
Prose writers writing comics.
Updating our Gift Cards on the website(s).
Marvel Legends prices are rising and may rise more.
Have you heard about Phonation? 10 Chicago podcasts on vinyl!
LOKI is a fun show.
Nick Spencer is leaving Amazing Spider-Man.
New work from Fiona Staples, but not new Saga work.
Signings! Upcoming, new, and unannounced!
Where to eat after visiting Challengers?

Space Ghettos

por Patrick Brower

Space Ghettos
Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow.
How’d our Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton signing go? Hint: Awesome.
Our new in-store mask policy.
Asking for a Spider-Man collection is really asking for _______________?
New week, same ComicSuite running errors.
Still learning how to order thru Penguin Random House.
The non-death of Bad Idea.
W.E.B. of Spider-Man #1 was this week’s most annoying comic.
A Yelp review from a year and a half ago resurfaces.
Bonus! See if you can count the times Dal leaves the recording studio to take a phone call while Patrick fills.

So. Many. Damages.

por Patrick Brower

Green Lantern after Geoff Johns volume 4.
So many damages from our distribution partners.
Problems with single issue comic backorders.
EVERYTHING is in short supply right now (not just comics) and it’s making people go insane.
The different mindset of the suburban comic shop.
More advance PDF’s please!
Dal really liked Made in Korea and Patrick is totally on board for Vinyl (from the team behind Plastic).
How long will we keep wearing masks in-store?

Black Lives Matter

por Patrick Brower

Black Lives Matter
What’s in Patrick’s pocket?
Delaying the Batman/Fortinite reprints is annoying.
New DC solicits (Batman the World).
Signings are back at Challengers! Kyle Starks & Chris Schweizer, Michael Moreci, Tim Seeley, and Dave Scheidt, for starters.
Maybe we’ll have plans for FCBD after all…
Black Lives Matter.
Thank you for all thinking so highly of us.

It’s a Linear Path

por Patrick Brower

It’s a Linear Path
Friday afternoon dranks.
Bad artists can really make you stop reading a book.
Losing John Paul Leon and David Anthony Kraft.
We have current comic bags available again!
Working with other comic shops. Or not.
What became of our unsold Hank Howard copies?
Low Marvel print runs on Disney+ properties.
New Marvel sales terms from Diamond.
Also from Diamond, new shipping fee structure.
DisCovery.

A Frictionless Process

por Patrick Brower

A Frictionless Process
Tech support working on ComicSuite all day Friday.
Upcoming potential ComicSuite patch to make importing ALL publishers easier.
Hachette’s (one of our new regular distributors) refund issue.
DC Comics Final Order Cutoff is still 4 weeks out.
Street date for new D&D hardcover!
Comic bags from Chenxin.
We seem to have mis-ordered some recent new DC titles in a big way.
*UPDATE ON THE BETA RAY BILL INTERNATIONAL SALES BATTLE!!*
More love for the upcoming 6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton!
“What/Who makes us money”
Marvel’s last minute variant cover artist switches.
Who’s up for Ed Piskor’s Red Room #1 next week?
Magic the Gathering allocations.

Okay to Work With, But Mouthy

por Patrick Brower

Okay to Work With, But Mouthy
It’s a pseudo anniversary episode: 1 year since Patrick’s TMNT injury and 2 weeks since Patrick and Dal received their 2nd vaccinations.
How Bad Idea’s Whalesville button when terribly wrong this week.
All the effort it will take to sell $1 copies of Bad Idea’s Hank Howard for 8 hours.
Danhausen is very nice, very evil, and on an Image cover.
If only it were easier to answer Pullbox questions.
Dal envisions a world where there are NO standing orders for subscribers, only special orders placed every month.
Don’t blame Diamond for your mistakes.
Venting on the podcast as opposed to venting in-store.

 

Saying “No”

por Patrick Brower

What’s the worst weather for the shop to be open during?
Free Comic Book Day is not this Saturday.
The pandemic is still a thing… especially if you’re trying to order Comic Supplies or Manga.
Why are DC Final Orders now 4 weeks out instead of 3?
“Worthless books” and why we’re not a mail-order store.
There are no Sacred Cows in Comics Retail.
Where oh where can all this backstock go?
Bookshelves too full to make fun.
Net terms.

Cry Wolf

por Patrick Brower

Contest of Challengers #530
Cry Wolf
Putting the Biz in Ness.
Man-Bat’s Nite Fort .0
The Beta Ray Bill #1 International Sales Battle is mired in controversy.
Future ordering.
New DC and Marvel series for July.
Fun with balloons… and the police.
Wolf.

Infrastructural

por Patrick Brower

Of course “infrastructural” is a word. And we ARE relating to the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, such as Challengers Comics + Conversation.
Time Before Time, another upcoming Image title, is definitely worth your… time.
Running a comic shop vs running a comic business.
New non-Marvel Legends toys.
Having Invincible collections is invaluable, as opposed to not being able to get any Falcon and Winter Soldier collections.
Penguin Random House is out of stock on our entire order?
Upcoming website changes, but we’re in no hurry.
Window quotes, in more ways than one.

“I Don’t Know” is Unacceptable

por Patrick Brower

Benhur’s safe is safe! Phew!
Seriously, masks are still required in-store!! Sheesh.
7 months of Andrew. Woosh!
Changes in the X-Men titles this summer! Snikt!
New Marvel Legends action figures just announced! Bam!
Bad Idea pins… *Sigh*
“I Don’t Know” is Unacceptable. Humph.
Image’s The Good Asian is an excellent detective (Chinatown Noir) comic! Ka-ching!*

*Okay, so I felt a little weird using “Ka-ching” as the sound effect after The Good Asian. I was going for the sound of a cash register to emphasize how much we expect this to sell. To be safe I googled “noise a cash register makes” and both ‘cha-ching’ and ka-ching’ came up at the top, so I went with it.

6 Weeks of Aggravation

por Patrick Brower

6 Weeks of Aggravation
This week has been a solid week of sales. Is it Easter? Spring Break?
Our windows really need some attention!
Bad Idea strikes again!
Shopify online payment options.

Jumping Right In...

por Patrick Brower

So, anything interesting happen in the comics industry this week?
The majority of this episode is about, of course, Marvel Comics leaving Diamond Comic Distributors in favor of Penguin Random House.
This Wednesday is our 13th Anniversary.
Volumes Bookcafe is closing their shop in our neighborhood (for now).
Square and Wyze, 2 services we use all day long, both had server issues today.
The 6 Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton is this year’s best comic book series.

It’s So Byzantine

por Patrick Brower

It’s So Byzantine
This year’s Sale t-shirts are in, but what if we made a 2nd shirt each year?
Free Comic Book Day is still happening in 2021, in August, but what are we doing for it?
Gregg Schigiel has designed our new book mark! He also designs great masks here: https://www.teepublic.com/user/hatterentertainment
It’s been 1 year since Chicago shut down for the start of the pandemic. How has the nature of business changed in that time?
Applying for PPP financial assistance.
Remembering Ed Mroz (The Mutiny) and Gerri Miller (Metal Edge magazine).
Coffee Shop AU.
New and Upcoming Comics we’ve read, including TIME BEFORE TIME, NIGHTWING, DETECTIVE COMICS, BATMAN SUPERMAN, HARLEY QUINN and JUSTICE LEAGUE.

The Prisoner’s Dilemma

por Patrick Brower

We seem to have broken yet another audio receiver. And by “we” we’re blaming Kent.
Some people find our Rogues Gallery prints fairly valuable.
Protect the Eisner at all costs, Dal!!
Diamond allocations and the Prisoner’s Dilemma.
With 6 months to go, the landlord at Blue is now even more frustrating to deal with.

Avoiding Landmines Isn’t Enough

por Patrick Brower

New AEW figure announcements and signings!
WandaVision pulling out all the stops (we had not watched Episode 9 before this recording so there are no spoilers at all).
Just knowing a landmine is there only helps you avoid that specific landmine.
The Joker #1, and a look at the cultural impact of the Joker.
Checking in with the first of DC’s post Infinite Frontier books (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman).
Now that Bad Idea’s ENIAC #1 is actually out, what does selling Bad Idea comics really look like? Also, Eniac #1 is really good. So good we can’t be angry at it.
Before you email us asking if we have something in stock, you can always check for yourself at shop.challengerscomics.com!

The Treachery of Margie

por Patrick Brower

All Star Comics fires shots from afar using someone VERY close to home.
Keanu Reeves’ BRZRKR #1 arrives this week!
Oh, USPS. Why do you only have 1 good mail carrier in our area?
Everything new Bad Idea does makes it seem more about limited/collectability than about reading good comics.
Stopping in at Chicago’s Vertical Gallery.
A series of connected one shots vs. a mini-series.
Too many themed cover options for one title!
“Time Traveler” the movie.
DC’s Infinite Frontier #0.

The Annoyance Fee

por Patrick Brower

Pokemon Shining Fates was released today and… well, we carried all of it. For now…
Rumors of a DC Comics buyout by rich fans.
DC final order orders can be less final than we’d like.
Buying comics for more than cover price.
Bad Idea working with Diamond?
New rules for publishers offering returnability thru Diamond.
Todd McFarlane’s vision of the future of comics is… Image comics from the mind-1990’s.

Digging Our Own Grave

por Patrick Brower

Digging Our Own Grave
DC is Digital First, Retailers Last.
Affidavit Returns can be tricky when not everything is listed on your invoice.
The books we wish were selling better.
This year’s SALE was way more frustrating than ever before, with higher highs and lower lows. Plus, more procedures to pull it off with an online component.
Ordering collecting supplies is more challenging than ever before.
How you can use Final Order Cutoffs/Final Orders Due to your advantage! And also, New to Order!