Retailing story first, then into some reviews...
So, I'm in the back of the store yesterday, pulling the subs, but I can hear what's going on the floor just fine. I hear Matt greet someone, then, in a shockingly short time -- like within a minute -- something escalates to screaming. "You're trying to rip me off!" and things like that. I give Matt a few minutes to try and sort it out, but he's not able to calm the guy down.
So, I saunter out, "Hello, I'm the owner, what seems to be the trouble here?"
Older gentlemen, probably in his 50s, with a teenager with him. He's gone straight to apoplectic, which is generally a sign that someone is lying to you before they even start, but let's listen to his story.
"I was trying to explain to this guy," the guy launches in, "that I was here a week or so ago to buy MICE TEMPLAR volume 2.1 for my son, and your store sold me THIS instead!" He thrusts a copy of MICE TEMPLAR v1 in HC in my hand. "And now he won't exchange it!"
"Hm, I see," I say, "do you have your receipt with you?"
"NO! I already told him, I lost the receipt. Your store sold me the wrong book!"
"Can you tell me who sold it to you, sir?"
"It was a guy with black hair, and he was wearing a hat."
"Interesting, because me and Matt are the only two people working here in the last few weeks, and our other employees are both women." (Matt and I are both light haired, and don't wear hats, BTW)
"Well, it must have been that guy!" he said, pointing to Matt. I feel if you're going to accuse someone of chicanery, you should at least have a clue as to who you are accusing.
"Hm, OK, give me a second, and let's look at the records. We're computerized, shouldn't take a moment. Hm, hm, well, I have a record of someone buying a copy of v2.1 on 6/18 from Matt."
"Yes, that was when it was, but he sold me this one instead!"
(After the guy leaves, Matt tells me that he remembers the first encounter, and how the customer and he had had a conversation about what if the man has bought the wrong copy for his son? Keep the receipt, Matt says he said, and we can exchange, of course. This is SOP at the store, and I thoroughly believe that Matt had that conversation with the guy.)
"We haven't sold a copy of v1 in HC since... looks like 2008."
"Anyway," I go on, "it doesn't seem likely that you thought you were buying a paperback of volume 2.1, but were sold a HC of v1. Didn't you notice?"
"No! That's what I'm saying! You're cheating me!"
"Well, sir, that really isn't possible. The computer reads the barcode..."
"It must have read it wrong!"
"That's really not possible, sir..."
"Well, that's what happened!"
"Really, sir, it couldn't have. Look, let's test it now." I scan the HC he is "returning" -- it scans as v1 HC. I scan a TP of 2.1, it scans as a TP of 2.1. "So, you see sir, what you're describing really isn't possible. Now, if you can find the receipt..."
"FINE!" he yells, throwing down the HC, "You just keep this one, and I'm NEVER SHOPPING HERE EVER AGAIN!"
"Fine by me!" I tell his back. I have little patience for liars.
What's funny is that if someone came in, without a receipt, saying they'd bought the wrong book, I'd generally be cool enough to swap it out -- there's nothing wrong with customer service; but to try and trick us with a completely different book that we haven't sold a copy of in THREE years? Man, I don't think so. When someone gets THAT angry, THAT fast, it's usually a good sign they're lying.
The open question is what was going on here: did he somehow have a second copy of v1, and thought he could get an easy 2.2 in exchange for it? What's weirdest is that in looking at our record for the HC of v1, it showed up on a periodic "haven't sold in a year" report that I ran in early May. On 5/13, I wasn't able to find the copy as I trolled the racks pulling off dead stock, so I noted that in the computer with a "Biffed out previously?" note, since, really, it should have been dealt with in 2010, at the latest (though I seldom make it all the way through the biffage list before I fill up the bins, and boxes in the back room)
ANYway, what I'm thinking NOW is that either he or his son STOLE the HC some time before 5/13/11, bought that 2.1 on 6/18, then thought they'd trade the stolen book for 2.2 yesterday. Can't prove if that's right or not, but it feels correct to me.
Either way, if you're trying to take the moral high ground when you storm out, leaving the business you are storming out of the book that you claim they sold you under false pretenses? Not exactly a "punishment", really.
Really though, the point is, don't fuck with the POS -- I can track, with a pretty insane level of accuracy, everything that I've EVER sold since 2007!
Comics you say? Sure, here's some!
WALKING DEAD #86: In a weird way, WALKING DEAD has entered this strange place where since it is so consistently good month-after-month, there's really very little need to chime in and say "Hey, another great issue!" USAGI YOJIMBO is like that, too, and I often feel bad that that book doesn't get more attention, too.
Anyway, this blog used to tweak Robert Kirkman a LOT about timeliness, and it's good to every once in a while jump back in and give an "attaboy!" for staying on schedule. WD isn't *quite* clockwork-same-week-of-every month, but it HAS been no-more-than-five-weeks-between-issues for the last FIFTEEN months, which is pretty damn good, especially for an Image book.
(I HAVE to note here that IMAGE UNITED? Issue #4 is now FOURTEEN months late, as of today -- and that's after EIGHT MONTHS between issues 2 & 3)
The other thing Kirkman is doing is using the power of HIS book, to promote OTHER books, and here with #86, he hits a Grand Slam, including the entire (COLOR) 32 pages of ELEPHANTMEN #1 -- which means he had to pay color prices even for his B&W WD pages... making this issue a giant 52 pages, half in color, for the same regular $2.99.
My only "negative" note on that, would be "might be a good idea to LET RETAILERS KNOW" when you do something like that, so they might have extra stock on hand to capitalize on it." Sadly, with the way that reorders work, if I place orders for something TODAY, it won't arrive here for thirteen more days.
Anyway, "another great issue!" VERY GOOD.
AVENGERS: CHILDREN'S CRUSADE #6: I'm not really sure when exactly this stopped having pretty much anything to do with YOUNG AVENGERS per se, and moved to trying to undo HOUSE OF M. I dunno, I want to like this because I really like the YA characters, and I guess seeing two of them getting back with mom is fun, and I absolutely adore Jim Cheung's art on this... but I'm bored to tears reading about the Scarlet Witch's "redemption". This is one of the few cases where leaving the character in limbo might have been a better thing. Very EH.
THUNDER AGENTS #8: I think this book suffers pretty badly from pacing problems -- just when there's a little forward momentum in this story, the issue suddenly ends. Plus the Dan Panosian art was pretty plain.
But what really prompted me to say something was the cover blurb.
Blurbed from "weeklycomicbookreview.com" it says ""IF YOU HAVEN'T JUMPED ON YET, NOW'S THE TIME."
Yes! Jump on now! Two Issues before the book gets Cancelled! Gooood Call!
(You know, to the best of my knowledge, after ten years of reviewing comics on the internet, Savage Critic has NEVER been cover blurbed on anything? Isn't that weird?)
Anyway: a very EH comic.
That's it for me this week, I think.
As always, what did YOU think?