of Superman - The Day
Of all the days that I experienced in my days
in the comic business, nothing could ever prepare me for the day when the
Death of Superman came out. Talk about total insanity. My employee and
myself were prepared for a busy day, but nothing like what happened.
To give you an idea of the sheer
magnitude of the book, our normal sales for a Superman title were about 30 -
40 copies. We sold over 1,000 copies of the Death of Superman and could
have easily sold 10,000 copies. And we were limiting it to 2 copies per
customer, so it will give you an idea of how many people came into the
It started early with the phone
ringing off the hook as soon as we opened. We quickly made a message on our
answering machine that said we had them in stock and were limiting to two
per person. If we did not switch to the answering machine, we would have
never survived. The phone rang all day (we had to turn the ringer off as we
got sick of hearing it). Within an hour of opening, we had pulled the
copies for all pull box customers and a stack to keep aside for regular
customers. It was good we did that as the people started to line up out the
door. I also had the insight to make up bags and boards the night before
and had a few hundred set aside to sell. Almost everyone who bought the
books, also bought bags and boards to insure their new found investment was
kept in mint condition.
Within two hours of opening,
there was a line out the door and down the street. Most of the people were
very nice and patient. Some were downright rude and complained about
limiting the amount of copies they could buy. We allowed each person to buy
one bagged edition and one unbagged one so they could read the story. They
would tell me how they had multiple kids and needed copies for each one. I
told them if I did not limit copies they would have been sold out in the
first hour (we had a guy come in and offer to buy every copy we had and this
is when we first opened).
After four hours, we sold out of
copies. We changed the message on the answering machine and put a big sign
in the front window. It was the only day that we did not answer the phone
at all. There was some crazy stories from the whole event:
*While we were busy taking care
of guests, some guys decided to steal a bunch of books from us. We noticed
it later and called all the comic stores in the area. The next day they
tried to sell them to another store and we were able to have the police nab
them. I got the books back and thanked the store profusely.
*We gained a great customer from
the day. He said he preordered the Death of Superman from another comic
store and they did not pull it for him. When he asked to have the one they
had on the wall for $50.00, they told him he had to pay $50.00 for it. He
was a pull box customer and ordered it in advance but they decided to pull
this on him. He decided to quit shopping there and instead bought one from
us (I let him have my copy) and became a loyal customer. To give you an
idea of how stupid a move this was on their part, the man spent over $1,000
a month on comics, magazines and cards. They lost $12,000 in sales so that
they could sell a $2.50 comic for $50.00. Do the math.
*While other stores pulled
copies and sold them for upwards of $50.00, we held no copies back, except
the ones for regular customers (and my own copy that I gave up). While I
never seen most of those people again, I did my best to give them a good
impression of the comic industry.
Here is the infamous comic book.
This is a scan of an old comic book.
This item is not for
sale. But you can find it on ebay. Click below to
go to ebay and search!