Online Sales have begun!

I have started putting books up for sale on Comic Collector Live!

Right now it’s mostly new books from the past few weeks, but I’m trying to get as much up there in as little time as possible.

Our area is currently under a “Shelter In Place” order, so mailing from my house is pretty much the only thing we can do right now.

Thanks Everyone!

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A word about the DC/Diamond Debacle

So, there is a bit of buzz about DC Comics splitting from Diamond Comics Distributors and making their comics exclusive with two new distributors – UCS and Lunar.

The most important thing you need to know is that we have an account with UCS and have no intention on missing even a single shipment of comics that you have ordered. We have entered our first order with them a full week before deadline.

From what I’ve learned, these new distributors seem to work just fine.

About the only hiccup you will experience is that for now the DC Comics assigned to you will not appear in the weekly emails we send out. This is because I use a system called ComicSuite which is owned by Diamond Comics – and the system is not currently set up for multiple distributors.

But as far as tracking your orders and making them purchasable through our register – that’s no trouble whatsoever. Just a little extra paperwork for us.

The handover will occur in about four weeks … the week after Batman #93 comes out, I think.

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Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t know. Right now it’s a minor headache for us, but long term … who knows? If it is for the reasons explained and if it is supposed to work the way it says it should, it is just a system that benefits DC Comics in some way and we have to adjust to it.

If it’s some diabolical plan to destroy the entire comic book world – as some have opined – well, we’ll just have to see.

For now, it’s my job to make sure we get the comics you want when they come out. And that’s what we are doing.

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COVID Update

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Luzerne County is in the “yellow” – which is similar to the situation we were in prior to the “shelter in place” advisory. While many stores are open in a limited basis, the size of our shop and the very nature of our store (browsing through comics means looking through them!) means we really can’t be open any time soon.

Add to that that a member of my household is considered by her doctors that they are among the “at risk” demographic that could suffer much more than the general population and possibly die. So I’m trying not to take any unnecessary chances.

We have been offering curbside pickups, drop offs and mail order and will continue to do so. Here’s how it works:

1. Ask for an invoice for items you want or items currently being held for you (your Pull List).

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2. Let us know how you want to receive your books:

– Drop off delivery: we deliver FREE to anyone withing a 25 mile radius (or thereabouts … figure as far as Nanticoke from West Pittston).

– Mail order: we send via the USPS and there will be an added fee but it is reasonable.

– Scheduled curbside pickup. Must be prepaid and we come out to you, you don’t come to us.

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3. Pay the invoice. This can be done three ways:

– we will send you a link to PayPal, which you can pay with a credit card.

– You can send us a check or money order – mailed to us or dropped in the mail slot (check must clear before you get the books). Make sure we know what and who it is for.

– You can drop the cash in our mail slot (exact change if possible). Make sure we know what and who it is for.

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4. Once payment is received we will mail, deliver or arrange pick up with you.

– Scheduled Pick ups would ideally be on Wednesday between 11AM and 4PM at the store. Other times can be arranged.

– All invoices paid by Thursday night will be delivered by Saturday.

– All mailed packages will be sent out no later than Saturday.

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Thank you all in advance for working with us through this difficult time.

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DC’s Distribution Plans Don’t Work For Us Right Now

This is a weedy article about comic book distribution and our plans during the “stay at home” regulations of our state. If you’re interested, or bored, feel free to read. Otherwise have a great day!

Diamond Comics distributes all new direct market comics to the United States. Until last week they were the only distributor available to comic book shops. Diamond is currently not stocking or shipping new books with a release date of April 1 or later. They have slimmed down their workforce, have a bunch of people working at home and only have a skeleton crew at their warehouses for orders of supplies, back issues and other things the few comic shops that are open and running need.

In short, Diamond Comics is taking the COVID-19 virus seriously and listening to the advice and ordinances of the many states that want us to stay at home as much as possible. Their current plans are to start shipping sometime in mid to late May, but that is subject to change depending on what is going on.

DC Comics has partnered with a new distribution company to ship a handful of their books staring in just a few weeks. The books they will ship will still be available through Diamond, they will just arrive later. It is likely that a few more companies – maybe even Marvel – will offer books to be shipped through this distribution company in the upcoming weeks.

Rubber Mallet Comics is not currently in a position to start accepting new books from a new distributor. In truth, it is going to be hard enough when Diamond starts shipping again! The way our computer system works, the way we are trying to act responsibly during this time – it just doesn’t make sense to use this new distributor.

To our customers, I apologize that this means your books will take longer to arrive than it would through this new channel. If you choose to buy those issues from another venue because you prefer not to wait please let us know – and it’s fine. We’ll survive.

To the distribution company that sprung this on comic shops on a Friday afternoon and are asking for our orders to be all ready on Monday … sorry but you’re asking for a bit too much trust from us and I’m not putting my customers books in jeopardy because these are scary and uncertain times and you saw an opportunity.

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Update for Rubber Mallet Comics

First off, let me tell you how awesome your support has been. Your understanding and patience has meant a lot to us. Plus, you turned a very scary week into a much easier one for us. Hopefully we can continue the Delivery and Mail orders until we get through this time. You should all know that we are very confident in our continued survival as you local comic shop and see no reason we can’t return to normal after this is all over.

That being said, our distributor (Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc) has decided, rightly I think, not to ship books with a release date April 1 or later until further notice. I don’t know if it will be a few weeks or months at this point. The important thing is to reduce the financial impact on the comic shops that are under much stricter guidelines than we are.

So this will be the last week with new books for a little while.

But we can still order from the items Diamond has in stock and of course we have a lot of issues, toys and supplies in our store and would be more than happy to deliver or mail orders during this time (if it is in compliance with emergency guidelines, of course). We are working on an online store system and I’ll let you know where it is when we are up and running.

But down to business. Our procedure going forward is:

1. You request an invoice from us for the books you have in stock. Let us know if you want delivery, mail order or have us hold your books for now.

2. We send you an invoice and a link to PayPal that you can use with or without a PayPal account.

3. Once the invoice is paid for we mail the package or add your delivery to our route. We will send the mail as soon as we can and as cheaply as we can.

As for our delivery area, if you can wait a few days and your order is more than a few books, we will deliver anything anywhere to our loyal customers within a county or two. I’ll probably start local and move to the further locations later in the week. I don’t mind a drive!

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Update: No more curbside deliveries.

RMCOVIDUPDATEAs per the somewhat stronger requests from the Governor of Pennsylvania – and just seeing what is happening elsewhere, we will no longer do the curbside pickups, as it is important that we maintain as little interaction as possible until things change.

That being said, we will continue delivery drop-offs (as long as you feel the books will be secure on your doorstep until you get them and mail through the USPS is still an option (if you are willing to pay the postage).

We still prefer PayPal prepayments prior to delivery or shipping. Again, this is to minimize our contact. PayPal does not require you to open an account with them, you just need to use a credit card.

If you prefer us to hold your books but would like to pre-pay towards them, you can send money through PayPal, using our ID:  rubbermalletcomics@gmail.com

I have tweaked the COVID-19 T-shirt a bit to make it a bit more fun. You can order it here:

 

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COVID-19 Update

RMCOVIDUPDATE

So, our first socially distant new comic book day is in the books and I think I’ve figured out a few things going forward.

I want to thank all of our supportive customers who have offered their help, have been willing to use our ad hoc payment and distribution system (such as it is) and have just been all around awesome folks!

To limit contact with others, I am the alone in the store every day except Tuesday, where Matt helps me sort through the books. This limited contact sucks, but it is the best option for preventing me from coming in contact with the virus. While I do it to keep myself and my family as safe as possible, I also do it so that the handling of your books are by as few people as possible and that we take precautions.

I will drop the packages off on your porches, I will drop a bag into your car … but I need to maintain minimum contact until this is all over. That’s why we really prefer to take PayPal prepayments.

Going forward, if you want to and are able to help us, here is what you need to do:

1. Request an invoice for you books to our email: rubbermalletcomics@gmail.com
2. Let us know if you want to pickup on the curb (Boston Ave), get a delivery drop off, mail the books via USPS or hold your books until this is over.
3. After receiving the invoice, pay us on PayPal. Our PayPal ID is rubbermalletcomics@gmail.com .. if you have a PayPal ID, we can send you an invoice directly through PayPal.

Our schedule will be as follows:

WEDNESDAY: curbside pickup only. Pay your invoice via paypal and call the shop and I will be right out with your books.

THURSDAY: delivery of all invoices requesting delivery paid by 6PM Wednesday night. Curbside pickup if time allows.

FRIDAY: curbside pickup only. Pay your invoice via paypal and call the shop and I will be right out with your books.

SATURDAY: delivery of all invoices requesting delivery paid by 5PM Friday night. Curbside pickup if time allows.

Sunday and Monday are going to remain my days off, but I’m sure I’ll be processing paperwork during this time. Tuesday is the day we sort through the new books, but we could do a curbside pickup or two if you call ahead an prepay.

The store phone will forward to my cell phone while this is all going on, so feel free to call me within our normal store hours.

Thank you for your time and effort.

P.S. If you want to buy Gift Certificates, or just prepay for your comics, you can do so through PayPal, just put “Gift Certificate” in the description column. We will drop a credit notice into your pull bin.

P.S. If you like our gloved logo above, I set it up as a tee shirt. We get around $5 for each purchase if anyone is interested in it. https://teespring.com/stores/rubber-mallet-comics

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Rubber Mallet Will Be Closed for Two Weeks

I doubt this comes as much of a surprise to anyone but in accordance with the urgent request of the Governor of Pennsylvania, Rubber Mallet Comics will be closed to customers for at least the next two weeks.

Right now there is the possibility that deliveries of new comics will be suspended, but I won’t know about this week until sometime on Tuesday, March 17.

So what can we do? We need to limit social interaction for your safety and mine … which sounds like a science fiction story. I hope when this is over we will think we took too many precautions and it’ll seem funny.

That being said, we do need to keep the business going. According to the mandate of the state, delivery is still a viable option.

The easiest would be via the Post Office. We would be happy to work up an invoice for you, email you an invoice and accept payment via PayPal (our PayPal ID is: rubbermalletcomics@gmail.com ). It can be for just the books you already ordered, or for any other books we have in stock that you wish to add. We will mail them no later than the next business day after we get your payment. The shipping costs will be only for the postage.

The key right now is to minimize the amount of face to face interactions (as much as I wish this were not so!) That’s why phone and internet communication and electronic funds are key to accomplishing this.

I realize right now we are asking you to do more than a customer is expected to do for a business. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Stay well!

Chuck Rowles, Owner
Rubber Mallet Comics
570-655-5522

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HALLOWEEN COMICFEST TODAY!!!!

HCF2019 Participation_Store

TODAY IS THE DAY! BIG SALES! FREE COMICS!

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Halloween Comic Fest – Saturday October 26!

Halloween ComicFest is October 26. Doors open at 11AM!

Halloween ComicFest is October 26— a single day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away Halloween-themed comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores, with no purchase required and no strings attached. Fans new and old are welcome to RUBBER MALLET COMICS for fun, free comics and great deals!

Date of Event: Saturday, October 26, 2019 – The Saturday before Halloween

Time of Event: 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Location of Event: RUBBER MALLET COMICS
802 WYOMING AVENUE
WEST PITTSTON, PA 18643

Event Website: http://www.halloweencomicfest.com

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