Monday, January 26, 2004

Phantom pains: So, should we file this week's My Sharper Image under "Oops, nevermind"?

After raking a Norristown, Pa., retailer over the coals for supposedly refusing to order Phantom Jack, Mike San Giacomo finally talks to the store owner, and comes back with the full story:

"I just had a talk with the owner of Comics And More and I'm happy to say that we straightened a few things out.

"Owner Jay Roden said he would be happy to order Phantom Jack for anyone, he would order an extra 15 copies for the store, but said that he was pissed at me. Personally.

"This came as a shock, since I did not think I ever spoke to him.

"He reminded me that I spoke to him briefly a week or so ago after my sister told me she tried to order the book from him and he said he could not find it in the Diamond Preview catalog. I didn't know he was the owner. I called and introduced myself and went right into it, asking why he could not find it. Turns out he was looking in the December book, not the January.

"I thought the conversation was normal, but Jay said I came off rather angry. At one point in that conversation, when we straightened out the month discrepancy, I asked if he wanted to call my sister back and confirm the order, he said she should call him. I said I would handle it.

"'You didn't say "hello, how are you," you just got right into it. I'm too old to be talked to that way,' Roden said. 'So I decided we would not order any copies of the book other than those ordered by people who put down half the amount as a deposit.'

"I'll take a whack at myself here and admit I could have been more pleasant, I was busy and rushed. So, that part was my fault. I've learned from it and so should you all. BE NICE.

"Roden said his manager was just plain wrong when he would not let me order the comic and pay for it. He said the manager was wrong when he said that NO pre-orders for the comic had been accepted. He said another guy had ordered 8 copies of issue one and Roden said he would get them in.

"'I'm not crazy,' he said. 'If someone wants to spend money, I'll take it.'

"I SHOULD ADD that I know of at least two people (me for one and a friend in Norristown for another) whose orders were flat-out refused by the manager. So there is a problem down there with communication between owner and manager.

"That settles the most nagging part of the whole situation. It did not make sense and I'm glad to hear that it has been resolved."